Another post that I was inspired to write after reading a post on the blog “Rose With Thorns.” The author, Anna Rose Meads and I don’t mean to embarrass her, is a remarkable young woman in the sense that she is thirty years my junior and has an insight on life that has taken me many more years to obtain. If I had the insight she has when I was her age, I wouldn’t have so many mental and emotional scars. In the year and a quarter I have been writing Peaceful Rampage, she has given me inspiration for several of my posts. Once again, thank you Anna.
Back between the ages of six and eight, I had these supposed friends who used to bully me by winding me up and watching me explode. They would tease me or push me around or call me names. I would get wound up and eventually explode and lash out in many ways, swearing, throwing my glasses or even objects like trash cans. The result was me being blamed for the entire incident, I was the one causing trouble. The part my aggressors played would either be denied or ignored and therefore, I was branded the troublemaker of the neighbourhood when in actuality, I was the victim trying to stand up for myself.
There is a strong argument that it wasn’t the fact that I stood up for myself that got me branded a troublemaker, it was the way in which I did it. I freely admit that I went over the top and throwing trash cans wasn’t the right way to deal with the problem. However, I was seven back then and my bullies were older so I didn’t know any other way. Saying that, while my reaction to the problem was certainly an over reaction, it doesn’t take away the fact that I was the one being victimised in the first place and my over reaction should not have detracted from this fact.
Since that time, I have learned how to deal with the problem in a more civilised way but it didn’t make the problem go away. There have been many times when I responded to an instance of bullying or intended bullying and made out to be the bad guy for standing up to the bullying. One case I remember was when I was working in a factory, a few people who I worked with and didn’t get along with engaged in what I call the most cowardly type of bullying practice. It is when someone makes a comment about you from a distance, you know it was them but when you address the comment, they deny all involvement. These people would call me “wimp” from a distance but one day they did it when I was a bit closer to them in very low voices but loud enough for me to hear it. So, I turned around and asked them, “Why do you think I’m a wimp?” The main agitator immediately screamed out “What?” like I was making the whole thing up and of course his little minions backed him up. It shut them up but I was the one who was made out to be the troublemaker asshole.
For someone with Asperger’s or suspected Asperger’s in my case, this can have an adverse effect on the victim’s mind. In my case, it has given my the notion of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” and in any case, I am the one who ends up looking bad even if I was the intended victim. For many years, this has been a major cause in me not standing up for myself in altercations, the fear that I’m the bad guy no matter what I do.
It has taken me many years to finally figure that bullies themselves use this as a tool. If they make their victim look like the bad guy when they try to stand up to bullying, they are only going to be encourage to bully more. In my case, I have come to the conclusion that people will believe what they want to believe and if a few misguided individuals want to think someone is an asshole for standing up to bullying, then they are the assholes. (God, I’m using that word more than I intended) If there is danger of trouble because the incident has been wrongly relayed to a person in authority, then it’s paramount that the victim gets their version of events in too, even if the person doesn’t want to hear it. I’ve had lots of problems there too so I’m speaking from experience.
In “He Was Weird,” Mark only has one instance where he is looked upon as the troublemaker when he was the original victim. Unfortunately, like me of old, he responds to the bullying by throwing food at the bullies and that gets him into serious trouble. Especially with the teacher who is convinced he is a troublemaker anyway. Responding in the correct way is also important here so it’s best that the victim keeps their cool while making sure their side of the story is heard. Victims of bullying should never be made to be the bad guy when they are clearly not.
Next post: Teachers and Bullying
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409743299&sr=8-1&keywords=he+was+weird