Bullying is a topic that is increasingly a concern to the public. Many are beginning to step forward to tell their stories, and we can see celebrities taking a firm stance against it too. All in all, we are seeing a pool of victims emerging with current and past experiences. We see a population still trying to cope with the hurt and we have an air lingering with trauma. So many victims are coming forth, but I’m starting to wonder what the bullies have to the say for themselves? Where are they, who were they, and why are they not speaking up? You will commonly hear people saying, “I used to be bullied”, but you will almost never hear people say, “I was a bully”. Well, here I am and truth be told: I was a big, fat bully, and I always will admit it (wait! let me explain! please don’t kill me yet!).
I would say I was a bully between the ages 8 and 15. But I was very selective; I didn’t bully everyone. I bullied my closest friends in complete secrecy. I would lure them into my friendship and then turn around to belittle them, exclude them, and in some instances humiliate them. I came from a very strict private school that was very keen on kindness and good behaviors. But nobody knew about me and none of my “friends” told on me. I think I bullied so subtly, so strategically that I carefully targeted a certain type. Those who crave for belonging and those who aren’t brave enough to stand up for themselves. Wow, I sound like a sadistic maniac. It’s all very sickening to think of how manipulative and devious a child can be.
Most victims of bullying eventually grow out of it. It’s like walking out of a sand storm and suddenly the sky is clear. But on the flip side, bullies also grow out of it. This entire bullying phase tends to happen at an upcoming age; the precise era of exponential growth and change. When I was bullying, I was a kid and a teenager still discovering who I wanted to be. I was slowly learning, perhaps the hard way, about acceptance and selflessness and all that good stuff. I think by becoming someone I’m ashamed of, it pushed me to divert from continuing to live in that character. Heck, even at age 25 I’m still learning and changing to become better. I’ve made some pretty unforgivable mistakes. Growing up, I was loud, obnoxious, jealous and too proud. Today, I’ve changed to be generally the opposite. But once in a while, I can feel the residues of my inner monster resurfacing. I’m still practicing to be less full of myself, and I feel it will be a life-long challenge.
So to all those who hate bullying, I hate it just as much. It kills me to see on the news kids and teenagers who chose to end their misery in suicide. I wish they could have waited just a bit longer to see that it will get better. When bullies pass through their transient phase of “not-knowing-what-they’re-doing”, they harm so many along the way. It’s unfair. I hate who I was and I wish I could go back to undo the damage. I hope and trust that every other former bully feels the same. I hope those still haunted by the memories not only give themselves a chance to move on, but to just as much give bullies a chance to change.
I feel obliged to end with an apology. I am sorry.