The Sentinel

Bullying and the adult aftermath


Bullying and the adult aftermath

I don’t know how many of you have been targeted in your life by a bully, but according to, 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying. If you are like me and you were targeted for multiple years, or had one horrifying incident, then you know just how much it sticks with you.
I personally have been bullied sexually, physically, emotionally, face to face, online, from across the classroom, etc. The saddest part is that no matter how bad it was for me I know there are a million people out there who had it worse and a million more who have had it worse than those people.
Thank God bullying is something most people grow out of. Unfortunately, some don’t. These people become the abusive parents/partners in life. They become the boss who everyone goes home and cries over at least once. And they become the manipulative friends that people either take or leave. But what happens to those who were bullied?
Not all of us can just pick up and leave those haunting memories behind. A lot of us have PTSD from it. PTSD, or Post Tramatic Stress Dissorder is defined as a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it by PTSD is generally used in context of soldiers ariving home after experiencing combat or near death situations. Something people forget is that those who are bullied feel like they ar in combat. Every day walking through the halls, going on line, walking to thir car, you are a soldier on enemy teritory. PTSD arrives in many different forms; anxiety, depression, emotional and physical withdrawal, suicidal behavior and thoughts, as well as alcohol and drug abuse. (Pyschology Today)
Not two weeks ago I had the magnificent pleasure of once again being targeted in a class room. The difference now being that I am 19 and this woman is almost thirty.
God knows what I have done to this girl to cause her to dislike me so much. Either way, I apologize to her now for whatever it was. And now I would like to explain to this woman that screaming your head off and calling someone a “fucking bitch” in class from across the classroom, in a crowd of fellow students, is not how you follow up with your problems. You should know this by now as you are a grown woman living in the adult world.
The main point to discussing bullying is to eliminate it. I don’t know what it is like to be so insecure that one must tear down another. I cannot fathom gaining joy not guilt, happiness not empathy, or validation not shame, were I to intentionally or unitentionally harm anothers spirit. What people have to gain from this, especially as funtioning adults, I do not understand. These people seem to have been born with the ability to deliver pain rather than with the tools to empthise or give kindness.
After my encounter with this exceptionally irrational woman I was in shock. I blacked out. While she was yelling insults at me and my proffessor I lost my ability to hear. All I remember after her first few insults are her arm gestures. I remeber her pointing at me and her voice getting louder, but when I look back it is mute. My brain has completely blocked out this womans audio.
Something people forget when they are speaking for anti-bullying platforms is that children who were bullied, assaulted or both don’t just move on after the bully is removed or that chapter of their lives is over. The children who were targeted don’t just forget or resort to suicide. It sticks with us.
I am not alone in my day to day panic that someone is tricking me or making a joke behind my back. I am not alone when I fear the new friend I have because they might just be using me or mocking me. We suffer afterwards as well.
My experience in middle school, thankfully, did not folow me through highschool. I made friend quickely and was a part of the schools swim team all four years as well as a memebr of various clubs. However, just becuase the bullying ended when I parted ways from those peers who made my life feel like a trap that wasn’t worth living, that doesn;t mean the experience didn’t change my life. For my entire senior year I couldn’t stand being touch by anyone, male or female. To this day I have a hard time keeping eye contact with men my own age and harbor an irrational fear of people laughing and me not being in on the joke.
I don’t want to say that bullying victims are forever damaged because there are those of us who move on. I hope sometime to be one of those who can forget the taunting, the shoving, the name calling and the groping, but right now I am not.
When we tell our children not to bully, we forget to reiterate it to the adult generation. Some men and women think it’s okay to beat up a child or a spouse. Some adults think it is okay to verbally harass and assault classmates and co-workers.
Perhaps we need to not only look at our children when tears are running down their cheeks and when emotions teeter on the edge of “it’s not even worth living,” but take a closer look at who is causing the pain. Think before you open your mouth next time.
When you need a confidence booster and that requires you to tear down another person, keep it to yourself. If that’s what you need to feel good I implore you to find another way or else just continue to feel like shit, because destroying another’s feeling of safety and confidence, or lack thereof is not something that belongs in this world.
My instructions to the adult bullies out there; shut up and stay away. Are ou not old enough to know better than to hurt those around you with clear intent.

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