I didn’t fit in at school. I know that seems a bit of a clichéd maybe even trite thing to say but in my case it was true. I just didn’t know how to behave.
You know that kid who always goes to far? Well that kid was me.
I was bullied and ostracized and I bullied. Now I’d like to say that this was the result of my suffering at the hands of other children and partly I think that to be true but it isn’t the entire truth. I think that we all have to face the dark side within each of us at some point, that bit we’d rather wasn’t there, that bit of us that squished ants as a child. I just faced my dark side at a young age.
I believe that the dark side in us – the bit that we are ashamed of – is generated through social interactions. We seek the respect of our peers and at some level this makes us feel ashamed and this shame/guilt causes us to act in horrible ways. At least that was how it manifested in me.
I was a prostitute for popularity at school. I’m not saying I ever did anything sexual for popularity but if the thought or opportunity arose that I could exchange sex for popularity then I would have undoubtedly grasped it with both hands. Alas I was a boy and unpopular… even scavy and luckily for me homosexuality was not socially acceptable.
But because I wanted to be popular I would do almost any dare. Funnily enough I never learnt that doing dares didn’t gain me popularity no matter how many times I fulfilled a dare only to be laughed at and mocked for doing so. The level of my blindness then baffles me now.
There would even be times when I would be misbehaving in class – acting from the intention to gain popularity – and all the other children would be telling me to stop but I wouldn’t stop because I thought I would then look silly and people wouldn’t like me. Tough I thought that inchoately it was the thought.
The experience of school taught me a lot though. I remember going to school in the morning with the intention of being good, of not bullying people on a “lower popularity setting than me”, and not caring about what other people thought. But despite this intention I would always go home feeling ashamed of myself because I hadn’t lived up to that ideal. This taught me how little control we truly have and how love isn’t just a nice thing to do it is the most appropriate response to ANY person.