Bullying: the effects, the “reasons”

BulliedAfter reading about “Bullying” on “Sanity is knocking” website, I decided it was time to write a follow-up. The post on “Sanity is knocking” was written after the writer read my first post on being bullied. It gave the reader a glimpse into the world of someone who had been on both sides: the receiver and the giver. I am not sure if these are the correct terms but it sounds best. When you bully someone, you give it. When you are being bullied you receive it. The thing is, I just thought about how much the term “bullied” sounds like “bullshit” to me. No one gets better out of it. At least, not if you are on the receiving part of it all. And I am not sure if the people who were the bullies ever find out how much pain they inflicted on their victims.In my first post I also quoted some effects from the Mentalhelp.net site, written by Mark Dombeck, Ph. D.  He wrote about the “Long term effects of bullying”.

I have copied the list to my previous post. And I have written a bit about why I think I was being bullied. But now I want to go more into my own perspective. How did I feel back then (YES I do still remember as it was yesterday, even though it’s 15 years ago). I want to tell (well, write) about the times I skipped school, just so I wouldn’t be bullied those days. I want to share my thoughts, my feelings and my believes.

It all started when I was 6 I believe. I was 7 when it happened for sure. I always felt like I was different from the others. Like I saw things differently from them. I always have been very direct, never put on satin gloves to say something which could cause pain, I just said it. I would blurt it out if I thought I was right. And often I was right, but because I didn’t use any nice tactics, I was dismissed and shoved aside as being rude. This hurt, because all I was seeking was acknowledgement that I was right. That I was smart. That I knew what it was all about. I “solved” it.

I have always been seeking approval, maybe more than anyone else. I had (and have)the urge to give it all my best. I want to know all there is to know about stuff I find interesting. I don’t want to know all about just one subject, I’d rather know a little less than that but then on many more subjects. I have been tested when I was 7 years old. My mum told my old GP (f*ckhead!) that she thought I might have ADHD. Back then, it was called MBD (Minor Brain Damage, later on Minor Brain Dysfunction, because they couldn’t find any signs of damage – for more info check my ADHD/ADD post). But well, I got tested to see what my IQ was, seeing they believed the brain was damaged and in that line of thinking, one could not be smart if you were suffering from it. I did the tests they gave me (I can even remember me doing some of those tests), wondering why I had to do all this. The end results were that I didn’t have MBD, seeing they told my mum I had an (estimated) IQ of 145. I never knew that when I was 7, I know now. I have searched the WWW to see what a “normal” IQ rating is. I found out that everything above 130 is considered “Highly Intelligent” and only approximately 2,1% of the population (here in the Netherlands) have that score or higher… But the thing is, I still had troubles focusing. I lost interest quickly when the stimulant in the subject “died”. I need to be stimulated, I need to know that I am doing good, I need challenges…

So it can be that, if I am tested now, my IQ will be much lower than it was back then. I never got the stimulants I needed. OK, I got it during the second grade (8-9 years old) at my primary school. We had a combined class, all of our second grade class and half of the thirst grade class. I was allowed to do my “math” with them, because I had already done all the second grade work. That was one of the reasons I have been bullied! Because I was better at the sums and all than they were. And well, all the way till eight grade I have been bullied.

Cycle of bullying

I thought I could trust the teachers and the principal with my story of the bullying. So I went to my teacher and to my principal. But all they did is assume I had it coming, call out the students I had named and in a way, they made it worse. Because after that, all those students came at me again! I never mentioned anything to my mum. If the people at school weren’t able to stop it, what could my mum do? I didn’t want to be a bother… At that age, I really felt that it was my fault indeed.

  • I had done something to make the others mad at me. I had been too wise for a kid my age, beaten the older kids at their school work and that made them pissed.
  • I wasn’t wearing the right clothes to fit in.
  • I didn’t have nice hair.
  • I was too direct and honest.

And the list goes on and on. All the causes of being bullied, I sought within me. And, of course, I was able to find many things that would make it all understandable.

What effects did the bullying during my primary school? What did it do with me, with the way I was?

Of course I didn’t have many friends. But when I had a friend, I would do anything for him/her, because I was so happy to have someone to share stuff with. Of course, this was also used against me. People befriended me until they got what they came for and then joined the bully’s side again. When a friend did something I thought was so very wrong, I could drop a friendship like a pebble: quick like lightning.

My friendships were intense. They meant the world to me. If a friend wanted me to jump, I would ask how high before they finished their question. In a way, I am still like that now. But now, it takes me a WHOLE lot of time to finally be able to trust someone like that. I distrust people I don’t know what well. In a way, they need to prove they’re worthy to me now before I really dare to open up about myself.

I think that is one BIG effect that bullying had on me: I became suspicious of people. I used to be able to open up much better before. I was always honest, straight up, with anyone I came in contact with. Now I’d rather take a step back first, check out the scene and the people involved before getting really involved myself.

There are still times when I see someone and I just know that person could become a dear friend. I am not sure how that works, maybe it’s just some sort of instinct. When I do get that “click”, I dare to take a step forward and make first contact. If I don’t get that vibe, I will just wait and see. I really became in touch with this instinct. Maybe it’s part of the survival instinct… Maybe after making so many “mistakes” of trusting people who really didn’t deserve my trust, my friendship and all, I made some sort of “radar” to guide me to people who are nothing like my mistaken “friendships”. Not sure if this makes sense, but it’s the only way I can describe it.

