Bullies keep so many secrets. They have to, to maintain the facade they hide behind. Bullies must continue to wear a veil of perfection, toughness, and coolness, and they take extreme pains to keep that veil from falling off.
But if you watch and listen, your bullies secrets will eventually seep through by either dumb mistakes they make, or through the gossip of others.
1. One or both of their parents were drug dealers. A few classmates came from homes that people bought drugs out of. Because of this, these bullies were either ashamed of what they were living in or felt ignored.
2. They were on welfare. Many of my bullies came from families that had a tradition of living on welfare and in many cases, it went back a few generations. These bullies were deliberately having babies because they wanted to draw a welfare check. Others were ashamed of it and took extreme measures to hide it from the rest of the student body.
3. Their parents fought all the time. Other classmates dealt with such drama at home. Therefore, they would start altercations at school too. You are what you live.
4. They were being abused/neglected by parents. Several classmates were getting their butts kicked at home. So, they’d come to school to bully and physically attack me and a few others to overcompensate and feel some sense of power. If they had no control over their own lives, they would come to school and assert control over someone else’s.
5. Their mothers had a different man over every night. So many of the female bullies would come to school and call other girls whores, sluts, and skanks. But these were names they really wanted to call their own mothers because the men in their mothers’ lives usually came before the needs of their daughters.
6. They had a parent who was an alcoholic/drug addict. Many of my classmates were angry and bitter because they had parents who stayed drunk and loaded. The drugs and booze would usually come before the child and would force the family into poverty. Some of the parents were “mean drunks” and lashed out at their children.
7. They had a parent who was supposedly a criminal. One of my female bullies had a parent who was rumored to be a murderer. Although the suspected parent was a big wheel in the town and was never convicted, there was plenty of talk about it around town and everyone knew about it.
8. They were dirt poor. Many of my bullies lived in trailer parks, shacks, and the projects. Some didn’t have indoor plumbing and used outhouses for a bathroom- even in the winter. Because they were ashamed, they’d come to school and shame others to feel better about themselves.
9. A parent had abandoned them. Again, may of my bullies were full of anger and bitterness. When they got to school, they’d take it out on their vulnerable targets. It gave them a sense of power. Many of these bullies were also jealous of targets who had more than they did and would bully them as punishment for being from families who were financially better off.
10. They were victims of sexual abuse by a family member or their mother’s boyfriends. These girls felt utterly powerless. So, to not feel so helpless, they’d jockey for power at school by asserting dominance over their targets.
11. They’d had multiple abortions. Many of my female classmates, especially those who were popular, slept around and many become pregnant- two or three times during school. Their parents were public figures with images to protect. Therefore, these parents would finance their daughter’s abortions to hide the shame they feared would befall their perfect little families. One girl had an abortion in the sixth grade.
12. They’d go slumming. Many of the bullies in the preppy crowd would go to the projects and slept with some of the women who lived there. When the parents of two of them found out about it, they sent them to a group home for the rest of the school year (ninth or tenth grade).
13. One of the teachers who bullied me was sleeping around – even having sordid affairs with some of the boys on the varsity football team. And it was common knowledge around town.
But because this teacher had connections in town and her father was a businessman, she kept her job and everything was hush-hush around certain people who were allies of hers.
However, when people were at a safe distance and out of earshot of anyone who might have gone back and informed her of who the talkers were, they would trumpet the juicy info loud and proud.
This is in no way intended to pass judgement on anyone. We all have our hangups. The point is, bullies have dirty little secrets that they don’t want to get out. Always! Why do you think they target others with their vitriol? It’s all designed to keep the negative spotlight off them and place it onto the target.
It’s a way to keep their own skeletons from seeing the light of day. Because if everyone is too busy looking at and judging the victim, they won’t pay any attention to the bullies’ sins, snafus, and faux pas.