Friday, June 13, 2008

Take the low road

My brother, sister and I were bullied by the kids in our village (see under "home schooling", below) for being toffs or tinks and well, just weird or different. I started going to school in Edinburgh aged 13 and used to have to get the bus home (no 113, 55p) and alight in the village by the phone box and walk up "the low path" through the woods to get home. The kids from the village were always hanging about near the bus stop intimidatingly. I remember practically hiding in the phone box one day calling for help; and I always felt a sense of relief on crossing the bridge and turning through the doorway onto the path away from the village.

With your family you often fall into a pattern that is hard to break even when you move away, and it's the same with bullies: even years later they can trigger some pathetic button that says they're in control. After I finished university I had to spend the summer at home and took the same bus journey from my part time job in a Musselburgh kebab shop, running the gauntlet of stares and abuse from Tennant's Special-toting losers by the Trevelyan Hall every day. One day the verbal attacks were particularly vicious and I went home in tears of anger and helplessness. My younger brother R, who'd suffered as much as I did, had just bought a beat up old second hand car and when he saw me he said "come on", and we got in and sped into the village whereupon he waded in to the group of louts shouting "say sorry to my sister!"

Brave and foolhardy, you might think: but the cowards were cowed and they muttered "Er, sorry hen" and slunk away into the evening. I never had any trouble from them again.

A moment to be proud of and a completely cathartic event for both me and R - and you don't get those very often.

6 comments:

Grande Poobah said...

That's a really heart warming story. nice one your bro!

Mancsoulsister said...

I did that for my brother once. I was about 10 and he was about 8 and he was always being picked on for being a 'swot'. Anyway the bullies waited for him after school and were pushing him around at the school gates, when his ferocious sister came flying out of the school building like a Banshee. I waded in to the mob, swinging her clarinet case like old ladies use their handbags. None of them apologised but 'I'll get my sister on you!' worked as a threat until my brother moved schools.

LottieP said...

I don't think my brother knows how proud of him I am for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Bullies should be firmly dealt with.

When I split up with a particularly nasty, vicious, bullying ex boyfriend, some friends of mine stole his motorbike and dumped it in the Thames, and then scared the hell out of him for about 2 years so much so that there were certain places he just stopped going to.

Much as I never condone violence, this was a stunning piece of revenge.

Claire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire said...

I like lottiep's elegant revenge-of-sorts, which is to swing into the car park of the village shop in a classic sports car whenever she's over for the summer. The car is hired, but who's to know? I'm certain one C "Bruiser" Jack, who still works in said shop, doesn't.