Leave me alone!
BEHIND EVERY ATTITUDE and behaviour there is a story and until you can find out where the story begins, there is little you can do to help an individual.
No one is just always angry or aggressive or just likes fighting or frequently tells lies or habitually steals. I am no psychologist, but I believe all of these actions, attitudes and behaviours are the conclusion and end product of a story.
I went to a secondary school in Christ Church as a child. I didn’t wear any brand name nor was I the most athletic or handsome. I was quite shy and basically kept to myself.
Throughout my junior years, I was picked on but as I got into senior school, the bullying got worse. I hated getting a haircut because it meant the boys would slap me across the head. I hated bringing lunch to school because the boys would hit it out of my hand. I hated having to go to the canteen because the guys would bore in front of me in the line and if I said anything, they would push me out the line, take away my money or wait until I purchased my lunch and take it away from me.
Each day I cried when I got home because I was too ashamed to cry at school. Each night I could feel the anger and rage building inside of me. I thought of killing myself; I also thought of killing those who picked on me and made me feel like I was nothing. I wrote down the names of every one of them and how I would get rid of them. I told no one because I was told boys don’t cry and I need to grow up and be tough.
One evening after cricket practice I was in the bathroom changing. As I was about to put on my pants, three guys snatched my pants, bag and clothes and ran. By the time I realized what was happening, the guys were already outside. I couldn’t run behind them since all I had on was my school shirt and my underwear. I shouted at them to bring back my pants and they stood at a distance, laughing. Eventually, they brought back my clothes, which were all soaked with water. I had to wear home wet pants and when I got to the bus stop, all the students laughed at me.
I left the bus stop hurt, embarrassed, angry and lonely, and walked home. When I got home I cried until I had problems breathing. I took out my book and added more names to the list. During the night I couldn’t sleep. I was awakened constantly by nightmares.
I went to school the next morning, determined that I had had enough, that that day was the last day I was goingto be bullied. The rain began to fall and all the students had to walk to their classes via a small corridor. As I was walking, someone pushed me in the back. I looked back and the same boys who bullied me all my school life were standing behind me, laughing. I continued walking and I was pushed again and again. I counted to ten, closed my eyes, turned around and started beating the person behind me. I punched the person uncontrollably until someone pulled me off.
Unfortunately, the person I assaulted was an innocent first-form girl.
Students who are bullied can reach the point where they either hurt someone or hurt themselves. Both the bullies and those who are bullied need urgent help. They need love, encouragement and counselling.
Parents, teachers and principals, we need to be awar of what is going on in our children’s/students’ lives.
There are known punishments for sexual and physical abuse but there is little punishment for the silent killers: verbal, psychological and emotional abuse, whose scars can last a lifetime.
There are many individuals in our communities who behave in a manner and display attitudes that are a concern to many. I ask that we seek to find out where their story begins so we can begin the process of restoration, forgiveness and healing.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth ambassador. Email [email protected]