The School Reunion

Bullying. It never really goes away. Does it? 

My family life shaped how I see the world today with visors on. I have little empathy, and even then, it is for television shows and books. My emotional range can vary, but in no way am I a sobering mess. Even if someone close to me has died, you are lucky to get a tear, but I get a freat headache from it. I have been known to shut down my emotions at times when someone needs a shoulder to cry on. My younger brother says you need to shed a tear from time to time; it makes you human. My wife tells me that it isn’t a sign of weakness. If you look at a sobering woman, ask her what has her so upset, the answer usually points to “oh for fucksake grow-up.” Well, it does in my case. But I am not a woman, and the men I do know that cry I like to stay the fuck away. 

My childhood wasn’t exactly a dream run. At school, bullying was prominent. There wouldn’t be a day when I was picked on. Looking back, it was in the age where kids with mental retardation were actually called retards. I believe it was after I had left school that the name retard was changed. Unlike today where kids left, right, and center are, getting in under mental health disorders, the kids I grew up with really did have issues; I mean, they were top of the line. Don’t get me wrong, I loved those cheeky kids. I mean, at least they didn’t tease me. They knew what it was like to have some form of disability. For me, it was my hearing and speech impediment.  

Last names are awful. As a child, my last name was used in cruel ways; as I got older, some clown who thought it’d be great to write children’s books using my last name and referencing an animal made life a living hell even more. Oh yes, being referenced as an animal makes people treat you like one. So all you wanna be authors who cannot produce anything more than a few words for kids to read. Heed my words, your names better not be from this world cause you are potentially subjecting kids to bullying through your rubbish material.

Sure, that wasn’t the only thing I was chosen to be ridiculed over; I am tall, the tallest in my family, I was skinny, I couldn’t gain weight, now I struggle to get it off. My imagination was off the scales, I could create a whole new world right there and disappear into it, so I was weird. High schoolers wanted to sit around at break times, having a booth to hang out until we got to the seniors-only area in our final year. The trouble was I didn’t want to sit around and chat. I wanted to fucking play. I wasn’t considered normal because of this and constantly be treated as an outsider. Guess what? Now my body is run down, I don’t need to go out onto a field to play sports, I have done my time I can happily sit back and have a drink and chat. Where are people my age? Playing sports on the weekend. 

My parents told me at a young age that the bullying would end. That our schooling years don’t last forever. It is a true statement that the schooling years don’t last forever. However, the torment that affects your mental state does not seem to end. I don’t get anxious often. It has to be something drastic to really cause a change inside of me. I had spoken to an old school friend earlier in the year, yeah I know we are only five months in, but hey, it’s flying. We joked about the prospect of her starting a reunion. One I gathered would not gain momentum. It didn’t. Unfortunately for me, another former student was doing just that, beginning to gain people’s interest in coming to a school reunion. I have been out of school for twenty years. We didn’t have a ten-year reunion, according to others people forgot that it was ten years. I didn’t. During the week I was tagged on social media, I wasn’t impressed. I tried to keep my media presence only available to those who know me, but I think Facebook has been changing. I was invited to the twenty-year reunion.

The memories flooded my dreams that night. I did not sleep well at all. I was in a panic state at work the next day, thoughts of how to get out of this invite, there is no exit. Not without ticking the Can’t Go box. They should have a ‘most of you people were cunts fuck off’ selection.

My wife has said don’t go; if it upsets you this much, forget about it. I have tried to tell my mind that, but it goes into another state of anxiety — fear of missing out. I’m screwed 

I sit here thinking, I am not where I wanted to be. I always dreamed of coming to a reunion and shoving it in the faces of my former bullies. It isn’t going to happen. 

Bullying, for me, happened in and outside of school; it didn’t matter if I hit back. I had to learn to beat them at their own game. But did I? How many of them know the pain they caused? Do they think about me or wonder what happened. I have been known as cold, hurtful, and mean. It all stems from a hardening heart over years of bullying. I don’t blame just the kids, nor are they all on the same level. If you have ever been bullied, you can relate; some do it to stay in the “cool” group, a peer-pressured situation. Others may try to lift themselves up but have no discernible effects on others. It is those who day after day dragged you down, an endless supply of sinking sand just pouring out of their mouths. 

I could go on, but I think that is a whole new blog. In the meantime, I battle with myself whether or not I should attend. Have these teenagers grown up? Have they changed? Or are they the same people that they were as kids. Nice to others and bullies to people like me. 

What about you? Have you taken the leap back to school reunions? Did you enjoy the time or regret it? 

Stephen Blyse

One thought on “The School Reunion

  1. aguycalledbloke says:

    Sorry mate, l also saw this topic in your FB feed. Now, as l read your intro and as l have always suxspected, you and l both are on the same page empathy wise with the spectrum of autism, we are there. So what l write now is purely black and white simplicity as your friend.

    I can relate to this, as l was recently invited to a school reuinion myself and l was also bullied at school, but as l used to say to them back in the day, “You are all bloody amateurs, my father whoops my ass and is a way bigger bully than the lot of you!”. it didn’t interest me, that was in my youth l am now an adult and quite frankly l disliked school as it was, why the good grief fuck would l want to mingle with them all again anyway?

    You have two options ….

    1] You go and just be yourself and show them that you are the better person for it ……. because the reality is, the bullies of yesterday are most likely no longer bullies today – the probability is they have forgotten it. Most bullies do.

    2] FFS Stephen, why bother going to something that was twenty effing years ago mate? What would you want to go for when there has to be at least twenty more exciting things you can do with your life than stress your balls right into their inner cavities again? Life is way too short for bullshit Stephen.

    Like

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