My blogs are not written for professional counsellors, but for clients. Please be aware that this blog may trigger something within you. Seek immediate medical help if you need to.
Have you ever been bullied? Does it still stay with you? Do you feel guilty about it, or angry, or still powerless? Does the fear still hold you in dread?
For a whole year, I was bullied on the forty minute bus trip home from school when I was about 12 years old. The bully was from another school and was about 16 years of age. He used to get on the bus about four stops after me.
I remember the fear building each afternoon, as the bus approached his school bus stop, hoping he wouldn’t get on my bus that day. As each passenger got on the bus, my senses heightened, and when I saw him, I instantly sunk into defeat. He would somehow find me on the bus, without even looking in my direction. So, as he stepped closer to where I was seated, while pretending not to notice him, I would pray to be invisible. But, he always found me. I always was immobilised just by his presence.
Even when I managed to take a window seat, with an adult sitting beside me, he would still stand close by in the aisle just behind my seat, hovering, towering over me, menacing, staring, sneering, threatening. The fear would build up in me as I now feared the adult beside me would get off the bus and allow my tormentor to sit beside me.
At times he would just verbally bully me, but other times he would pinch or press his fist into my thigh or ribs. Not unbearable physical pain, but oh the fear. The fear was always way worse than the actual physical pain. It numbed me to silence, never speaking up. Not there on the bus. And never a word to anyone else. And he would always say that he would see me tomorrow, with as much menacing promise and fear as only he could instil in me. This fear was almost worse than his actual presence.
Even in my middle age, I still wonder how I would feel now if I saw him in the street. I never knew his name. But I could never forget his evil face. To this day, I’ve only ever told a few people of those times of terror. Not because I am ashamed, but just because the fear still torments me.
I wonder who else he has tormented in the years following. What other victims laid in his path of evil intent.
I never ask myself why I didn’t speak up or fight back or yell and scream on the bus. It almost feels as if the evil was unconquerable. It always felt like there would have been no use to my resisting or protesting. I was insignificant. All I remember is being frozen to my seat, staring straight ahead, trying to be invisible.
Through counselling, I have worked through the fear and subsequent effects on my personality and self-worth. For a long time, even the memory still brought up the fear of those moments, as if I was still back on that bus.
Please speak to a counsellor if you can identify with this post at all.