Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I don't understand bullying

I don't understand the psychology of bullying.  Why would someone take pleasure in harming another person physically or mentally?  How do people become so cruel, so young?  (Or at all, actually)

I don't know if bullying has gotten worse or if I just didn't notice it growing up.  I was only the victim of a bully once and I didn't even recognize it for bullying until years later.

I didn't fit in with the typical cliques in high school.  I wasn't into sports and I wasn't popular.  If there was a smart club, I didn't know about it.  Though not a stoner, I hung out with the stoners and the other outsiders.   I used to dress in tattered jeans and an army jacket.  I sat on the floor in the hall during breaks and embroidered designs on jeans.

You would think all that would be fodder for verbal abuse, but people basically left me alone.  

But one day a girl in a group of girls made snide comments about the fringe on my jacket and the fringe on my boots.  I remember being more puzzled than concerned.  I mean, I barely knew her.  Why did she feel the need to comment?  My friends told me to just ignore her.

I ignored her next couple comments, not even acknowledging them.  So she escalated.  She threatened to beat me up.  Now that got my attention.  I had never been in a fight except with my brothers.  And you aren't really trying to harm each other in those. Not really.

My friend stepped in front of me and told her if she started anything it would be with both of us.  The girl turned on her heel and she and her entourage left.  And I was not beaten up, nor was I bothered for the rest of my high school years.

Maybe my good fortune was in having friends to stand with me.

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