Bullying is a harsh fact that sometimes rears its ugly head in the unlikeliest of places and affects the most vulnerable of people. A study conducted in 2012 by the Interactive Autism Network revealed that around 63 % of 1,167 children with ASD in the age range of 6 to 15 had been subjected to bullying at some point or the other. Keeping this as the context we reached out to our bloggers who suffer from autism and urged them to share their personal experiences with bullying and also to convey their feelings to the bullies in question. This is how they reacted.
Karma and its ramifications
Anthony Ianni is a blogger who suffered humiliating experiences at the hands of bullies. He cautions all bullies to be careful about whom they upset because sometimes destiny can have different things in store for different people. He says that the person who is bullied could become an influential person in the future, like an athlete, an inventor or even a businessperson. He says that the wheel of Karma can play out brutally and the bullied could be the next Eminem, Justin Timberlake or Taylor Swift. These personalities were all bullied as kids but destiny took them to new heights.
Bullying – An unending trauma
Ann Kagarise was bullied when she was in high school. She says that the brutal memory still feels fresh and she can remember it like it happened yesterday. The memory of her books being strewn over the ground and the name calling still make her smart. She says that bullies try to feel more powerful by shaming others. She adds that they don’t feel confident about themselves which is why they are unable to love someone who is seemingly different.
A lifelong memory
Phil Martin felt terrible when he heard the R word for the first time as he was boarding the school bus. He says that he still carries the burden of the terrible act. Martin says that the moment may be over for the bullies the instant they walk away but for the victim it is a lifelong memory that they have to live with.
Bullies are insecure
Anita Lesko is quite vehement about the fact that bullies are naturally cowards and are lesser people. She says that the typical bully likes to pick on someone who they view as inferior to themselves. That gives them a better feeling about themselves. She says that she would never indulge in an act like bullying which makes her a far better person.
Confidence is key
Amanda Wilson says it was joining the Army Cadets that helped her fight back against bullying. She says that she was born with Asperger’s and was hence picked on by bullies. She says that couldn’t confide in anybody since she didn’t have friends and couldn’t talk to her parents. Joining the cadets brought her new confidence and enabled her to develop disciplinary skills.
Bullying isn’t ‘cool’
It was a moment filled with anguish for Jesse Saperstein when he had to face the onslaught from a bully. He says that bullies may not even be aware of the anguish they cause when they thing they are just fooling around or being cool. Jeese says that the bad memories don’t erase themselves and the victims are sometimes forced to live with the remnants of the pain.