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That’s what a lot of bullies say to their victims. It is also used in retrospect on former bullying victims who want to speak out about the trauma they have suffered. I know this to be true because that was what happened to me and there has been the odd occasion when I have spoken out in my later life, it was said to me then. Downplaying the ferocity of the bullying has been a win-win situation for bullies for many generations. Although they can’t deny their bullying, watering it down to the point where the victim is made out to be a wimp or making a fuss over nothing gives bullies even more power and encourages them to keep going. Of course, this is wrong and it is good that it’s finally being addressed.

My experience with that is highlighted in “He Was Weird.” Often, when walking down the halls of my school, or just anywhere, I would be punched by someone. In one instance, a boy repeatedly punched me in the back the whole way down the corridor. Those punches weren’t hard but did that justify him punching so many times? I don’t think so. He used the excuse that he was just ‘tapping’ me when I finally turned around and slugged him back, making me out to have overreacted to the whole thing. To him, that justified him and his friends going after me to exact revenge. This is a tool used over and over in bullying. The fact that someone didn’t punch you that hard or didn’t mean to hit you when he threw that rock at you doesn’t compensate for the fact they did. Perhaps these people should ask their victims how they felt about it.

One of the responses I am prepared for should the town I was so badly bullied in realize that “He Was Weird” may have been based on them is that what I suffered during those three years wasn’t as bad as I am making out. They will more than likely accuse me of using the time factor to compound all the suffering I went through and I am simply attention seeking by playing the victim. I can hear them clearly in my mind saying “Poor victim” to me to which I would explain to them that I was a victim. My three years living in that town was a total nightmare and that they can’t appreciate what I went through because they didn’t.

Bullies trying to water down the effect they have on their victim doesn’t make the bullying any less severe. Nor does people who haven’t experienced it, at least at the same level as the victim, telling them that what they suffered wasn’t so bad doesn’t make it any less so. I did experience the first and if I had spoken out more about what I had suffered, I would have been told the second. Back then, with my Asperger’s mind, I might have agreed with them at first out of fear of more bullying. Fortunately, now a days, the views of the victim are taken more seriously and simply downplaying any effects on them doesn’t hold water. Saying that, there is still a long way to go with it.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464203633&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird