My childhood experiences taught me that to an extent the phrase 'childhood innocence' is an adult fantasy. Children can be breathtakingly cruel to each other. It goes along with a code of secrecy that would leave a hardened gang banger in tears of admiration. The bully keeps quiet in order for his reign of terror to continue, the bullied keeps quiet out of shame and fear of further retribution. The lucky of us come out of the other end relatively unscathed. It shapes us more than we know. Although I was never a bully, I was sneaky, a consummate liar and at times fiercely self righteous.