Victim and Victor

Duration: 3:08 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.414
This story has been viewed 6704 times

Michael's story is about being a victim of bullying whilst at school but then becoming a victor through his creative endeavours.

By Michael Crannage


Other information

This story was inspired by a school slate from the collections at the Museum of Hartlepool.

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Video transcript

My first school report in Owton Manor Infants School, Hartlepool, in mid 1966, summed up the way I was. It said I, "much preferred play to work", and that was spot on. I loved the sand pit most of all. I was never happier than at infants. You could say I was the life and soul of the party but all that changed as I progressed to juniors then seniors where things went rapidly down hill.

I think it was my second year in juniors where I appeared to wake up and realised the cruelty of other children to me, especially one boy who made my life hell as he bullied me from then, going into seniors, where things got far worse physically and mentally.

My first report in secondary school said I was, "a quiet boy in class who seemed popular with the rest of the class". How wrong could that be? It is true I was quiet but it is far from true that I was popular. This is the period when I began to feel so alone, an outsider and this is when the bullying, mental and physical took hold and really affected my confidence. But still in my report I said I was, "coming on fine". What a lie.

Things got so bad that I often skipped school. I didn't feel as if I had anyone to talk to, especially the teachers, who seemed to be oblivious to my pain as I sat at the back of the class and would be punched and mentally abused by my tormentor.

Still the reports came and went with not a word about what I was actually going through until my final report, before I left secondary school stated, that the teacher finally was beginning to understand me, who, "preferred to work alone quietly without fuss". This assessment just made me feel more alienated and longing for infants school when my creative liveliness was in full flow. No, I didn't prefer to work quietly alone. I was a deeply damaged soul and still carry the scars to this day though I now have a greater choice of what I want to do and who I want to be with, rather than the prison of much of school and the mob mentality.  

excellent story, you are very brave, wonder if the bully is now a coward.Posted on 14/05/2010 at 09:21:20

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