It's sometimes quite refreshing to go a while without having much to talk about. That's what has happened to me recently, hence my lack of blog posts these last seven days. The Farmer is back at work, Amy has been discharged from her ankle injury and I've decided to stop fretting about the ridiculous methods of social services. But if you're like me, you'll always find something that will niggle away at you, eating through your thick skin until it starts to gnaw at your insides. Heaven forbid anyone will be reading this who thinks I need to get a back-bone. I've been shot down in flames often for my opinion, but often is the case when someone else's opinion is far stronger than mine, yet they are responded with "LOL" or "I agree". If I'd have been a blogger way back in the late 70's/early 80's, I'd have had a lot to tell you. Back then I was a victim of bullies; they laughed at my sheltered upbringing and the fact I wasn't as streetwise as them. They taunted me for living in a decent area, in a nice house with good neighbours, for playing the violin and the piano, and for singing in the school choir. They made me feel stupid, ridiculed, lesser than them. I tried hard to fit in back then, really hard. So hard in fact that when I was in year two at High school (age 12/13), my mum spent many a day sat outside the head-teacher's office after I'd been caught smoking in the toilets or scrawling graffiti on outside walls, not to mention sitting at the back of a disruptive classroom, determined not to learn. High school wasn't my strongest era, it has to be said.
Yet now, at age 42, I still let people get to me when they talk to me from inside the circle, or clique as it's sometimes referred to. I stand on the edge willing them to let me in, watching as they chat amongst themselves as though I'm not there. It's what used to happen at school. I've witnessed it on the Internet often and when I do, the memories come flooding back. Of course, now I'm older and (perhaps) wiser so I'm able to deal with it better, but there are many times when I want to lash out, express my (not-so-polite) opinion, and I find myself backing away, afraid I'll be outcast like I was so many times all those years ago. Bullying in the school playground stays with you for life. You may think once you've left school, met the man/woman of your dreams, got married and had kids, and made a steady life for yourself that you will forget about those awful years you were made to feel inferior. But there will always be times throughout your life when the terrifying memories wash over you once more. I've learnt to understand the difference over the years between bullying and people just being nasty, but it doesn't make me feel anymore confident when faced with an awkward situation that has the potential of becoming a confrontation. Maybe I'm not streetwise or hip, maybe I have led a sheltered life, maybe I am different to you; but I'm a human being with feelings. I'm a mum and a wife and I work hard for a living. And what's more, I maybe a wuss, but I'm not a teenager anymore and have learnt that my opinion matters just as much as anyone's.