A tale of long ago

Bullies. A thing that is everywhere you go, even the internet has them, they’re known as trolls.  Everyone has their own stories of these people who pick fights just for fun, or to try and be the cool one.  Though in reality, it’s their own way of expressing how much they hate themselves.  They take their feeling and lash it onto others thinking it will make them feel better.  I have a lot of stories from my past of bullies and I’ll like to share one with you all today.

This all started back in 1989, when a young girl who I will call ‘Pain’, was in my class room.  This girl was one who liked to feel strong and like she was in charge.  Not only did I have to see her in school, she lived just around the block from me.  She was a normal face in and out of school.  Pain would stick with large groups of friends at school, though was one to play both sides of the field.  She saw I had talent in drawing and would encourage me to draw for cash.  Though if it suited her to turn her back on me, she would do so in a matter of seconds.

By this time in school I’ve already been broken to where I feared the kids around me.  I was in fifth grade, and the real gang fights I was going through started in third grade.  Pain was the only student in the class room that would talk with me.  So I would not turn her away when she would from me.  Though things would get worse with her switching up.  I knew she was not a friend, so she was never invited over to my house. I would not hang out with her at recess. I would only talk to her about art.  She even ordered a few drawings from me and paid.  I had hoped that at some point, she would stop trying to be the big kid in class.  Those hopes were too much.

She started to get worse through the year.  She stopped asking for art, she stopped even trying to remotely talk to me.  Pain became the one I had to watch out for more than anyone else.  She would get kids to gather after school to attack me.  She became the leader of the kids and I was her target.

This was also during the time that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came into my life.  Before reading the books and watching the movie, I had two ways of handling a fight.  One, I would run to try and hide.  Two, was to drop into a ball and let them beat me up protecting my face and stomach from their attacks.  If they caught up to me, then that meant I had to resort to trick two.  This is how I handled fights all the way back to third grade, though the Turtles changed that.  In the first film, Casey Jones has a one on one fight with Tatsu. After the fight ended another leader stepped forward shouting “What are we standing her for let’s get him”.

When I first read those words, I pictured the long lasting fights I would go through.  I pictured Pain leading her army at me and no where for me to go.  I thought at least with Casey he could fight back, though we were about to see an epic battle between Casey alone with the Foot Clan.  I pictured myself in Casey’s shoes and felt for him, not seeing away out.  Till I read the next part, as Casey threatened the new leader.  It broke every wall that I use to believe stood in my way... all the Foot gang members backed down, it worked.  Casey Jones showed me a better way to handle this.

I took this lesson and brought it to the fights at school.  As the kids would gather around me, I would focus on the leaders.  In fifth grade, the main leader was usually Pain.  Really she was a skinny girl, not much of a real fighter herself.  More of a loud person with a lot of commands barking out of her mouth.  I would challenge her, and her alone in front of the others and the fight would start with them all cheering Pain on.  I stood alone for most of these fights, as there was no one in my school that would dare call me friend or they too would be a target of these attacks.  It worked, if I beat Pain the other kids would back down, though it was hard to get to that point.

I was not the only one working to stop these fights. One fight was right in the middle of our school yard after school.  The police pulled up in shock to see so many children trying to beat up one little girl. When the police asked one of the kids why they were doing it, the child’s response was “Because my friends were”.  Another fight was in an open yard off of the main road, a route which I would take home from school when I had to walk.  This fight was stopped by a mother who just picked her daughter up from school. She swore she would of never believed anyone if they told her fights like this was taking place at this school.   Though nothing beats how another one of Pain’s attacks ended.

Pain had a group of kids surrounding me in an alley on my path home. Mom was late picking me up and I will not wait around the school in fear of being attacked.  As the kids were going around me, I was focused only on Pain. I knew she was the person I had to take down to end all of this.  She was directing the others where to stand.  I remember the alley, it was open and I knew it as Skateboard Alley, because the pavement was new and easy to ride my skateboard over.   The tensions were high as everyone’s eyes were on me and I could only see one thing, Pain.  She was going down by my hands or so I thought.

“SCRAM!” was all we heard from above us. I looked up in shock to see my mother standing there right over the children who were attacking me.  Pain turned a few shades whiter before she took off with her army of kids. I did not get to prove my point that day, but I did get to see my mother scare the living day lights out of these faces that were stone cold just a second before hand.

