I fucking hate bullies.
I’ll be straight up in saying I was no saint in school. I desperately wanted to be a part of the cool crowd through primary school and into high school, and as a result I definitely made some decisions that I’m not proud of. I apologised to my best friend of eight years after I graduated year 12 for all the not so nice things I did to her (like ditching her when a popular girl asked me to sit next to them or whatever). When I got older, I realised how hurtful I had been, but I don’t think I was a bully.
Any popularity I had in primary school was wiped away almost as soon as high school began. Year eight camp happened and at the end of that week it was clear I had been cast-out and classified as a nerd. I was smart, loved Charmed and Harry Potter too much and showed up to class too early to be cool. That, and all the cool kids told me I was a nerd. I look back now and think whatevs clevs mate, but at the time – my whole world came crashing down and it filled me with angst.
I was fortunate enough to have a good group of friends in high school, but we were all picked on relentlessly. I loved to learn and I had some amazing teachers (the Governor – hands down my fave), but honestly you couldn’t pay me enough to go back and do it again. Maybe as my 28-year-old self I would, because nowadays I would laugh in a teacher’s face if they told me to get in line or to stop chewing gum. If some kid made fun of me having acne or braces (yeah, I didn’t stand a chance hey) it wouldn’t bother me. And I would probably casually bump said kid too hard so that their phone fell out of their hands and then I’d stand on it and SMASH IT WITH EVERY FIBRE OF MY BEING. Ahem.
Anyway, the reason I am bringing this up is because I have recently been hearing stories from my brother. He is in his final year of school and has grown into a strapping, considerate young man. Yes – he drives me mental sometimes, but he has a heart of gold and I feel sorry for you if you don’t know him. Lately, I have been hearing snippets of events happening in his year level, some that resulted in my brother being the person bullied.
I get fired up just thinking about it. I remember what it was like to be left out, not invited, being labelled as a “loser” … it traumatised me (and now that I think about it my anxiety was neck-level all throughout school). Sure, my siblings picked on me growing up – I am one of four children so naturally, we were bound to tease each other. We still do and it’s funny AF. But when an outsider starts causing legitimate angst and harm to a sibling? That’s a whole other ball game.
Naturally, my instinct is to protect my brother. I want to march up to those shitty teenagers and call them out in front of everyone for being assholes. I also want to give them all a good fucking slap, but apparently violence is not the way polite society says you should solve your problems. I know I can’t do that. Not only would my brother die of humiliation, but it wouldn’t help the situation either. Unfortunately, I can’t go around saving my brother from being hurt, as much as I want to.
I am also mindful that I have to be careful about what I say here. The chances of him or someone he knows reading this is unlikely, however if they did, I would hate to cause him any further harm. So I’m just going to just stick to my main point below:
Just. Be. Nicer.
That’s it. Seriously.
I had a massive rant as to why we should be kinder as human beings, but even I was bored reading it. We all know why we should be nicer – so just be kinder FFS. Life is too short.
And if my brother ever did come across this, just remember you’re the best kid in the world. Mostly. Keep your chin up (all of them).