Initially at School I was a victim of bullying. During Primary and the first years of Secondary School, I experienced bullying to differing degrees. Yes it was traumatic and yes I was deeply hurt by it. I understand I was not in the habit of hiding my homosexuality, and others used that as a tool to take advantage of myself.
To a great extent, as a victim, you act, like a victim. You accept the abuse as part of your everyday life. You become immune to the hate, and you start to believe you are at fault. Yes you believe you are to blame for the systematic abuse you are suffering on a daily basis. Odd isn't it, as the victim, I played the role perfectly. The better I played the role, the more reaction I got from those bullying. I had no idea what to do. I mean what do you do? under these circumstances!
That awful 'Clause 28' comes in at this point. Do remember It was impossible to speak to anyone about the bullying I experienced. Today things are very different. If you are being bullied, you are encouraged to speak to someone in authority, back then it was very different. As someone who was homosexual, I was given no help at all. If I had approached an authority figure, they would have been unable to help. There was no help, understanding or empathy from anyone in authority. It was as though, officially, homosexuality did not exist, or as I know now, it was covered up and officially not recognised!
As a child growing up gay, suffering bullying, with lack of understanding and no where to turn, life was difficult. I grew up at the end of a very anti gay era. I experienced exactly what people did in the 1950s. Hatred and lack of understanding.
As I grew older, I learnt to deal with the bullying and even on occasion fought back, becoming the bully. Yes I punched, yes I mouthed off, yes I fought my corner. Sadly you also learn to hide yourself away, keep your life secret and often lie about who you are. I remember being confronted by someone about my sexuality, who asked if I was gay. I denied it. Flatly, totally without exception, denied I was gay! I am still friendly with this person, but at that point I trusted no one, so my reaction was always to deny, lie and cry! It worked and, although unhappy, I learnt to live with my messed up life!
Going to University in 1992 was the turning point. When i look back, I know now, that I really never went to University for the right reasons. I went to get away from my childhood, from my life, from my homosexuality. Essentially I went to University here in Southampton, to try and rebuild my shattered consciousness!
Initially I hid my homosexuality, not knowing what to expect, or the reactions from others. I need not have worried. Life at University was very different. People came from all walks of life and they were fully, 100% accepting, minus one or two. Life was very different, there were far more LGBT students and for a while life was good. You really do feel as though a weight had been lifted.
Sadly once the victim of bullying always the victim in my view. Bullying can take many forms and can include many different people. People you would never had thought, were and still are bullies. It is all about control, and anyone who has control over someone else tends to use it to their advantage. I do not intend to mention names for obvious reasons, but there was someone, who I used to go to University with, who I also knew for a long period after. She was a bully in all but name. She lied and schemed, planned and did everything in her power, to take from myself and also later, my partner. She was an horrendous person to know. Showed no emotion and was completely rotten to the core. It took a while to rid myself of her, but eventually I did , with the help of my partner. I have no idea where she is, but hold her at the highest level of contempt and distain possible.
So what about now? today? the last year or so? Well things always go round in cycles as they say. The bullying that existed in my life over, lets say the last year, was amongst the worst in my life. I met some of the most disgusting people, I had ever had the misfortune to meet. Clever and manipulative, they knew how to worm their way into peoples lives and affections. The worst period of sustained bullying in my life. Money stolen, dignity taken, friendships destroyed. Lies, more lies and a broken relationship! Yes this was the result of a sustained period of abuse and destruction, not only against me, but also others, who, as I recently found out are as broken as myself and Jason. One person in particular accountable in every sense, although others equally responsible, due to their ignorance and unwillingness to admit the truth.
Of the people myself and Jason met over the last year, we are friends with no more that ten of them. If I told you we met ten times that number and more, you will understand, just how far we had to travel, to remove, 90% of those we met to save ourselves from their manipulative, using nature. These people just can not admit the truth to themselves and others. They deny any part in the bullying of others, yet their reactions speak differently. One day they will feel deeply ashamed of who they are and I hope they will have the courage to admit their faults!
Stand up for those who are bullied. Stand up to bullying!
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