When the Victim Become the Bully

When I was in primary school, I was relentlessly bullied. I was the weird kid, the angry kid, the overactive imagination kid. I heard every insult there was and more, and most of the time I couldn't care less. But there were some remarks that stung. The worst weren't the ones calling me ugly — it can't be an insult when it's true — but that I shouldn't have been adopted, or even more heinous, that I should've been aborted. After all, who would want to adopt and get a child like me? For a while, this made me seethe with unbridled hatred. I despised most of my classmates, and most of it was unjustifiable. They were just like me: kids trying to figure out who they were and where they were going as they were measured up against older siblings or parents. They were bitter, angry, spiteful, and very, very scared. The lack of control in their lives frightened them. I first realized this in the eighth grade. I was in the girls bathroom when one of my bullies came in, sobbing. She had been mocked by a more popular kid. Now, at this time, I was a spiteful kid. I embraced my weirdness and made it my own. I could have relentlessly bullied this girl, capitalized on her worst fears and drove the stake deeper into her self hatred. But as I stared at myself in the mirror while the water scalded my hands, I realized that I hated the person I saw staring back at me more so than my bully. For a thirteen year old, this was a startling revelation. I struggled with wanting to leave her alone, to let her deal with this as I had, or to go over and sit with her and talk it out. With my tragic lack of self control and poor rationale, I did just that — I plopped my skinny ass right next to hers and was kind to her. And twenty minutes later, after the tears were spent, we walked out of that bathroom not as enemies nor as friends but acquaintances who understood one another. This seemingly small act would set me on a path of realization, self-hatred, and self-healing. I struggled, and still do, with who I am. I am still spiteful, still angry, but there is a calmness now where there hadn't been before. I realized that no amount of hating someone else will change their actions. Being a jerk to them only increases their own cruelty. The old saying, "kill them with kindness," is correct. You make more friends with honey than with oil. But there are those you can never make friends with. Those that will enjoy tormenting you regardless of what you do. However, it is up to you to determine how you respond. Self-defense is entirely justified if someone throws a punch at you or points a gun at you. Seeking to destroy someone's life to the point of making them commit suicide? That is indefensible. What "Dr Dhlamini" did was not justice. Instead of confronting the so-called homophobe — and I say this as there is no evidence provided to back this claim — about his homophobia and trying to sway him through intellectual conversations, this man went straight for vengeance. Blacklisting someone is easy in today's age and the moral crusade some are on is akin to drug use. They get their high from lauding themselves as morally superior to others. His victim had not discriminated against someone in the workplace nor threatened anyone. It just says a "homophobic Facebook status." Given that anything can be homophobic nowadays, I have difficulty believing what he said endangered Dr Dhlamini in any way shape or form. Dr Dhlamini's second tweet suggests that this was not against this man personally but against anyone who reminded him of his trauma. Now, I will say that there are those who are legitimately homophobic. There are cultures that will kill you should you be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. These real world issues are tragically commonplace in certain parts of the world and needs to be addressed unilateral and without delay. In the USA, there are those who will disown or beat their children for being LGBT. It pains me to say that this still happens in the LGBT. That being said, harassing a man into committing suicide just because he is "homophobic" is psychotic behavior. I would even go as far as to say it is criminal behavior. However, given the history of the internet, this might all just be for clout. An "I am the victor over X strawman" story designed to appear tougher and more powerful than he actually is. Whatever the case, this behavior is wrong. No matter who you are, no matter your race or sexuality, no matter your religion, if you harass someone into suicide, you are evil.

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