There’s NO shame in being bullied. ONLY in bullying
I was a SUPER shy kid. Like frog-in-my-throat, petrified-of-telephones, let-my-brother-speak-for-me kid. To make matters worse, my family moved around like a band of gypsies. It was seriously as if we were on the run from the law (sorry if I’ve blown your cover, mum!).
This meant changing schools at least every couple of years, if not more (in year three I went to THREE different schools). By the time I graduated high school I’d been to eight schools. EIGHT. Six of them were because we moved. Two of them were due to bullying.
I was bullied because I was smart (and oh so modest!). At the time I thought maybe I’d brought the bullying on myself. Perhaps I was raising my hand too often in class. Maybe I should have lied when classmates asked about my marks (there’s really no unsmug way to say you got 100 per cent).
I was also bullied because I had NO IDEA how to talk to boys, even though I had two older brothers (it’s not like you can give guys at school horsey bites and fight with them over the TV remote).
The bullying ranged from ostracizing, to teasing and even punching (yes, I was punched in the arm every time I passed a girl at school until she got called up by the principal). In the end, I was crying every morning before school (that was year seven).
I tried EVERYTHING to stop being bullied. I tried fighting back. I tried ignoring it. I even tried becoming invisible. I barely spoke a word to anyone when I changed schools in year eight, adopting the rule of don’t-speak-unless-you’re-spoken-to.
The bullying finally stopped when our classes became segregated—as in general and advanced streams. Suddenly, everyone around me was smart too and those not doing so well could no longer see my marks—and seemingly the target on my back too.
I know I was lucky though. There are many out there who continue to be bullied their entire school lives. All I can say is that there’s NO shame in being bullied. There’s ONLY shame in bullying. The bullies will have to carry their shame for the rest of their lives, whereas you’ll be able to move on to adulthood with your head held high.
And I must say that adulthood is a WONDERFUL place for the meek. We really do inherit the Earth. We’re the doctors, the lawyers, the teachers and the scientists. We write the TV shows our bullies watch weekly and come up with new innovations and inventions (can anyone say Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg?).
These days, I basically walk around with the word GEEK tattooed on my forehead (or maybe embroidered on my lapel). And, as only a geek could, I TRULY believe that embracing my inner nerd has made me cooler than EVER.