Thursday 19 September 2019

What I'm Really Thinking ...acting the bully

I never realised how upset I made other people with my bullying
I never realised how upset I made other people with my bullying

My dad has what you'd call a forceful personality. As long as you do things his way then everything is okay. I'm kinda embarrassed to say it but I'm afraid of him. He can be really mean when he gets going. I'd never show him I'm scared…he'd kill me then.

I'm not afraid of anyone else. There is none of the lads that would try to slag me. They know that I'll fight them. I fought a lot in primary school. My parents were forever getting called in and I was suspended loads. I've even had a few hidings from dad because of it. The funny thing was I think he was actually proud of me. Even though he was punishing me, he likes it that I don't let anyone push me around.

I've a reputation around town. I don't tolerate weakness. I see some of the kids from my class and they're such mammy's boys. I like to remind them who's boss every so often. Just a little dig as I pass them, or I'll humiliate them in front of my friends. They know then to respect me.

I'm really puzzled though since I moved into secondary school. Naturally there was a bit of jostling at the start to see who'd be top dog. Well it was always going to be me, I just had to show the rest of them. After a month though the school sent around a questionnaire. It was confidential. It was all about bullying. We were all asked if we'd seen anyone being bullied or if we'd been bullied ourselves. They even asked us to name who was picking on who.

I started glaring around the class, daring any of the lads to write my name down. I knew some of the softies would name me. I just wanted them to know that it'd be bad for them if they did.

Some of them must have. Our Year Head and the guidance woman called me out of class later the same day. I knew what was coming. Probably a trip to the Principal's office. Maybe even a suspension. Schools don't like bullying.

But there was none of that. They just talked to me. About loads of stuff. They did talk about what other boys said I'd done to them. I didn't even bother denying it. But what really surprised me was that they weren't cross with me at all. They just laid out the details of what happened and then said "we guess you have lots of pressures in your own life".

I felt like saying you'd better believe it. Try living with my dad. But I didn't say that. I don't trust them. Well actually, it's weird, I feel like I do trust them a bit. I mean no other teacher has ever been nice to me before about stuff that I've done. I'm still trying to get my head around it. They actually wanted to listen to me and they seemed to understand that sometimes I don't even mean to hurt others. I just end up doing it. Like instinct or something.

I actually thought they were kind. They gave me a second chance. They said their only expectation was that I would change my behaviour and be kinder to others. No punishment. Weird. But I liked it. I said I'd speak to the guidance woman again. She's nice. I think I will. It's very complicated in my head. I didn't realise how upset I make other people. I've never really cared much up to now. But I'm starting to think a bit differently. Weird.

As imagined by David Coleman

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