When I did finally get to fight Pain one on one, it was a small fight.  Her army was not there.  The witnesses were one of her friend’s and a few of the little kids on the block who would hang out with me.  I took Pain to the ground, winning the fight.  She came to my house that day with an old scratch to point at, and her mother screaming at my mom about how I beat up her little girl.  My mom gave me a congratulations and told her mom to leave.  While I still had to put up with Pain from that point on, her fights were more from a distance throwing things at me or just trying to use words to insult me.

Where is Pain these days?  I don’t know, the last I heard about her was years ago.  In eighth grade, Pain got into a fight with a teacher and was sent away.  I did see her mother once when I was going yard to yard to rack leaves with the same neighborhood kids who saw me beat Pain in that fight.  It was years later, I did not even realize it was her mother till she cheerfully knew who I was.  She told me that she gets to see her daughter from time to time, and even said sorry for what her daughter did to me.  I ended the talk soon after realizing who she was and went on my way, never return to that house.  The last I heard of Pain, she was sent back to our normal school, her name was a whisper in the hall ways, though I never saw her again.

Bullies are people with their own stories as well.  While I hate what they did to me, I learned a lot about the people around me and how to not let words of strangers affect how I feel about myself.  Pain was a girl with many different talents.  I do not know her reasons for being a bully, all I know is that I was the target of her attacks.

Entertainment Earth

 

Comments

That's a very nice story Michele. Pain got what was coming. I also used Casey Jones as my role model, as well as Duke Nukem. I was never really "bullied", but there was a kid in grade 8 (i was in grade 7) who would sometimes mess around with me when i separated from my friends to use the washroom. I ignored it for the most part, even thought it gradually got worse. This might have been the reason they kept it up for a few weeks. (He pushed around a few other kids too) Until one day that I will never forget.

I was having a bad day already, and it was lunch time. So i was with my friends, but i had to go to my locker to get something. On my way to the locker I happened to walk past the guy who messed around with me and his friends. I heard them chuckle, but whatever, I just kept walking. Then i heard footsteps behind me. I stopped when the guy grabbed me by the back of my hoodie and started talking like an asshole. I really cant remember what he was saying, because i was shocked he actually grabbed me. Just showing off for his friends I guess.

They circled me (3 plus the guy, so a total of 4) and the guy actually punched me in the arm. That pissed me off, and without a second thought I socked him strait in the mouth. The punch was actually so hard that it knocked him backwards into a vending machine. I had never hit anyone before then, or had ever been in a fight (other then with my brother) and at first i thought i was gunna be in huge trouble, but then i realized it was more important not to let someone walk all over you. (I did feel a little sorry for letting my instinct lead to it though)

His friends stood in shock, all the guys i thought were tuff stared with their mouths open. The "bully" was holding his mouth, and his face was turning red from being embarrassed, and i could see in his eyes he was going from shock to anger. Though I did feel bad for hitting him, I decided not to show it and just stay strong. Looking at him strait in the eyes I said "Make your move." He looked at the crowd of people around us, then at his friends and then together then walked out. My best friend plus a few other friends came over to me and congratulated me on "kicking his ass"

I felt pretty bad about it though.. It's not in my nature to do something like that. However, after that day I never saw him pick on anyone ever again. Then years later I found out the reason he acted the way he did was because his parents abandoned him at a young age and he was being passed around foster homes as a young child. For that, i felt very bad.

Then when I was in grade 12 he happened to have to stick around another semester and was in my media class with me, by the end of the semester we had become pretty good friends. I still hang out with him every now and again.

Michele Ivey's picture

Wow, what an amazing inspiring story. It's great that things were able to go full circle, you learned what caused his actions and even became friends with him. I can not say that the same has happened for me, but it's what I would rather think of in life than everyone holding grudges. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

i remember horrible things happening to you in school. i still have your 7 th grade school picture where u wrote on the back that u were glad i accepted u for who u r. you r an inspiration michelle and u should continue writing . im going to read this story to my children and let them know even if they r not bullied they need to speak up if they see it.

Michele Ivey's picture

Thank you :) I know there's a lot more stories I could share on the subject, though I usually try to share the things that makes me smile about life. I feel that every now and then I should share some of the stories that will show the other side of my life too. I'm glad you liked this write up. And thanks for the comments.

you are a hero - you are a survivor- you have my respect. As a child to find a way to deal with the bullies of the world who have others do their dirty work for them as they are cowards at heart is commendable. God bless ya

From bullied to bully to buddies.

