Thursday, 27 March 2008

My Experiences of School Bullying and Neglect

Going to school, was an opportunity for me to escape from the almost constant physical, emotional, and mental abuse from my mum at home. However, after the third year at secondary school, I was bullied quite badly by a gang of other children for about two years, and which meant that I was being abused at home and bullied at school at the same time.
Because of all the stress, anxiety, and depression, I couldn't concentrate on my school work, and at one stage in the fourth year for about a year, I was taken out of school lessons, put in a corridor on my own with a desk and chair, but with no books and writing material, and with some of the bullies isolated in other corridors of the school. This meant that I was still near some of the bullies, unsupervised, and they still continued to bully me.
When another pupil asked a teacher why I had been isolated, saying that I had done nothing wrong, the teacher admitted that I had no done anything wrong, but he said that I was "not responding to school work". My dad put in complaints about the bullying, and which still continued, and I had to leave school at 15 because the teachers and head would do nothing about it.
The school bullying all started, when I had a friend called Steven at secondary school, and who I was also friends with at my junior school. For the first few years at secondary school, I had a good friendship with him, but at some stage he turned nasty and turned on me with other bullies.
When we were friends, Steven would sometimes stay the night round my house on weekends, but at some stage I didn't feel comfortable with him doing this, because he wanted to sleep in the same bed as me, and I refused to have him over to stay the night. It was then that he became isolated from me at school, and formed a friendship with another boy, who was like the pack leader of a gang of bullies.
What made the bullying worse, was that me and Steven both had the same sexual fantasies and desires about being sexually dominated by women, but he was ashamed of this, and told some of the other boys that I "Liked being bossed around by women". This made the bullying much worse. It was a very rough, poor, all-boys school, and a lot of fighting and bullying went on. I kept out of the way of the fighting, but I saw some horrible fights between some boys, and witnessed some very violent bullying too.
Although I was never physically beaten up by the bullies, a lot of the bullying was mental and psychological, and some of it was physical in a way too. The gang of bullies would often pull my hair, take my glasses off of me and refuse to give them back, take off my shoes and throw them around, pull my tie tight into a knot, and pull my arms each side of me. They also used to pin me down and all pile on top of me, and I was given "the bumps" on the odd occasion.
The way the child abuse affected me, was that it made me have low self esteem, and made me depressed and anxious, and unable to concentrate on my own emotions and thoughts, because so much time was spent trying to push the experience of the abuse out of my mind, to forget it, and not think about it. The school bullying made me less trusting of other people, and gave me a fear of crowds.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Creativity and Self-Destructiveness

I'm very interested in creativity and self-destructiveness, because many very creative people, usually famous ones, seem also to be very self-destructive, and I wonder what the reasons are for this. This may be due to the fact that we don't live in a creative society, in terms of learning, education, work and family life, or because creativity is associated with self-destruction by society, and so it gets treated destructively.
I want to know whether there is something intrinsically self-destructive about creativity, or whether the self destructiveness is due to social and psychological factors.
Many very creative, famous people, end up being very much controlled by their managers, family, and the sycophants and yes-men surrounding them. This often leads to drug abuse or even suicide as the only escape from such falsity, oppression, and social control.
Another thing, is that creative people often don't talk or write about society, and the social causes of things such as self-destructiveness. The creative arts are often separated from any kind of political or social analysis, and merely focus on poetry and abstract symbolism. This is why a great deal of lyrics in music are not social or political in their content.
Very creative people tend to be too individualistic, creating their own individual ideas of work, rather than also focusing on what it means to have a very creative society in terms of learning, education, work, and general relationships. The creative needs to become the social and political, if it is to achieve its full potential.
I think that there's tendency for very creative people to become alienated from their family, friends, and wider society, due to the fact that they are not really understood. There's a tendency to believe about creative persons, that the ego needs to be inflated, and yet very much exposed in creative persons, and that they are prone to madness. These are myths in my opinion, as creative people need the same kind of honest love, socialisation, and support that everyone else needs in society.
Then there's also the myth that creative people need stress and tension in order to create very fully or effectiveness. On the contrary, very creative people tend to have a vulnerability to stress, due to the fact that they are very receptive and sensitive to what they experience around them.

Abuse Survival, Speaking Out, Professionals and Society

The whole subject of child abuse is a very complex one, especially if one is to come out as an abuse survivor to social work and mental health professionals or to the public.
I am a child abuse survivor, but I have now understood and forgiven the person that abused me, because I realise that although they wasn't abused as a child by their parent or parents, they grew up in a very emotionally hard, and a very socially and economically poor environment. Also, since being a very bad parent towards me as a child, they have been very good to me as an adult, and I am absolutely convinced that there is now mutual respect and love between us.
Most people in some ways have been oppressed or abused by the system. Whether this involves oppression and bullying by parents, teachers, or from other children, or oppressed and bullied in work, people in general have more or less suffered from some sort of abuse. However, it is still important to make a distinction between actual child abuse, and abuse by the system against people, although I make the comparison because it relates to when and how a person speaks out about being abused, and what responses they can receive from professionals or society.
Whilst there are some very good reasons to come out as a child abuse survivor, there are also some very good reasons for hiding this information until the appropriate time. From my experience and knowledge, it can be unwise to come out as a child abuse survivor, to some social work and mental health professionals, as this can make them feel guilty, because they are part of a system that should have prevented the abuse. This guilt can turn defensive and aggressive, and involve the professional insulting and attacking the abuse survivor verbally, or even justifying the child abuse as being part of tradition, discipline, or family values. Child abuse can also be justified as being seen as a form of protest, whilst the child abuse survivors protest for change gets denied and ignored.
I spoke to a fellow child abuse survivor recently, and she said that people who haven't been abused as children don't understand. I replied to her, that whilst it's true that they don't understand, it also true that they just don't care, because they don't know the degree of suffering of being abused as a child, and because they also believe that they too have suffered from some sort of abuse by the system, and in a way believe that they have suffered more. Unfortunately, we have no means of measuring who suffers more in society, although experience, intelligent common sense, and knowledge, tells us that abuse survivors suffer more as children from the rest of society.
There's also a tendency amongst some abuse survivors and professionals, to believe that only men abuse children, and that all abuse is only sexual. Some women abuse children too, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and in some cases can be accomplices to child sexual abuse.
It's important to come out as child abuse survivors at some stage, as we can start to try and change things for the better, and defend children's rights and welfare, and there is less likelihood of ourselves becoming abusers if we don't repress our anger, hurt, conscience, and loving and caring emotions. People who indefinitely hide the fact that they've been bullied or abused as children, tend to become abusers in some ways, like some social workers and mental health professionals who have power over other child abuse survivors.
We need to come out about being abuse survivors at the appropriate time, when we can protest and survive together, otherwise it can be used against us by a repressed, misunderstanding, and uncaring society, and by some social work and mental health professionals.