If you read my last Bully Incident story, you read about the moment I decided t0 fight back. This was not really what I wanted to do, but unfortunately learned that it had an effect that I wanted. Now, that bully was no longer a bully to me.
Bob though was my long-term bully who had been bullying me for over 3 years now, without me ever fighting back. Even though Bob was much bigger than me and just looked tougher, I knew that I’d have to face him again and made a decision to fight back. Again, if it was my choice, that wouldn’t be the way it would go, but what choice did I have. At least that’s the way I felt.
I can still see the location of this fight. It was on the side of the school, away from the teachers who were supposed to be watching. Of course, Bob ’s group cornered me in and then the well-known fight circle formed. It’s funny how kids can sense a fight coming and they just naturally form a circle around the fighters to keep the adults away.
So, Bob started in with the insults and bullying punches. What he didn’t expect, after 3 years, is that I would take a swing. I did and connected, although not well. Now, I’m sure you can visualize the next part. He is surprised, but starts swinging. We grab at each other and wrestle to the ground where we tumble around and try to punch each other. The kids start screaming and yelling as their adreneline kicks in and the true animal aggression of the human being comes out. We are all just slightly above our animal cousins, right?
Now this goes on for a few minutes until finally an adult gets wind that there are near no kids in front of them. As they approach us, the kids warn the bully and the fight ends. The adults round the corner and see nothing but a gathering. No one will admit to anything.
But…I did fight back this time. That was seen and unfortunately the result is good. Bob will not pick on me again. I say unfortunately, because it is sad that I have to throw punches and be punched yet again for it to end. But, that’s the way of the kid in that day. Maybe it still is the way of the kid. I don’t know, having long grown up. Of course, just because Mitchell and Bob are not picking on me, doesn’t mean there aren’t others. But, those two are done for now. They swim in my memories as mean, vicious, boys and who knows what they have become as adults. I still see them as 10, 11, 12 year olds. They will never grow older in my memories.
It is unfortunate, because they could be stand-up adults, although statistics might say differently. Am I glad for the day that I fought back? YES! YES! YES! Am I proud? NO! NO! NO! Do I think it has made me a harder adult with a more cynical attitude at times. You bet! Someone wrote to me that they felt bad for me. I don’t feel bad or sad anymore. I feel like these stories and these moments formed me and in some ways made me who I am today. I am successful at work. I have a wonderful family. I just have personality traits that I am not happy about having, but can analyze them and understand their origins (at least in my mind).
Yes, I wish these moments didn’t happen, but I don’t look back with regret. We all have things that formed us. It could have been worse for me. People have suffered in life a lot worse than me. But as I remind my mother and wife sometimes, this IS my life and while I know people have it worse, this is what I have personally experienced and that’s what affects me. I don’t regret it, I just want to better understand it and see if I can help others avoid it. If I can do that much, I will be that much happier with myself.
And yes…the worst is still to come. You have not heard about Ryan and me. That is still the ultimate story to be told.