Beating the Bullies

September 2009 to March 2010-11

The expression of a bully

“Stop it.” I cry protecting my head from the onslaught.

“Stop it.” She mimics me in a whiny voice. Her eyes narrow, and her mouth is pulled into a sneer as she steps closer, trying to intimidate me further— like slamming a textbook on my head multiple times isn’t intimidation enough. “You’re such a baby.” She spits out the words in a tone of complete and utter dislike.

I look away assuming she is done her rant. I drop my arm down to my side wishing I could teleport home to safety. The book cracks down on my aching head one last time. I stare at her wishing she would burst into flames and burn to a crisp. I clench my fists. She looks at her friend, and giggles tossing her hair, like she just finished eating an ice cream cone.  “Come on, lets go to the swings.”

A few of the other girls who stood by and watched, gave me a sympathetic glance. I wonder why they didn’t help. I remember feeling utterly alone. Wow. What a loser I am, I thought. What’s wrong with me?

After school I went straight to bed. My head pulsed in pain and my guts rolled. I couldn’t even stand without weaving from dizziness.

When Mom arrives home from work, she pops her head into my room, “Hey, what’s going on?”

“I’m sick.” I moan, pulling the covers up higher.

She puts her hand on my forehead, “You don’t have a temperature, but you look pale.”

“I have a really bad headache Mom.” That’s all I said. I didn’t tell her my brain had been bashed like the top of a post by a post pounder. I couldn’t tell her. I didn’t want her to know what a loser I was. And I wasn’t convinced she wouldn’t care. My parents were unsympathetic to griping. I sure didn’t want to gripe. I was tougher than that. Besides, my parents were amazing; they were good-looking, confident and popular. They certainly didn’t want to hear about their loser daughter. I said nothing and spent the next two days in bed. Poor brain.

Years later I asked the girl who bashed my head why she did it— she said, “I’m not sure? I just know I hated you. I couldn’t stand you. But I couldn’t tell you why. I really don’t know.”

In high school I was a targeted again, a random girl started giving me the death glare, and roughly bumping into me in the hallway. I followed her into a bathroom one day and went all kung fu on her buttocks. Not really— a friend and I discussed my karate lessons at the sinks, while death glare was in the cubicle. When she came out of the stall, her chin was on her chest, like a wild horse that’s just been broke. No more evil eye for me, the karate conversation was a fictional ploy.

Is there a lesson in this? Don’t be a wussy? Maybe? I think the bigger lesson is, we need to teach the Vulcan death-grip in schools. It should be a special class for the kids most likely to get bullied. Once they have the aura of self-confidence to protect themselves, no bully will bother them. Seriously though, bullies are unavoidable, eventually you, or your kids are going to meet one. Don’t stick your head in the sand on this subject, or a bully will come along and spank your butt. And then maybe you’ll like it, and it’ll evolve into a whole other thing. All joking aside, teach your kids how to handle a bully. If you’re not sure, the Internet is a resource with more ideas than my damaged brain contains.

Peace out man!

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