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My story, a survivors perspective.


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Hi, my name is Al; I am a victim/survivor of bullying.

If that sounds similar to how some people working to cope with a disease might address a room, the resemblance is purely intentional.

For isn’t that how it is for those of us who have been subjected to terrifying levels of bullying, we have been told for so long by so many we are defective, diseased, that we become consumed trying to find and cure these flaws.

Being asked in disdain "what is wrong with you?" on a daily basis, forces you to start asking those questions of yourself.

I am now in my early forties, and my life is in shambles.

I have no system based schooling beyond grade 10, school was as fearful a place as one could imagine, getting away was equivalent to escaping from hell.

I have been in therapy off and on for years, but to no avail. There tends to be a common theme among clinicians, "lets get you out there and make you a productive member of society, we will give you counseling, training and job placement, here try this prescription.

Do we give soldiers who are shell shocked a pill and send them back to the front?

Sounds a bit too dramatic considering the subject?

Fair enough, this next question is closer to the reality.

Do we give torture victims a pill and send them to work along side those who conducted their torture?

Still think that sounds extreme?

If you do, you have not been subjected to continual and repeated bullying.

Ask someone who has been through it, who is going through it, how it feels being forced to face your tormentors on a daily basis, knowing what awaits you.

That level of fear inflicted on a continual basis could not be thought of as anything less than slow torture.

I am a living victim of continual and relentless childhood bullying.

A cycle that started largely due to being singled out for humiliation by my earliest grade teachers.

Starting as early as kindergarten I was singled out, making me a target.

There have been numerous incidents, the earliest being my kindergarten teacher contacting my mother to inform her that I was the worst child she had ever dealt with.

I carry with me clear memories of my 2nd grade teacher posting stories/fibs her students told, on the wall behind her desk, on paper a foot wide and three feet tall, calling it the “TALL TALE” sheet, using it to entice the entire class and herself to have a good laugh at the expense of the fibber.

I can remember teachers asking “what is wrong with you” in front of entire classrooms, I was called lazy on a daily basis.

In 1st grade I was made to go to every classroom in the school with a sign hung around my neck labeling me a liar to every student in the school.

I was a highly intelligent child with a very active imagination, and at the time was diagnosed hyperactive.

Under today’s guidelines ADD or ADHD would have been the likely diagnosis.

The alienation by the students was complete, I was picked on relentlessly, beaten up regularly, I could not be sent to school with lunch money for it would be stolen, most days so was my brown bag lunch.

Being labeled by some faculty as trouble early on followed as long as I was in school.

The place I grew up had a small board of education with not too many schools, faculty moved about enough there was nowhere I could go and get any type of fresh start, that was true of students as well, any school I went to would have me around students who already knew me.

Being singled out by teachers in this manner was an open invitation for my peers to do whatever they wished, often times teachers would do nothing at all, or tell me to “stand up for yourself”.

I went through thorough testing in my early school years by doctors at sick children’s hospital, and on a somewhat regular basis at the board of education. Each time the results showed the same thing, an incredibly bright child, hyperactive.

Over years of resentment from the teachers I should have been able to turn to for help, and the daily ostracizing rituals my peers conducted, the result is a life destroyed.

Trust for people has become almost an abstract concept, situations ranging from being in the mall to polite criticism from a peer or superior, trigger uncontrollable panic responses ranging from mild embarrassment to overwhelming feelings of humiliation or anger.

I deal with all the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder on an ongoing daily basis, yet am denied any form of disability.

I am a highly intelligent person, and have been told that works against me, if I am able to sit down and explain intelligently what is wrong with me, and why I am this way, then I must be able to get a job.

To a certain extent I agree, I can get a job, in fact ive landed pretty much every job I went after, they just don’t last more than a day or two. Followed by weeks of self evaluation and anxiety.

In my early 40’s now, and I still deal with this torment everyday, every time someone, a stranger is less than polite, every time someone says something with the wrong inflection, every time someone looks over my shoulder, and countless other situations I am aware of and many others I am not, sends me right back to some terrifying episode I am forced to relive.

Those around us see only what is in front of them, on the surface I am a man in his early 40's that cannot hold a job and support his family.

On the surface to those with nothing more than an opinion at stake I am a bum.

I cannot become comfortable around other people, dealing with strangers is mentally and physically draining, I have become an extreme introvert.

I am carrying baggage that I should not have to, I do not want, that was packed and put on my back without my consent, against my will, and will be a burden my entire life.

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That article was written last year after finally coming to terms with who I am, and why I am the way I am.

It has become clear to me that I cannot change my past, or simply flip a switch and undo what has been done, but for my own well being I can, and do, choose to take it forward.

I live in Toronto CAN, and would like to start a bullying victim support website, and possibly take it even further, and take part in live presentations in schools, for students and staff. I may not be able to ever be completly rid of my heavy baggage, but my hope is, through sharing of my own experience, to possibly prevent some poor child from being burdened in thier life the way I have.

If you have an intrest in helping out or taking part in some way please contact me.

Regards

Al

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