The statistics are alarming; a note from the editor of Bully For Them – Fiona Scott-Norman who also suffered torment at school that, ‘’one in four students is affected by bullying.’’
At school it really is a case of survival of the fittest Bullying can break one’s spirit and leave one scarred for life. It might take years for the damage to one’s self esteem to be reversed. Bullying can cause a severe case of loneliness and lead to depression. It can be hard to forgive them for the anguish that they’ve caused. Many people have difficult home lives but that doesn’t mean they become bullies.
A common thread of thought amongst the twenty two celebrities who talk about their harrowing experiences is that having a sense of humour helped them. Comedian Judith Lucy, Paralympian swimmer Sam Bramham and journalist Wendy Harmer in particular referred to this.
As far as generalisations go, the consensus was that being victimised turned them into the talented people they are today.
Here are some interesting excerpts from the book:-
Missy Higgins – singer songwriter described how, “emotionally I was a small, battered craft on a turbulent ocean.’’ Later on in life she surrounded herself with ‘’warm, loving friends who value and respect ‘’ her. She was ‘’a deep thinker’’ and stated articulately that, ‘’it seems you have to struggle and have a complicated brain to come up with these colourful ways of presenting your inner world outwards. It’s how artists are made.’’
Tim Ferguson, comedian from the Doug Anthony All Stars –‘’The DNA of my personality was forged by fear and that’s the most powerful motivator.”
Kate Miller – Heidke – songwriter. She said, ‘’ the happiest people in life are the loud, ignorant ones and those who are quiet and introspective struggle.’’ Being bullied helped her ‘’self-examine and self-criticise’’ when it came to editing her work. She now doesn’t ‘’ feel defeated at the first hurdle.’’
Marieke Hardy – actor, scriptwriter, columnist. She said that bullying gave her ‘’courage.’’
Christos Tsiolkas – author He ‘’felt shame and was isolated… I hid within my imagination.’’
It seems that if you were from a minority group and not good at sport then you were singled out for rough treatment by your peers at school.
Hazem El Masri – Rugby League Player “I’ve learned you’re always going to come across negative people, people who want you not to succeed because of their hatred and jealousy.’’
Megan Washington – singer-songwriter “People gravitate towards interesting people and they’re the ones who never fitted in.”
Schools need to have as part of their curriculum a subject that celebrates differences.
Do bullies grow up to be verbally and physically abusive adults or as one friend mentioned, “Maybe they just grow up.”
If you’ve ever been bullied, you’re in good company with BULLY FOR THEM. Published by Affirm Press.