Back in the ’80s and ’90s, the term bully was around, but it wasn’t thrown around as much as current times. With the backlash of the bully in our media and society of today, everyone comes down on the bully, but not the creators of the bully. A child isn’t born a bully. The bully is created, and there are many factors in this creation. In every way, however, the child always falls to being a victim, while being targeted for their own victims.
How do I know about the creation of a bully? Simply put, you are reading the words of a former bully. I was born a happy and sassy baby. I grew up in a loving household. Yet, I learned to become bitter at a very early age. It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t my dad’s fault.
What happens that a child switches from sweet and innocent to angry and punching? Adults are at the root of the problem.
I punched my first person when I was a mere two years old. An 18 month old boy slapped my six month old sister, and I broke his nose. Most people would see this as an endearing trait due to the fact that I defended my helpless sister, but I was punished by the daycare. Both of my parents were called, and both of my parents defended my actions. The little boy who struck first was not punished, since he became a victim due to a broken nose.
From then on, if I defended my sister, I was always the bad person. For some reason, the last hit was the one that received disciplinary measures. It was never looked at for what it was; me defending a younger and sometimes weaker person. This is the “everyone gets a trophy” attitude that is causing a weakness in character the world over. At the same rate that the last place run shouldn’t get a trophy, the person who slammed their fist into a weaker or younger person shouldn’t be the victim!
My mother left us, and we were taken care of by a single father with two very young girls. Dad had to leave a very good paying job so he wouldn’t have to worry about taking care of us during shiftwork. We grew up poor, but were never without. Parents in more affluential families would turn their noses up at us in front of their children, teaching their children to be the same way. Rumors spread about my father since it was almost unheard of for a father to get sole custody in the State of Texas in the 1980s. I fought for my family’s honor due to the rumors.
When it is 10 p.m. to midnight when a church or school group gets in from an activity, and the single father has to wake up in the morning at 4 a.m. to make it to work on time, you’d think that the promise that someone would assuredly give his young daughters a ride home would bear substantial weight. I remember nights of begging for someone just to bring my sister home. I would walk, I knew how to defend myself, but I wanted to assure my sister was safe. Many nights we would be forced to walk around town alone in the dark. However, any of the people’s children needed a ride because they couldn’t make it in time, they’d call my dad to ensure their kids would get home. It was so bad that one of the other teenagers one day got on a soapbox to the adults finally. They were sick of us having to risk our lives to make it home when someone could spare 2-3 minutes to get us home safely.
You see, these parents taught their children it was okay to treat us different. I turned into a bully due to the treatment received by my family, as the kids who treated us like their parents were bullies. The true bullies, however, are the parents. Many of these parents were friendly to my face until my dad’s suicide. I rarely have them talk to me now, for they see me as a volatile person due to the person I had to be growing up.
Before you target the bully, look further. Look at the influential people in their lives. The bullies are real, but most are a lot older than the child you’re looking at. And for crying out loud, quit giving trophies to everyone!