Character Building – Courage through Adversity

4141 years ago my Mother brought me into a world of tropical music, a Huddersfield born Prime Minster Prime Minster and Rocky Horror.

I’m assured that it is normal to have no memory of these early years.

I have a few vague memories of my early life…

The bedroom at Birkby, a toy Starship Enterprise that fired little disks and the weird open staircase at Golcar; these could well be dream memories for all I know.

Some of the memories that stand out are those that involve the bullies.

Whether it was my early nemesis, a chap called Davinder, pushing me around and convincing me that Dracula was going to visit me from Bunny Woods and drink my Caucasian blood (Davinder assured me that Dracula wasn’t interested in his Asian blood – apparently vampires only ate white folk’s children in the early eighties)… Or a group of 5 “friends” trying to pin me down and strip my clothing from me in the playing fields at high school (they didn’t try again – I have anger management issues)…

My life has been plagued with bullies and recently I have been reflecting on this fact.

Five years ago to this very day, I had a nervous breakdown due to bullying.

I doubt anyone noticed (except Mrs. Armaitus… she noticed and struggled in her own way to handle it). I tend to keep myself to myself when it comes to that kind of thing.

I didn’t seek professional help.  I just did what I normally do… I picked myself up and lay rage-fueled curses at the feet of the bullies before carrying on with my life.

I have an odd relationship with “stress”, psych evaluations have shown that I focus better when in a squeeze… a colleague of mine once labelled this as Stargate syndrome… as long as I have 45 minutes to come up with a solution before the world is eaten by Goa’uld then I’ll be fine.

apophisBut five years ago Apophis decided to stick his oar into one of the most stressful situations I’ve had to deal with and it was more than I could handle…

The bully won and I cracked.

Why write about this now?

Well, that particular Apophis has reared his head a few times since that day, August 10th 2011, and it has taken the last 5 years to realise that everything he has thrown at me… every angry word and every attempted dominance… it has all led to one single conclusion…

The bullies have no hold over me.

boogiemanIt’s taken decades for me to realise but these creatures have no hold over me.

Apophis is trying – even now – to break down my walls and crack me again. He just can’t do it – I may weaken at times but I seem to be able to laugh him off.

I see him trying with others and I see them facing the same barriers that I did 5 years ago; but he can’t touch me.

That’s small consolation.  I have an in built urge to help… I genuinely care and that is one hell of burden to carry… especially when I see the bullies targeting others.

Thankfully, it turns out that facing down bullies really is character building.

I wish I’d realised that sooner, I really do.

So what should you do when the bullies are hounding you and you feel like your very soul is being kicked in by malicious, vindictive little cunts?

Fight back.

Fight back with tooth and claw.

Don’t turn the other cheek.  Don’t ignore them.

Take them on and face them down Jack Burton style.

jburtonDon’t get angry, stay calm.

Arm yourself with the relevant weaponry and fight.

Keep a log of actions that are used to bully you and don’t let those actions weigh you down.

Find allies and stand tall against the bullies.

Nobody is more important in your life than you and yours.

Bullies are irrelevant douche-bags who don’t have anyone important in their lives so they have to impose themselves into yours.

Screw them and screw their irrelevant little lives… you’re awesome and they aren’t.