I was bullied, mostly mentally, but there was a dose of physical during my junior high years, from late elementary school all the way through the end of high school. Being different, in this case perceived as gay [mostly] and otherwise odd, was enough. Though I am gay I certainly was not in any meaningful sense during that entire period.
There is certainly a contingent of the population of bullies that do so in reaction to life stresses that they are being subjected to. There is also a contingent that just does it for kicks. Neither makes the experience of being bullied any easier, but at least I can understand the "mechanism of action" in the former group.
What I found interesting was a comment made to me at my 10th high school reunion, which was the first one I went to, from someone who didn't bully me, but was a witness to what was happening, "We were all amazed at just how strong you were." I never fought back in the conventional sense of the word, but I also didn't let anyone ever stop me from doing what I was going to do. Life was often a living hell, but I was not about to ever give anyone the satisfaction of believing, or witnessing, their cruelty cause me to divert from my intended course. That was not easy, and I know that I was the exception in being able to keep this up for over a decade.
P.S.: Also, at that 10th reunion, one of my worst tormentors (female, as it happens) made a point of finding me and apologizing, very sincerely. She was one that fell into the, "my own life was hellish and I was acting out to make others feel as miserable as I did," group.
Edited by britechguy, 22 April 2018 - 07:01 PM.