When the school bullies decided to pick on me, I fantasised on how I would not stumble across my own words, how I would be as mean as they were, leaving them behind embarrassed and ashamed, lost for words. If only I were grown-up, so I thought, I would have taught them respect.
Back then my personality resembled a little sponge, soaking up everything that was thrown at it. People talking behind my back used to give me sleepless nights and made me fear what lies they might come up with next.
20 years on, and little has changed when it comes to bullies.
Of course, I am older and have become a more balanced person than I was at the tender age of 13. Also, I am more complete and rest within myself. Especially since having little L, things that used to bother me bounce back from me more easily.
But I am still momentarily taken aback when verbally abused, badmouthed or offended. I am trying hard not to let it get to me, pacing through the park breathing ‘love in – hate out’. I don’t know how much yoga I am supposed to do to keep being zen with all this aggression around me.
Let’s not get into detail here. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they live. And they don’t deserve the space they would take up here. But it amazes me that two women can ruin an experience for a group of over 30. Just like a drop of oil can contaminate one million drops of ground water.
What comforts me is faith in the fairness of the universe and in ‘what goes around comes around’. The people in question aren’t happy with their lives now, and there is little chance they are going to be happy anytime at all.