Bullying is an insidious thing and it can have long reaching tentacles that invade not just the life of the person affected but also their family and friends. When you are a teenage boy loaded with testosterone and going through puberty life at home can be tricky at best and down right miserable at worst. Even when the bullying has been stopped there is a residual victim mentality left, especially if there is low level "p**s taking still going on. The children probably aren't even aware they are doing it, it just becomes habit.
For us though it can make our life feel like a minefield of emotions, one out of place comment and our teenager sees red, I mean a blinding red, one where he cannot control himself. He has to make everyone else as miserable as himself. So he hits his younger sister and intimidates his younger brother often reminding him that he is adopted. He will swear and be right up in our faces.
The knock on effect is huge. Both of the girls are scared of him when he gets angry, his brother moves directly into fight mode none of which help as it feeds the anger and his power kick. He will not respond to us his parents except to shout, swear or be defiant. Of course, once everything has calmed down he is sincerely apologetic but sorry is a word it doesn't repair the damage already done.
We have moved into quick, decisive but appropriate consequences and are hoping that this will help him control the rage.
One of the downsides of secondary school is that you are who you begin those pre-teen years as. The persona of year 7, is the one you have to carry throughout that part of your education. Your peers seem unable to allow you to grow, change and flourish, to become the person you are going to be. These are the years where education has such an important role to play, how you behave, how you are treated and how you are educated and not just in academia help to mould you. If you start this time wrong footed or different it is so hard to mature, to find your way. You sometimes fall into a victim mentality and that is so hard to break, you assume that people are out to get you even when they are not.
I have yet to work out how to deal with this. I listen, ask if my help is required to intervene or sometimes I email the school regardless.
We don't have long to go now and child 2 can study his sixth form years elsewhere. Where he can be who he is today and not who he was 2,3 or 5 years ago. He can be the funny, bright, articulate good looking boy that I spend my time with!