Image by J_O_I_D via Flickr
When I was a child I was bullied at school. Hard to believe if you know me today… but back then things were very different.
Tall, gangly and with a chronic lack of self-confidence, I guess I made an easy target. Picking on the "big meek kid" seemed to be the order of the day… and it hurt much more than just the physical pain.
The specifics of individual events elude me now, but I still remember vividly how the taunting and physical bullying made me feel: worthless, insignificant and utterly, irrevocably alone.
It didn’t help that I was getting mixed messages at home. Mum was advocating a "turn the other cheek" approach while Dad was a staunch advocate of a "give them a dose of their own medicine" solution. It left me in limbo.
In the end it turned out that Dad was right, but I was in fifth year at secondary school before I’d finally had enough, faced my demons and turned the tables on the bullies. That’s when it stopped!
Bullying in any form is abhorrent on so many levels, but at least in my day the bullying was a tangible thing. I could see the people who were taunting you: real, flesh and blood boys standing in front of me. But today there’s an altogether more sinister aspect to bullying… a new dimension to an age old menace that’s being facilitated by modern communication technology.