Have you ever been bullied?
Do you remember it to this day?
Are children more cruel now,
than they have ever been?
I personally do not think so.
I cannot accept,
that we are putting our heart and soul into our children,
resulting in the creation of more bullies than ever.
I think picking on weaker people,
and putting others down,
in order to raise ourselves up,
is and always will be a part of life.
Social media may have changed the methods,
but I think bullying is and always will be there.
As I look back to my childhood days,
I believe at times I could have been classed as a bully.
I was a strong minded individual,
who was only happy as the leader.
I had friends who were meeker,
who in a way towed the line.
It was how it worked!
I am not proud.
I asked a couple of them recently,
if this was true,
but they disagreed,
I am not so sure.
It was not vicious or intentional,
but I definitely pushed them my way.
However I too,
strong willed and opinionated as I was,
I can remember clearly one particular day.
I was about ten years old.
I had a bike of sorts,
but in reality it could not really be classed as such.
It would be better to describe it,
as a mongrel bike.
A collection of different bikes,
put together to make a single bike.
I had cycled to school,
and as I came out to collect my “bike”,
I saw four older girls gathered around it.
I could hear them giggling and mocking it,
“lets wait here to see who owns it”,
“look at the state of it”.
So as I looked at them,
and then saw my bike through their eyes,
I did the only thing I could think of,
I turned away, and walked home!
On arriving home,
my extremely irate mother,
asked me “Where is your bike?”.
Did I tell her what had happened?
Did I hell!
I said “Oh whoops I forgot it”,
and walked back to school to collect it.
Not too long after this happened,
I met these lovely girls again.
I was the third girl in my family.
Ten years younger than my eldest sister.
I often had the pleasure of wearing clothes,
that my older sisters had enjoyed,
many years earlier.
One such item of clothing,
was a cardigan.
I can clearly see it still.
It was a pale blue sailor style cardigan,
with a strange pattern.
But it’s most striking feature was it’s buttons.
They were about twelve in number,
and stuck out.
They were silver in color,
with an anchor printed on each one.
In other words they were in real terms,
One day whilst wearing this “beautiful” cardigan,
I was walking home from school,
when I met the same girls,
who had commented on my bike.
As they drew level with me,
I had to stop.
I cannot accurately recall,
what it was in fact they said,
until one of them said something like,
“you must be scarlet havin to wear that manky cardigan”
She then reached out and touched it,
with her nose wrinkled and a certain “look” on her face.
As they stood there, laughing at me,
I was filled with rage.
Without hesitating I looked the queen bee in the eye,
“What, this cardigan?”, I said,
mock bewilderment in my voice,
” I love this cardigan, it’s my favourite!”.
And with those few words,
I completely shut them all up.
They stared at me,
but were rendered speechless.
I turned and headed home.
My heart pounding,
but so thrilled I had shut them up.
I stomped in the back door of home,
and bypassed my mother.
Up the stairs I went,
and I took off that cardigan,
rolled it in a ball,
and shoved it with venom,
under the mattress!
I never again wore it.
Looking back I would assume my mother read the signs,
my face, the stomping, and the return to the kitchen,
minus a cardigan.
She never asked,
but it was removed from under the bed,
and I never saw it again.
Except in my minds eye,
where I can picture it today,
as freshly as if it were only yesterday.
I have over the years,
shared this story with my own children,
and others I have minded.
Because I do think bullying is part and parcel of human nature,
but as a parent the key is,
equipping our children to cope with it,
and effectively deal with it.
My mum must have somehow done her job well,
although I still think making me wear that cardigan was a mistake!