I didn’t enjoy going to school. Did you?
It’s a question I ask my friends, acquaintances and colleagues. Because if you know what bullying feels like, you’ll never question how serious it is.
Every morning, I’d make the trek up the main road to get to my personal hellhole.
My 8am to 2pm horror show. I thought things would be different when I started high school.
I would have a shot at being well-liked, maybe make some cool friends.
All I really wanted was a fresh start.
The irony was, my own nine circles of Hell was situated right opposite a church.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
I’d walk along the cold corridors just trying to avoid people. Periods filled with broken people who harmed others to make themselves better.
Walls covered with scribbles and expletives. Sometimes those things were hurled at me.
I saw the classroom as a means to an end – a way to get out. Where learning happened but I needed to leave, to live.
School is a site of trauma – where being different means you’re torn to shreds. How can one forget how people made you feel? Nothing I did was right, I didn’t fit in even when I tried.
Bullying tears the confidence away from your very being – day in and day out.
In the end, you internalize how you’re feeling because, why wouldn’t you?
No one else is saying that you’re worthy, that you actually matter or that you’re not weird.
I am still recovering from school. I have nightmares about writing exams, seeing people I knew and even being stuck in that goddamn building.
Five years of hateful behaviour from people I literally don’t give a flying fuck about now.
I don’t know how it could be the best years of your life when I was simply trying to survive.
I did, but barely. So many others don’t.
And sometimes, you become the bully.
Unfortunately, the realms of hate extend to the internet too. Where your character can be torn apart by a coward hiding behind an Anon/egg avi. Where it’s okay to make jokes about someone’s appearance or spill their personal business for the world to see.
Bullying is kak, no matter what platform it happens on. And you remain complicit, when you allow it to be tolerated. You have no idea what people are battling with, when you choose to make a flippant shitty comment about them.
Calling someone out when they’re wrong – isn’t about taking a side. You can be neutral and not be quiet when the bullshit wafts your way.
Check yourself before ya wreck yourself.