So well, thanks to all the people who bullied me, I now feel like I am suspicious of other people. Thanks to them I find it harder to make friendships, to trust people.

I also think that being bullied had some effect on my learning abilities. Because I was bullied when I did better than others, I almost became “scared” of getting high grades. If they were OK, like 7 or 8 (here, 1 is low and 10 is high), I was happy enough. I didn’t want to be the best, even though I really wanted to beat them all at their own game! But I couldn’t. I wanted to so much and I knew that I could. But the bullying wasn’t worth it. Maybe now, I would do things differently. But I guess maybe the bullied would do things differently as well.

I truly hope that the people who bullied me, during primary school, during secondary school, now see the pain they are still causing me! Of course they would never read this. But when you have been bullied, singled out, so many times… I don’t think that people who bully realize the effects they have on the person they are giving it to. And I guess many of them will never show remorse because they really feel like they didn’t do anything wrong. Heck! Some of those bullies may still be just that, only now at a working environment instead of an educational environment. Just because they can… Or maybe because it’s all they know and maybe even feel comfortable with.

To bullyI get angry quickly. When people don’t respect me, when people do stuff that (in a way) do me harm, I get angry. Most of those times, I want to inflict something to them, something painful. I am still scared of being bullied, even now as I am 30 years young. I still hate being in big crowds because I feel like they all have something against me.

BUT there is an exception: conventions! There I know people come with the same ideals, the same backgrounds even (some people I have met at conventions have also been bullied a lot as kids…). I love Sci-Fi conventions like FedCon and also conventions like Hallowhedon and CollectorMania. I am glad to say that I did meet some fantastic people at conventions like these. And even if they live far away from me and are “just” e-mail or FaceBook friends, I am always looking forward to seeing them again at the next event.

But now back to the original topic. I might be overly sensitive to things. And that may contribute to me getting triggered and angry so quickly. But also at times I feel like I am misunderstood. And no matter how much I try to explain myself and my intentions, I am not getting through. So I get mad and angry then as we..

I can even get angry when people are bitching about stupid little things in their lives. I have been living with a body that couldn’t do all I wanted to do ever since I was 16. And when I hear people complaining about little bits they can’t do, it can anger me because they aren’t really pleased with all they CAN do! I have felt like I was spoiling the fun for others for many years, just because I couldn’t get along with them. I have said “No” to several outings that I really wanted to go on, but knew I would only drag them down. And then I had to hear about all the fun they had…without me. And it hurt because I really wanted to be there too. But if I’d been there, in my opinion, they wouldn’t have had so much fun because they would have been more busy dragging me along…

But when I am angry, many thoughts will be focused towards revenge. How can I beat the other before (s)he/they beat me? What can I hurt him/her/them with most to beat them before they really get to me?

If anything goes wrong, often I try to find the source of the “error” within myself. I have been blamed for so many faults for so many years of my life that it is almost a normal reaction. What did I do wrong this time? Why is this happening to me? What could I have done to not let it get this far? Why didn’t I do…?

I have been bullied, singled out, beaten and used.

I have skipped school for many days in the first 3 years of my secondary school. After the 3rd year, the people who were bullying me had less contact with me because they were in a different “lane”. My education took 5 years and theirs only 4. I have always thought that the reason they were bullying me (and others) was because they were dumb! They thought themselves so smart and cool and they couldn’t even get into a higher educational level. And at times I blamed them for making my school experience so miserable that I disliked it so much at times, that I could not be bothered to be taught. That in a way, they were “responsible” for me not getting higher grades. I couldn’t concentrate, I didn’t want to go and I felt bad all over…

I guess I will never know for sure. But I do know that people who bullied me didn’t make my life easy. Their bullying didn’t stop when they quit, it’s still part of me, of who I am. Part of my reactions are “made” by the way they treated me all these years. I get defensive quickly, I want revenge quickly, I want to beat their faces for a change… When I am angry, all these angers come up and at times, I really wished I had a boxing ball! I so want to hit something until it hurts… I want to let all the frustration out! Ah well….

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~ by Lonely Wallflower on May 17, 2010.

4 Responses to “Bullying: the effects, the “reasons””

  1. […] as you have been able to read in previous posts, I have been bullied a lot. I now know that it was partly my own “fault” without knowing it. I know it’s never […]

  2. does bullying stilll afftect you now?

    • Yes, I think it does.
      I have a lot of trouble trusting people. I am always very much laid back. You will see me sitting alone rather than joining a table where others are. I am always scared that someone will hurt me, use me, take advantage of me. It may not all be due to the Bullying, but a part of it did grow stronger because of it. When you grow older and you see someone who has taken part in the bullying, you can still feel the fear now as you felt it back then, at least it goes like that for me.
      Maybe I am a better person because of it. I would never want to hurt anyone like I got hurt and used by them. But I think I might have been the same “decent” person without the bullying as well. People are different, why bully them about it? They have to live with it, not the ones that bully…
      But yes, I think it will affect me and the way I think and live until I die… But I try to make the best of it, as an adult, now.

  3. Just stumbled in this, and I must say that a lot of what you wrote I can relate to. Even in my mid thirties I still often think about my past being bullied and also agree that it has affected the way I behave and think.

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