Back in May 2018 (god has it really been that long?), I left an comment on a post by Kilted Wookie:
I am so sorry this has happened to you and can imagine that it must have touched you deeply. Bulling should NEVER be accepted or seen as even remotely ‘normal’. Bullying in any way is nasty and mean and brutal and can leave deeper marks than many people can imagine. I have more to say about specific parts of your posts, but too much to do here in the comment section. I will write a post of my own…
I have an intense hate for it. Serious, serious hate and when I read or hear about someone having been or being bullied, red flags appear. If I start talking, start sharing my views on this I will come across as angry, agitated, mean, passionate.
My son has PTSD because of bullying. I have seen what it did to him. I still see the 12-year-old he was, coming running from the bus to the front door and the moment it closed behind him, his knees grew weak and sagging down against the door he said: “Why are they always coming after me?”
The despair in his voice broke my heart. So many times he called me to pick him up from school, because he had missed the last bus. He didn’t miss it because he did something wrong; no, he missed it because other boys were pestering him, and he had to hide until they had finally left. Sometimes I got angry at him. I still deeply regret that. I think I was more angry because of the situation, because I felt helpless, because the school promised to help but never did. They stood their and allowed the bullies to laugh at my son, to laugh at his tears of frustration, because he didn’t know how not to get pestered, and didn’t understand what he had done wrong for them to bully him in the first place.
The bullying started when he was 7, maybe 8 years old. Why? Because he was ‘different’. I am talking 23, 24 years ago. Back then they knew so little about autism that no one – not us, not school – recognized the signs. The only thing school recognized was that he was clever. They had him tested. Result: highly intelligent.
It went on for years. I sent him to a different high school than his sister, to get him away from the primary school bullies. It didn’t help. New bullies smelled his fear. Teachers didn’t understand him; didn’t help him despite the school’s slogan being ‘rest, regularity and rules’. I talked to the teachers, god how I talked to the teachers. It never helped.
He was 16 when he stood at the top of the stairs and didn’t dare to go downstairs, didn’t dare to go to school. He was 18 when the diagnosis of autism was given. He was 20 when the anger attacks started. Slamming his door. Hitting his desk. Screaming. Pounding the wall. Slapping his head. Hitting his fist against the wall and once even breaking his little finger, leaving him in plaster for six weeks.
He was 26 when he had a psychosis. Just a week before that he threatened me with a knife. During the psychosis he smashed his fist through a window. I wanted to call the police but didn’t. Promised myself I would if it happened again.
He ignored us for three full weeks. It was in this time I fell and hurt my foot, and the physiotherapist told me that things like this can happen when you are mentally challenged. It made me cry, and blurt out what stress I was under because of my son. Stress that had been going on for years.
Intelligent as he was, and despite the psychosis and his own breakdown, my son searched for help. That’s when we learned about the PTSD, and a possibility of schizophrenia.
We are 5 years down the line and I am extremely proud of how far he has come. I had always told him he would be okay. Always feared the knowledge that he had been having suicidal thoughts since his teenage years. Always believed that feeding him with positive thoughts would ‘save’ him. Even though I sometimes didn’t believe the things I said.
As said, we are five years down the line…
I have my son back. He smiles again. Jokes again. Laughs again. Is happy. Most of the time. He still has his moments, but no anger fits anymore. After years if intensive therapy, he’s finally to the point where he is ready to leave home. He turns 31 in August.
Bullying has derailed my son’s life. Had it been ‘only’ autism, he would not have had the suicidal thoughts and might not even have been psychotic. He might have completed his teachers’ study and not have given it up because of a teacher who has told him in high school that the bullying was all his own doing became his internship supervisor in the second year of the study and it shocked him so much that once again, his life came to a standstill. This was in the lead-up to the psychosis.
Bullying is terrible.
Bullying is wrong.
Bullying destroys lives.
I will always, always be an advocate against bullying. If teasing starts to look like bullying, I speak up. I always will. I can’t stop it, because a blind spot appears in front of my eyes and my mouth just starts moving… words pour out. I will always fight against bullying because I have seen the effects of it… felt the effects.
It’s never only the one who is bullied who’s affected… close relations are too. It has cost me years of my life… years of stress and many, many tears.
Don’t ever bully anyone…
© Rebel’s Notes