Bullying Then and Now–Part 1

I often get asked how I deal with my past issues. I don’t often discuss these things with others, but people in my hometown know me well. They could not understand for the life of them how I managed to keep my marbles in tact…Seriously! I had a crazy childhood! I know many that had a hell of a lot worse, but mine was unique in that I lived in Bedlam, TX! Anyway, that’s what I called my house.

 The only thing the past can do is throw up pictures into your memory. Those things cannot hurt you. I had to let go of mine. I can tell you all personally that the hardest thing to do is the very first step I had to take, and that was to forgive people one by one.  I will say this, trying to NOT become a creature like some of the people I had to be around was one hell of a challenge in itself.  I will discuss more of that issue at another time.  For now  I will discuss what took place in what should have been a safe-haven for me.  I am referring to the bullying I endured in middle school and in high school.  I will also discuss how some of us handled our own issues due to the fact that the adults failed to address these issues EVEN then!

In my opinion, there was a big difference in being bullied then, as opposed to being bullied nowdays…When I was a kid, I got even. If they bullied me to do their term papers–I did them alright! I made sure they got nothing but “F’s” too. I took a few beatings for it, but it was worth it to me. It was also like I didn’t know what it was like anyway. They didn’t have me to another one because I told them I would do exactly the same thing. I was dismissed as being “crazy” by that bunch. I fought with brains more than anything else.

 There was a boy in particular who was on the track team who used to make crude sexual remarks to several of us–one at a time of course. Sometimes he would push us down. Other times if we were wearing a skirt, he tried to lift it or pull it down in the hallway. We started talking one day. NONE of us knew the others were bullied by this idiot. Our solution: We decided to make sure he got a dose of what he dished out–together!

 The coach wasn’t watching one day and we dragged him down into the theatrical prop room. In our school, costumes, make-up and every thing was kept in that location. Four of us held him down while the other three stripped him down to his boxers, put a dress and petticoat on him and colored his lips with red lip stick–the kind that is hard to wash off. I don’t know HOW the hell we got away with this, but we took his clothes and scattered them all over the front lawn of the school! He had to go out there all dressed up in his frock to get them too! 

I did see the look in his eyes.  There was pure fear in them.  I saw the look in the other girls’ eyes.  They were looks of pure determination.  He thought we were going to kill him or something, and due to the noise above us all in the gym, nobody could hear him.  We didn’t even gag him or anything. We knew that when Coach Carson had the multi-grade level PE class playing dodgeball, there were only two audible types of noise anyone could hear.  One cold hear the screams of the 7th and 8th graders getting slammed by the high school students.  The other noise was that of the juniors and seniors yelling as if they had just won the prize on Dialing for Dollars or some crap.

 He never revealed who did it, and he never bothered any of us again either. We know his fellow team mates on the track team laughed at him for DAYS!  We now live in an age where  a bully is liable to get killed or severely injured if his or her behavior is not quickly addressed. I don’t think anyone would dispute that even in our day we would wonder what life would be like if those bullies “died or disappeared”. The difference is, we knew it was wrong to actually kill someone and feared the consequences back then. 

 Now I fear that young people have no such fear and some have no conscience either judging by what is filling up our juvenile justice centers. I am not joking when I say I feel that most of our generation merely fantasized about killing the bullies or making them disappear…When did it become okay in our culture to allow these kids to cross that line between right and wrong? Even if one is a bully, kids should be taught at an early age that MURDER is wrong. Period! I get really tired of some type of “disorder” getting credit for everything wrong imaginable in society anymore.

 Now were the actions the group I was with took “wrong”? Yes, they were. Were they abusive? Yes because of the humiliation he felt. Granted, at the time, we felt vindicated for how he made us feel, but we still felt an emptiness there…I think that emptiness came from the fact that getting “even” changes nothing about what has already happened. On top of that, we proved we were no better than he was–but my cousins would have literally beat him to a pulp if we’d told them about it and we would have felt even worse. Does that make it okay? No it does not. And people will say, “Awww you guys were just kids being kids.” Really? OH REALLY? Hmmm…Nowdays “Kids being kids” can lead to abuse, murders and suicides. If you don’t believe me watch the news and the talk shows that deal with the subject of bullying! It is out of control, people!

  Having the ideals of right and wrong on THIS subject instilled in me in the seventh grade made it easier to forgive others. If one cannot forgive others, they cannot move forward because anything from the past for which we harbor a grudge will poison our present every time–we just don’t realize it until later. As I said earlier, forgiveness is that hardest first step that we have to take, but it can be done. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to let things go–especially if we are the ones who were abused, taken advantage of or whatever the case might be.

 It can be done though–one day at a time–one issue at a time.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peter
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 12:51:08

    Ahh, I remember those days fondly. I was a bit small for my age when I was in Middle School and got bullied a lot. Healthy doses of Metallica and Korn got me through those days along with a bit of writing and playing guitar. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • kadja2
      Jan 13, 2011 @ 13:19:18

      Punk, metal and writing got me through it…I loved playing God with a pen and killing off villians that I modeled after the bullies. Unfortunately a lot of my writing landed me in the school counselor’s office! LOL

      Reply

  2. the domestic fringe
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 18:41:08

    Um. Sorry, but I’m still laughing at what you girls did to that boy. I want to say that I think he deserved every bit of it. Women everywhere around him should thank you today for breaking him of the habit of degrading women.

    Great post!
    -FringeGirl

    Reply

  3. Piper Bayard
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 22:06:28

    Yep. Sure is different. Back then, in my little New Mexico town, kids were officially sent to the principal’s office and unofficially expected to put the bullies in their place. If such things happened as what you and your friends did to a kid who had been abusing others, the administration was conveniently too busy to notice.

    Nowadays, they blame the victim. There was a child who punched my son every day for the first month he was in kindergarten. The school’s solution? Perhaps my son should be in a special group for undersocialized children to teach him how to interact more productively with the bully. Our solution? Punch him back. My son did. End of problem. That was 10 years ago, and they’ve been friendly acquaintances with each other for the past 4 grades.

    The modern “Peace Place” approach can be good for kids who usually get along and simply have a disagreement, but it is absurd for bullies. Thanks so much for your post.

    Reply

    • kadja2
      Jan 13, 2011 @ 23:27:00

      You’re welcome. Thank you for your kind response. Part II goes into a little more depth on the issue itself, but I will say this, groups divided trying to stop the bullying (the major bullying going on) doesn’t cut it. Whether one is gay, straight, male or female, groups need to unite behind the cause of ending the abusive stuff. It has gotten very severe–moreso than when we were younger. When groups separate into groups instead of uniting behind one big cause it takes to long to get things accomplished. I agree with your approach when it’s a normal situation, but if the kid being bullied develops severe issues, this country could see another Columbine. I don’t want that to happen ever again. My younger two were still quite impressionable, and they were scared to go to school for three days. So were a lot of other kids. They had counselors talking to anyone who wanted to discuss it. My kids were okay after going that three days and speaking with her. Again, thank you for your kind response.

      Reply

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  5. Sonja Brekhus
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 10:50:25

    Wonderful!! You are giving a perspective many do not see and that is of the bullied and of the vengeful… Forgiveness for you has set you free. This truly is the best part. If everyone could take a step back and forgive would life not be so much better for all? Blessings to you for sharing your experiences which were extremely traumatic with all to see for a better world..Love your Blog!

    Reply

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