As a little girl growing up in the 80’s, I absolutely hated being bullied by my two older sisters; but seeing the world around us and what we have to deal with, I would go back to the 80’s and take a lashing any day.
In today’s world, people being bullied are up against the internet, social media and senseless trolling. Hidden behind login names and computer screens… BUT back in the 80’s they were people you knew, namely people you loved, your neighbours and especially your two older sisters (families and stories may vary).
So instead of reading about the rising levels in high school bullying leading to suicide, let’s travel back, way way back….. Let’s say to the 1980’s and see what real bullying looks like.
There we have a young girl, no more than 5 years old with two older, wiser and more street-smart sisters; which not only liked to bully the younger sister with dead legs, Chinese burns and a forever lingering threat that I would get nightmares if I ate ice cream before I went to bed (credits to Freddie Krueger). But led on little lies that they could string out for weeks, or was it months?
It all started when I was thirsty after playing with the dog outside and came in to get some water. After nearly finishing the entire glass, my sister started screaming and whaling “No, Hayley No!, Don’t, Stop drinking that. You just drank the Rock Potion”…. Rock Potion? No I didn’t…. what’s a rock potion? She then lead me into our bedroom and showed me a rock (with a face drawn on it with a texta) and then began to tell me that because she loves me she didn’t want to see happen to what happened to our other sister… Yes, our fourth sister, Amanda. As she did one fateful day drink the rock potion and now look, there she is, totally turned into a rock.
The story also had warnings about not ever telling mum or dad that I knew about Amanda because it hurt them so much to even talk about her, and how we lost her and that’s why I can never find her in any of our family photos, it’s just too much for them to bear. To the point that now my fate is literally written in stone, I completely lost it and started crying and screaming that I didn’t want to turn into a rock and I promise never to drink the potion ever again.
Lucky my sister knew the antidote to the rock potion, which funnily enough was to eat as much grass from the back yard as I possibly can in 30 seconds, for it then to not work. So off I went. Days past and with no sign of turning into a rock I was again happy… until I drank it again. ‘No, Hayley No, that’s the rock potion!’…… this went on for a while. Quite a while. Until mum stepped in.
Oh mother, beautiful wise and concerned mother. “Is it because the cat likes to eat grass is why you are becoming so insanely fond of it or is something else happening?” She broke me. I had to tell what I had done, and following up with so many unanswered questions about Amanda, and obviously why of course did it seem that we always had plenty of rock potion just lying around; the penny dropped and the gig was up.
So I would happily eat any amount of grass in some sick attempt for curing a fake family curse that killed my non-existing fourth sister, than have any type of social cyber bullying in which the kids of these days have to fight up against.
I’ll see you all back in the 80’s.