Bullying & Abuse - Take II
I'm curious to know perceptions of bullying and abuse at CH from different eras.
During my time at Housey the culture changed considerably. When I joined in the 2nd form, I was ascribed a pupil on the year above as my 'nursemaid' - an older pupil who was supposed to look out for you and help you find your feet. He was also the "QM", meaning that he was in charge of the dormitory after lights out.
Those who were in Lamb at the time may recall the individual. He was the hulking great bundle of muscle and issues that flipped during one prep time and began launching pool balls at people's heads down the length of the dayroom. The dents in the back wall are most likely still there to be seen. It was a 'kin miracle no one was killed. The Housemaster in his infinite wisdom decided that this was no reason for expulsion though - multiple attempted murder being regarded as more of a misdemeanor in those days.
My 'nursemaid' decided the best way to conduct his pastoral duties over me was to jump off his bed each night, on to mine, landing with the full force of his knees on my head. In hindsight I was an admittedly obnoxious little squit, borne through naivety mainly, but I spent my first two years in total 'kin misery because of him and his ilk, and the abuse he dished out was criminal - literally.
I certainly wasn't the only one. D, a friend of mine's had an equally abusive 'nursemaid'. He used to make D fight him in the middle of the dormitory every night (whilst my own tormentor looked approvingly on, natch). D was quite handy, but so was the older lad, and he was twice his size, so D would go to bed bruised and battered, repressing his tears every night.
As it happens, D's nursemaid turned into a very decent man by the time he reached the Grecians. By that point, the culture had swung massively, and I recall older pupils being in serious trouble for 'only' verbal abuse of younger children.
My own bully was eventually expelled, and I wonder whether he's avoided prison since. In all honesty (and having now worked in relevant areas of social care) he was in need of help that CH just wasn't equipped to provide, so maybe he's got himself sorted now.
What I find incredible though, is that my Brother, who left CH as I joined, suffered much worse brutality, partly with the complicity of his housemaster in Leigh Hunt.
Is CH now a place that kids can feel safe in? And for older forum members; was it always as brutal or more than it was during my era? (90's)
On the 'where's that thread gone?' thread someone suggested I include my response as a child and as an adult.
At the time, I was in hell. If I didn't have such an incredible family, I probably would have topped myself.
Now, I don't feel 'scarred' by my experiences, but I think this is more a reflection on my own psyche than anything. A different person could have been affected very differently. I do have a few self-esteem issues, but I'm not convinced the two things are related.
What was a real revelation was that on starting University, I found my world had changed completely. I had left CH with the idea that I was, despite my own best efforts, an fairly irritating and unlikable person. At Uni though, I found that this seemed to be anything but true. In fact, the students that generally rubbed everyone up the wrong way and ended up spending their time alone tended to be those that were the popular kids at school. They expected to be able to carry on at Uni as they had at school and quickly found that their peer group no longer appreciated their exclusive attitudes and egocentric behaviour. - Justice of a sort I think.