Bully Incident #5: The Long and Winding Road

Dirt PathSome of my past bully stories are right on the top of my head. Many others are buried deep deep down and pop out at interesting times, mainly when some smell or sight triggers them. I was walking down a dirt path in my neighborhood when this one came back to the surface of my mind. This story is less about a bully, but more about the sacrifices I made in my life to cope with the bullies.

Fear is a terrible thing. It grips you and makes you do things that are out of your character or beliefs. We see it all the time in the modern world. I recall how fear made me lose one of the most valuable things in my childhood and in life in general, TIME! We all have to live knowing that each minute of our lives is one minute closer to our deaths. As adults we hear that we should always live for today and make the most of your time, particularly as it gets shorter.

But, as children, we see all the time in the world. As I look back, I realize how much time I lost due to fear of bullies. A prime example of this was a daily routine I started when the bullying got really bad around my 5th grade year of elementary school. When the 3 o’clock bell rang, the last thing I wanted to do was leave school, like the other kids, because of the fear I had that the bullies were out there waiting.

I was a walker to school. I lived about a mile away from the school, but as a kid, it felt more like two miles. The school was surrounded by trees, plenty of places I could be pulled into and beat up. Often, a bully would be waiting for me at the end of the day. I came up with a plan every day. I waited about 10 minutes until all the kids had left and the buses left. My bullies were so patient, I knew they were still waiting for me, so I came up with an idea.

I realized I could run out the side door of the school and into the tree line. I would cut through the forest, which was three quarters of the way around the school and come to a dirt road that was a good 200+ yards away from the school. If I walked up that, I would come out far enough down the street I needed to be on, that the bullies wouldn’t see me.

I did this every day for two years. Based on the 10 minutes I would wait and the extra 15-20 minutes it would take me to get to the road from the treeline and path, I lost 30 minutes a day for two years, just to avoid bullies. Doing some math here, let’s assume I went to school for 200 days a year and I did that for two years. That means I lost 8.3 days of my life out of fear and doing this long routine.

I mentioned that I did this for two years. I would have done it longer, but one of the bullies finally found out about my routine. I got away with it for two years, but once it was found out, then it got really bad. That story, I’ll tell later. There’s two more years of stories to tell before then.

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6 thoughts on “Bully Incident #5: The Long and Winding Road

  1. Mr. Eisenberg,

    As I indicated on another note that I would do, I have now linked to your splendid anti-bullying website. I have also read several of your blog posts and found them enjoyable and edifying. I particularly appreciated this post. As I noted in my introduction to the link on my website, it brought back memories.

    As I said in an article I wrote, one lesson I have learned from life with certainty is that one should never consider one’s self as being totally unique. Whatever problems one has, it is a certain bet that someone, somewhere is suffering the same.

    Take care and best regards,

    Don Schneider

  2. Thank you, Don, for your comments and for adding me on your website. It is good to know that there are others with the same crusade to solve these bullying issues. I appreciate you helping out on your site.

  3. We would like more information, has the film been made?
    I had to remove my child from school because of bullying. I’ve been thinking of starting to interview families like us about the toll it takes on everyone in the household. Not to mention the financial toll of therapy, relocation…loss of self esteem.

    • As with many things, the documentary film is still a work in progress. I have not been able to secure the funding needed quite yet, but it will get made. Currently I am speaking at schools and continuing to battle to have schools embrace bullying solutions. I am sorry for what you have had to go through.

  4. Dear Alan,
    I write from Singapore. There is a serious issue of bullying in schools in this little island also, and I cannot wait to see your documentary. I commend you for doing all within you to make this world a better place, and for doing good with your life despite your traumatic experiences as a child.
    I had visited your website having felt the lack of vindication for my son over a bullying incident in school. I hope more can be done to improve the moral consciousness of human beings in today’s world, and now take it upon myself also to contribute in whatever meaningful way I can toward this end.

  5. Reblogged this on Bullying Stories and commented:

    This particular story is one that always sticks in my mind. Someone said to me the other day not to look at this story about how I lost eight days of my life, but how I spent two years avoiding bullies. I’m not sure I agree that life time loss is equal to the time lost trying to avoid bullying. I do try to avoid being sad about this particular story now and see it as a sign of my creative brain trying to work out solutions as a child to complex situations. That does offer me some comfort.

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