There is a definite point in your life when you evolve from being a precocious, abrasive kid to a full-blown bully. For most young people who happen to follow this particular path, the changing point is the beginning of high school. There doesn’t have to be a specific trigger for the change, in fact I believe it is more a case of nothing changing, no lessons being learned or personal maturing being done. The problem is, that whereas young, precocious kids still operate within a peer system, high school bullies set themselves apart and become just as much of a lone figure as the victims that they taunt on a daily basis. Well, that was the case for me, at least.
I wish I could look back to a certain point in my life and blame my high school actions on a trauma that occurred, but that version of the teen bully story is simply not my own. I was not a victim at home; my parents were a normal married couple, very middle class and very much in love. I was not one of those ‘classic only children’ suffering from a selfish nature, in fact I had one brother and one sister, both of whom went to my high school and both of whom conducted average high school lives. For all intents and purposes I should have been a normal boy who had friends, handed in his homework on time and tried out for the football team. But I wasn’t.
For reasons unbeknownst to both me and my peers, I never really matured past the junior high mentality of teasing and play fighting, and the problem with this is that once you start to get bigger, taller, stronger, your playful teasing starts to take on a more sinister edge. It is also at this point that you realise that what you thought was ‘fooling around’ in junior high was in fact upsetting to your peers, and the reason that you find yourself without any real friends as a junior in ‘big boy school’. Of course, this frustration finds a way to vent itself eventually, and in your new environment you lash out in the only way you are familiar with – the tried and tested teasing that with the increasing size and strength of both you and your victims, becomes something a lot more serious.
What I’m trying to say is that though I never set out to be ‘the bully’, from a young age, and without realising it, my unwillingness to mature combined with the relentless force of nature that are male teenage hormones lead me down a path that can only ever end in one way, unhappiness, frustration and suffering for anyone that I felt threatened my status quo. If I had the chance to start again, would I try not be a high school bully? Of course. Could I guarantee that my innate nature wouldn’t come out again? Unfortunately not.