Well it will be for me anyway.
I am currently being cajoled into attending my first school re-union. To my knowledge it is the first one ever attempted by the class of 1984. Why this is I have no idea, but if I had to guess I would say it was probably because no one really liked each other enough. Maybe that is too strong a way of putting it. I am sure there are certain pockets of the original school friends that stayed in touch after the final bell was rung, but for me I only speak to one person I was at school with and that is once in a blue moon.
Don't get me wrong, my school days were some of the happiest days of my life.
Well, pockets of them were.
I sometimes still smart at the memory of how I was treated by a group of my "friends" when I was verbally bullied for a year or so.
It was the usual thing, the "ring leader" decides that I shall be the new victim because he is having a typically rough time at home, then the people that I once regarded as friends turn against me and thus ensues the misery.
I suppose it would not have been so bad if it had been individual bullying, but it was the pack mentality when even your best friend see's it as good sport and joins in only to become an Alpha Voice himself. I was ostracised from my group of friends. I was no longer one of the cool kids and to be honest I didn't like it one bit.
But I made it through with an everlasting anger in deep in my bones toward the people who had made it their business to be involved in my nightmare.
Eventually after some stern words from an older brother, the "gang" quietened down and I was slowly brought back into the fold but with a severe distrust of them and a distaste for anyone who used bully boy mentality. Most of all I was still very wary of the so called friends who had turned against me. I went to parties with them and played sports with them, but it was never the same. The trust had been broken.
After leaving school I remained friends with only one or two, grew into quite a formidable size - don't forget I wasn't always fat and being broad shouldered I started to speak up for the small guy unless of course he himself a "wrong un"! I worked nightclub doors, did security at sprawling parties, concerts and universities. I was no superhero but I like to think I did my part for the "Cameron Against Bullying Campaign"
I am today a much different person to that child. In some respects I would like to tell him it will be alright and deal with it for him, in others I am glad it has made me the man I am today. I honestly have to be hard pushed to fear anyone so it certainly did one thing for me, it built character.
It is now quite weird to look back on the years where I was the bullied one. In my mind it ruined many memories. It was not a pleasant time and it certainly did show the character of the people who got involved and the ones who did not. I am positive I have forgotten a good deal of it as it has been blocked out, but along with that I know I blocked out some great friendships too. I had to be reminded of my friendship with the guy I spoke of earlier. He told me we used to stay at each others houses at the weekends or we would camp in his back garden, play football, go to disco's and generally get up to mischief like any other normal boys of that age. This makes me wonder what other great childhood memories I may have lost forever to show not all my school day memories revolved around the bad times.
I have tried and still do try to forgive the bullies but it is hard. Being treated like that has for sure left an everlasting stain on my psyche but I have gotten over it as best as I can. I see pictures of those involved on Facebook, sometimes I can feel my blood boil as I want to avenge that small boy, others I feel bad for the ones instrumental in the bullying because I now realise how shit their home life was and they were merely acting out.
So I am reluctant to go to this reunion because I am unsure which one of me will turn up on the night. Will it be forgiver or punisher?
Best I stay away.