On Bullying

I've had a few questions about what my job entails - most of the time I work in Licensing, be that alcohol, taxis, massage, tattoos, street furniture. A bit of everything really. I also occasionally deal with noise complaints, essentially becoming what often feels like "The Fun Police" when neighbours have parties or a bar is getting too loud. These are done mainly on weekend shifts on Friday night between 5pm and 1am. It is not fun.

Last weekend, I worked a weekend shift and we were called to a complaint. I won't go into any details but the complainant was someone I went to school with. He didn't recognise me but I recognised him. How could I not? He was one of many kids in my year that bullied me.

Once I mentioned that we went to school together, I could see his brain piecing things together. We were only there for ten to fifteen minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. Just as I had done all those years ago, I started to stutter a little - reverting back to the fairly shy teenager I was when we'd last met. I shook his hand, watching him STILL trying to remember me.

But things were different this time.

Rather than being skinny and spotty as I was before, now I stood taller, my shoulders wider. My arms were no longer the twigs they used to be. And when I thought about it, HE had called ME to help him with something. With this in mind, I was no longer powerless.

Please, let it be known that the damage caused by bullying causes scars that run deep. It causes uncertainty at any age, uncertain of who you are or uncertain of what you're not. But in your teenage years, when you're learning about yourself and what you want to be, it can prove debilitating. Bullying wasn't the only reason I struggled at school, but it certainly didn't help.

Since then I've grown as a person but it hasn't been easy. I've been subject to bullying at work and even harassment online from people I went to school with ALMOST TEN YEARS SINCE LEAVING. Who does that? What person in their right mind says to themselves "I remember that kid from school, wonder what hes up to now and how I can make him feel shit about himself"?

In any case, I hope if you're reading this it has challenged the way you deal with other people. We can all be better, and I've been no angel in the past. I've said terrible, hurtful things i've regretted, and reaching out for forgiveness didn't make those things go away.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for continuing to read. Believe it or not, i'm just a couple of posts away from 100 and numbers have been steadily rising each time. I can't thank you enough for that.


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