When I wrote and published “From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying”, I received mixed reactions from my old classmates. Several were happy for me and are proud to see a fellow classmate reach success. For this, I am very grateful.
The majority of them (those who bullied, participated, or turned a blind eye), however, were and still are very angry and upset over the book. And the funny thing is, I can understand why they would be.
Think about this, if I had abused and mistreated someone on a daily basis, in my past and then years later, that person turned around and put me on blast by publishing a book about it, even with name changes, I guess I’d be a little steamed too (If I was an abuser)! And what abuser wouldn’t be?
Why are most of my old classmates outraged? Why? It’s because they feel a mountain of guilt and shame, and they’re afraid of somehow being exposed.
Naturally, I changed the names to preserve their privacy. Still, they’re very much afraid. Afraid of being identified, afraid of feeling any guilt or shame and afraid that people just might come around asking uncomfortable questions. I truly pity them because they must constantly maintain any lies that they told by telling new lies and they must now do it indefinitely! Can you imagine how exhausting that would be? It takes a lot of work to maintain a fake façade and rewrite the past.
And the only way it will stop is if they do some deep soul-searching and realize their guilt. I can tell you, they won’t! No way, Never! Not in this lifetime!
Because to admit what they did would mean admitting they were wrong, that they were the inferior ones, that they had the psychological issues. Understand that bullies and abusers will never admit they were ever wrong.
My old bullies from school will likely spend the rest of their natural lives covering up and being afraid, which means they will never truly be free.
Do I hate them. No.
Am I angry with them? Of course not.
The only thing I can feel for them is pity. That’s right! I can only feel sorry for them.
As John Bradshaw quoted,
“Guilt says I’ve done something wrong; Shame says there is something wrong with me. Guilt says I’ve made a mistake; Shame says, I am a mistake. Guilt says, what I did was not good; Shame says, I am no good.”
Is it any wonder my old classmates are so angry, bitter and defensive? Guilt, shame, and fear of exposure are major anger/temper triggers. When a person carries guilt and shame and constantly fears being found out, they tend to react with anger when criticized even mildly or called to account, even under a fictional name. The rest of the world may have no clue who they are, but they themselves know and that’s enough.
Peeling the masks off the bullies one layer at a time!