I don’t care if those people will ever read this. I don’t care if they’d ever know what had they done to me. But a truth is as cruel as a lie. A truth is what they owe me, or rather, what I owe those people that longed to know. A truth.
I saw this trailer today, and it almost reduced me to tears.
“13 million kids will be bullied in the US this year”
“Kids will be kids, boys will be boys. They are just cruel at this age”
I lived at a boarding school. Where status was as important as wealth, larger than life. We lived in an unanimous code of silence; when the senior is always right and the junior is expected to follow their conduct. Not in any day of my being there have I heard that a junior is right and a senior is wrong if the junior is being severely beaten.
For goodness’s sake, juniors were beaten for petty, many wrong reasons that should have never been an issue. You can get severely beaten if you stare at a senior, if you didn’t greet them with salam, if they regard you as disrespectful. And even worse, you will be beaten if you were just, different.
I was, unfortunately, fell into the latter category. Different. And to make matters worse, I was not just bullied by the seniors. My own peers single me out of the population, for I was different. And to think that my best of friends didn’t support me at all during the predicament was a disappointment of a lifetime. My friends did blame me though, for in their eyes, I was too different. I stood out from the crowd. They did ask me, however, to conceal my true self. My true nature, which of course, is as hard as hiding an elephant inside a bush. However, they regard it as a choice. To stay hidden from the crowd. They thought that I shouldn’t expose myself to the crowd, which I duly followed, but never did at all solve the matter.
They never understood me; they didn’t even stay during the worst. When I was severely teased, emotionally tortured, and publicly humiliated, my friends were never there to pull me through. They were only there for me after every torture to blame me more for my awkwardness. That I drew too much negative publicity. Though they never did harshly pinpoint me for the problem that I faced, the way they single me out simply showed me that friendship was not a ticket of survival from being terribly bullied (or so I thought then, for now I view friendship very differently). I was shocked by their cold attitude towards me.
Who was I to blame my friends? I was nobody. So every day I hid my disappointment inside and prepare for every single laugh that they will throw at my face, shoving them down my throat. Yes, I was a laughing stock. Nothing much than a joke. I will never knew if they regard me as a human being, for they treated me nothing less like a monkey in a cage. They loved to laugh at me; they loved to make fun of me. I never fully understand why they can be so cruel. I never did, never will. It’s as if they will never stop bullying me.
You know what’s even worse than being abandoned by your friends? It’s when your teachers fully support the bullies. The one with all the power to stop the bullies, yet they abused the power to inflict more pain on a single person the whole school hates. The most different one. You can see from the video, how the teacher reacts to the mother’s complaint:
Mother: He’s not safe on the bus (there was footage of her son being punched, strangled, head pushed to the front seat)
Teacher: I’ve been on that bus. They are just as good as gold.
I can name you every teacher that gives second, third, fourth, fifth, infinity chances to the bullies. But very few of them shed some lights on victims like me. We were forced to live with the forgiven bullies. We were forced every day to face the fear of our lives. Even after the case being heard by the authorities, it never stop the bullies from tormenting the hell out of me. The teachers never did consider our true feelings. They only considered the school reputation (my school was among the best schools in Malaysia in public exam), and the bullies’ position in the school. They were too forgiving to people who had broke the law to the point of tarnishing the lives of the ones that should have been protected more.
I was very small back then, and I remember being slapped by this big guy who was twice as big as me. A senior ordered him to do so. And I remembered my body twisted twice after that, and I cried consequently. And the senior came to me with a mirror in his hand, and he asked me to look at myself in the mirror.
“Cuba tengok muka kau, hodoh kan bila kau menangis?”
“Try to look at your face when you’re crying, it’s ugly isn’t it?”
I don’t know why they should be that cruel. They were just 15, but they already had minds like criminals. I thought that I will forget everything by time, but it stuck in my mind like some song that I totally hate but couldn’t seem to forget.
I remember the faces of the bullies, my ‘alleged’ friends, my double standard teachers. I tried so hard to forgive them, but I couldn’t. What they had done to me had shaped me into this insecure person. They changed me into a person with a very low self esteem. That even until now, I never truly feel proud of myself. This, and many more that they had done.
They had taught me that the world will always be cruel to the different. They had taught me that injustice will always prevail. They taught me that friends will leave you when you are in trouble.
Allow me to repeat this sentence: “They are just cruel at this age”
Cruelty during your pubescence can inflict so much pain to a person that it might lasts for a lifetime. And even for me, I never saw justice being upheld. I never had my faith restored to my school. I was just another student that the school can dismiss and replace. And now I’m telling this straight to your face; screw you boarding school. Screw you, double standard teachers. Screw you, BULLIES.