Day 24 Being Bullied!
Being bullied is terrible and it makes school more difficult then it needs to be. I try not to think of myself as a victim of bullying, however, denial doesn’t change the facts and there were many days that I was scared of going to school. It became the place I feared the most. Now, I wasn’t that typical nerd or weakling in the movies that gets pushed around. I held myself up and walked with pride, and I always stood up for myself. If someone was going to pick a fight then I would defend myself. Sadly, this is what most likely led to me to getting bullied because they knew that I would retaliate. They found an outlet for their aggression and pain.
The bullying started in fourth grade for varies reasons. Not related to it but I moved to a new school the next year. However, my bullies had friends who also went to my new school so it continued. To explain, I lived in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood and I was white. If you think that racism doesn’t exist anymore then you would be wrong. Children love to play out there parents’ hatred onto others and that is exactly what they did. I was the “cracker”, “wonder bread”, “bird shit”, and really anything they could think of as white. Verbal abuse was constant but I learned quickly how to play their game. It soon became our own little race war, me verses them. The odds were stacked against me and we preferred to handle our battles with fist. Fights normally happened during breaks, lunch, and off campus. Normally, I would end up in pain. There are many experiences that I will never be able to forget, burned into my memory. However, I would like to share my growth between two particular experiences.
During fifth grade, I was outside playing basketball when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the biggest kid I ever seen walking over to me. This guy looked like he had hit puberty at age five and was already standing six feet tall. Then from nowhere, I was surrounded by five other kids. One of them, their leader, started talking trash to me. I of course turned around to reply in kind. I had to stay strong in front of them, show no fear, because they wanted that. They wanted to break me down but I wouldn’t let them. From behind me the big kid grabbed and twisted my arms behind my back. Fear shot through me and I started to panic. The leader was quickly in front of me and started wailing on my stomach. One after another the punches kept coming. I struggled and yelled trying to get free, to escape my captor. Tears rolling down my face from pain, but I kept struggling. Finally free, either by force or release, I started striking at the leader then at the big guy who had held me. I was ferocious and angry, and they knew it. It was exactly what they wanted to see, me loss all of my self-control. They won.
During middle school, I made the acquainted of a high school student from my neighborhood. He made it his personal mission to beat the shit out of me. I remember very clearly the day when he got his chance. I was so happy and the sky seemed so beautiful. I was biking to school, with my brother on the back pegs, having a blast. Then a car pulled up alongside us and I saw the guy. He jumped out of the car and walked over to me, spouting off. He was ready for a fight, to show me that he was a man. He kept yelling at me to get off the bike and fight, but I stood my ground saying no. He walked up and punched me in the face, knocking it to the side. He continued to curse at me but I wasn’t paying attention anymore.
I was looking at who was in the car now. An older guy seated on the driver’s side smiled and laughed at me. Like there was nothing wrong with this picture. Then I was punched again and he continued to say racist comments, trying to goat me into the fight. However, I was still focused on the car. I could see through the back window a young girl who could only have been in first grade, her eyes staring into mine, not judging me, but confused and fearful at the situation. I could not stop thinking about this innocent girl. How could this guy be so callous in front of his sister? How could he show her such violence and hatred?
Tears rolled down my face, this time not only from the pain, but an internal pain. It crushed me inside that the innocent have to see such hatred in this world and end up becoming jaded, like the laughing and smiling driver. A bystander to the pain of others. There I was standing in front of my own brother with a choice. I could continue the chain of hatred or show him that violence isn’t the answer. That it is braver to stand and take a punch then it is to lift a fist. The guy eventually left not getting the fight that he wanted and I was never bothered by him again.
It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~ J.K Rowling