|The swimming pool where I swim|
Yesterday at the swimming pool (I try and swim 30 lengths 3 or 4 times a week and yes I wear Aussiebums) the local footy team was training. It's been nearly 50 years since I've been bullied or beaten up, but I at once felt threatened. The change room was filled with young men, all apparently straight, all macho as. Gruff voices. Testosterone. Too many. Too macho. Too reminiscent.
Never mind that they were all younger than my own children, and that if I put my mind to it, I would easily be able to cow them if I needed to. The memories of being in a crowd of boys, being bullied. The memories of the acrid contempt, the disdain, the dislike. The memories of loneliness.
Scars. Physical (I'm blind in one eye because of school bullying). Mental (I can't go into a room of unknown young men without being afraid). Even 50 years later.