I was bullied for three years as a primary schooler.
It all started when my teachers started assigning me the task of writing the names of noise makers in the classroom. I got beaten after school by macho kids, mostly boys, who got punished because I wrote their names.
We lived in an area surrounded by trees, shrubs and bushes. Some of the pathways to my area were such that one couldn’t see the pathway all through from a viewpoint. There were many sharp bends and corners. It’s at these bends where an adult would likely not come through in time that they did hit me one or two blows and hastened away. They left me only when I cried. And I cried to make them stop. I cried from just one blow.
And the funny thing ( not funny at the time) was that each time I reported to the teachers that they hit me, they got punished again and I got hit again.
One of them got reported to the headmaster and he was suspended and the hell was let loose. He became an external terror to everyone from the school because he hid in the bushes and terrified the teachers and the pupils. He threw poop at teachers and used whip on pupils. When he was expelled from the school, it took the village vigilante group to put him in his proper place.
I remember two of them who also beat the “vulnerable” teachers if they failed to give them good scores ( scores they never merited) in any of the subjects. There was one of the teachers, a female teacher in her mid forties who was obviously scared of these troublesome kids. She would push them to success with fake marks and even praise them on the assembly ground. Her plan ( we later learned) was to graduate them so they would leave the school in peace.
There was a time I reported my bullies to my dad and he said I should fight them back.
Fight those macho boys.
I couldn’t even scratch them. My father believed his children should be able to stand up for themselves anywhere and before anyone. In the real world, people stood up for themselves.
In a way that helped to solve this problem because his words made me fearless. Since I’m the one to save myself, I’d better start fighting.
That was how I began to fight them in defence. I was not their match but I used a strategy that scared them away. I stopped being afraid of them. I stopped shrinking when they made a fist. I looked them in the eye without wavering. It took the to overcame my fear though. I made a fist when they made theirs. I kicked when they kicked and I got up immediately I fell from their hitting. And I didn’t cry!!
In the past, they left me when I fell and started crying even though it was a touch of a finger. They would leave me.
From the day I stood up to them and tried to fight them ( even though I was a wimp), they stopped hitting me. They employed verbal bullying and I also stood up to them and matched their words with mine. That’s when they resorted to growling and empty threats.
Why Am I Telling This?
When it comes to defending ourselves, we don’t need to become a lion to fight a lion, or an elephant to fight an elephant. When running away is not an option, and when all help fail to save us, we have to learn a defense mechanism, a defense skill to fight back and save our precious lives. Even if we’re not going to match the strength of our terror, we need to face our fears.