I was bullied as a kid. What a surprise.
What one would call malicious mischief, I guess -- constant name-calling, the occasional push and shove, some tossed rocks once, everlasting ostracision. School was never a safe place for me. I was fat and I was weird and I was never allowed to forget it, ever. The best advice anyone could give me re dealing with bullies was Ignore Them And They'll Go Away. Honestly, does that advice ever work? I think whoever coined it drastically misinterpreted the technique of nonviolent resistance.
There's a scar on the back of my head, right above where the skull starts. I've had it since an afternoon in the fall of 1987. I was standing on a merry-go-round, wearing a coat with one of those built-in scarves. I remember correcting my balance, then suddenly the world went upside-downie.
I don't remember much of what happened next, except it involved a lot of blood and a lot of screaming. I do know the injury tally included a pair of damn-near knocked out front teeth -- adult teeth too, you can still see the damage if you look close -- and a split scalp.
I'm grateful for a few things when it comes to growing up; that after the divorce my family moved around so much I never stayed in the same school more than two years, and that it happened before the age of cameraphones. Bad enough the bastards get their classmates as an appreciative audience. Thanks to the Internet, they can play the entire world for laughs at the expense of their victims. What is peopleofwalmart but a bunch of bored children laughing at the people who don't fit in?
Yes, I'm still bitter and hateful. Full of anger that has no target and thus no way to drain away, full of hatred for myself and everyone else.
There's nothing that'll unpoison those years of my life. You can't see the scar, but it's there and it'll never go away.