I wanted to share one last thought on bullies from our past before I go on to another topic. Again thanks to those who risked sharing your past painful experiences. They truly touched my heart.
I am the youngest of three children. My brother is four years older and my sister two years older. Yes, that makes me the baby of the family. I am 50 now and still the baby. Oh well, what can I say? Anyway, I too have a few bully stories to share, and I have used pieces of each in my new book The Pact. Here's where I came up with my top three antagonists: Joe Jennings, Sammy Smith, and Mark Hollister (yes, the names were changed even though the boys were not innocent).
When I moved from the city to the country, I was enrolled in a K-8 school called Giant City. I was no giant. In fact, I happened to be the second shortest person in our class (thanks Julie for not making me the shortest). Anyway, growing up the brother of a block bully of sorts, I was a little tougher than normal...especially for my size. My brother made sure I was able to defend myself.
Three boys from my new school tormented me. One boy at least had a smidgen of integrity. Every day at recess (yes, we still had recess in 6th-8th grade) he would try to beat me up. I had learned to wrestle, so I would avoid his first punches and wrestle the larger boy to the ground. Finally, having scissored my legs around his arms and chest, I would make him promise not to beat me up again. He wouldn't agree to that, but believe it or not, he agreed not to beat me up until tomorrow. On it went for about eight months. He would try to punch me and I would wrestle him to the ground. He would promise again for another day. I guess he finally got tired of trying, because that face to face attempt stopped.
Then it started happening more subtly. He and his two friends would start destroying my things. They ruined my lunch, my gym bag, and my clothes. They also started coming at me three at a time. Thanks to another set of three boys who stood up for me, the bullies finally left me alone. This is where I get the saying, "No one should ever have to stand alone." One thing I have learned about bullies. They rarely if ever attack by themselves. They usually need both the support and the audience. Deny them and they go on for other prey.
I guess bullies and their toadies are a little like the beasts of the wild. They too look for the straggler...the weaker animal that can no longer keep up with the herd...the isolated easy prey. Well, let's make an effort to make sure no one falls behind. Let's stand together and make sure no child or adult becomes easy prey to bullies and their like.
Thanks for listening. I promise, I'll change the subject on my next post.