The school bully/victim mystique

This from the NY Times:

I was a bullying victim when I was a kid.  Big fat four-eyed kid who liked classical music.  Wow. I was so perfect! Fortunately my torture ended before I got to high school. This kid’s seems endless.

Memories. When I found out about the school shootings at Columbine, I was horrified. My children could have been the victims. But before I found out the dreadful things Klebold and Harris done, a part of me–I hope a small part–found an unwelcome and creeping degree of schadenfreude: that two bullied kids were striking back, big-time, at their supposed tormentors. I stalked one of my torturers home with the full intention of damaging him. Or…?  Fortunately for both of us, he was tipped off and didn’t go home. And I didn’t let it go, I let it fester for years. Would beating the shit out of this kid have made me feel better? Toss Yes and No in the air and see which one lands first.

I sometimes enter into some variation of The Revenger’s Tragedy and wonder how I would have felt if Harris and Klebold actually got their targets, the school jocks who’d worked them over, instead of people who’d done nothing to them, included the by-now iconic Cassie Bernall, a girl reading the Bible in the school library. I lived with those fantasies for years. Rather than being pleasing they left a sticky, bitter taste. Whoever referred to revenge as "wild justice" knew from whence he spoke: a thirst for retribution can turn into a scattergun and hits everyone in the vicinity. It’s a bit too ugly to be a regular diet.


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