My name is Paul Wiederhold (weeder-hold) and naturally kids would make fun of me calling me wiener hold etc etc. (the family curse I guess lol). Michele I read your story last night and wanted to share a few events through my life being on both sides of the fence. Before I start I want to say that I am sorry people were rude to you. I am sure people have their reason’s and back stories as to why they are bullies, but it never makes it right. Using the TMNT to give you confidence is awesome and I am glad that despite the obstacles, you overcame. Someday I will have a family of my own and am sure I’ll be tracking your story down to share to both teach my children not to be bullied or to be bullies. We all mature differently and children can be very cruel; I hope to raise decent people.

So through gradeschool (we’ll start k-4) I was kindove an outcast, I mean I had friends etc but never had a set group I would hang out with. I floated between all groups, which was nice because I knew everyone, but I didn’t have a ‘home’ so to say. I couldn’t talk sports because I didn’t know any of the players etc and was just in limbo socially I guess. I hated gym because I wasn’t the greatest at sports, & recess was so-so. I wasn’t really bullied as much as just picked on, & at home being the youngest brother of 3 I also was bullied a tad, but that’s brotherly love haha. Kids of all ages can be mean but I guess k-2 wasn’t that bad and people realized my last name could be made fun of around 3rd and 4th grade. So in those later years I started to not care that people made fun of my last name and at times made fun of myself with them just to get them off my back. I developed apathy towards being made fun of and use that as my defense mechanism through high school. The major event besides beginning to not care anymore, was one day I think it was after school or at the end of recess. A taller guy was walking towards me at the edge of the playground and I was backing downhill (literally) towards the large field behind the school & playground. He was taunting me etc and all of a sudden something snapped. I said out loud something along the lines of “You know what, I wonder what would happen if I started walking towards you, what are you going to do huh?” I just started walking towards him and he was shocked. He started backing up and away and left; it was a great confidence booster. I’m sure much like you felt when you took pain to the ground.

Grades 5-8 were at a different school and I didn’t have many issues. I made friends, was in boy scouts, but still floated between all the crowds. I still have 2 very good friends from grade school. High school was a little different. Nobody I knew from 8th grade went where I did and it was an adjustment. I was again picked on for my last name, but had made a promise that I wouldn’t be pushed around in HS. One of my first classes I stood up for someone who was being picked on by two idiots. They then turned they harassment on me and so I just took their little love notes to the dean who was also their hockey coach and it ended. The kid I stood up for recently invited me to a baseball game; we didn’t really talk about high school, but I could tell it was a thank you.

I believe my reasons for becoming a bully later freshman year were many. I had joined band and even among nerds felt left out, I wasn’t doing to well in classes and I think it just all added up. In Spanish class I picked on the kid who sat in front of me. I would pen-burn him. You rub the tip of your pen on the desk until it’s hot and put it on the back of someone’s neck; it was one of the fads that went around. The reasons I stopped after maybe 3 weeks because I realized what I was doing was wrong. I didn’t want to get in trouble and could tell the person was reaching their limit. Above that thought I saw myself becoming the people who used to make fun of me, and knew I didn’t want to turn into them. One day I asked the kid I was picking on to hang out, amazingly he accepted and we have been friends ever since. I know I wouldn’t be the same person I am without him as a friend and a glad it worked out in the end. I didn’t bully the rest of HS and am happy I didn’t turn into a bully forever.

Michele Ivey's picture

That is a great story, I can never say I bullied anyone in school. If anything I've bullied the bullies online who come to my chat rooms looking for fights. They think words on a screen will hurt me, so I toy with them. They end up leaving. But I never look for anyone to go after. I just use what they give me to defend myself and those in my chat room. I too didn't fit in with the other nerds at school, never liked sports or most tv shows for my age groups, wasn't even in to D&D or anything like that... so never had a nitch, I ended up getting a small group of friends in High School and it was kind of funny how we made friends. One sat next to me so she could get to know me, because I was the blur in the hall way. Another one was a new girl, said hi to me and right afterwards other kids tried to warn her to stay away from me, she got after them that she'll choose who her friends are. And the other two, well they were different in their own way. Over all those four friends are still the people I hang out with to this day.

It's awesome you were able to make friends with the person. Friendship is the best thing that can come out of any of this.

Thanks so much for sharing your story! :)

I was lucky in elementary and junior high I didn't experience bullies. High school was a monster of different set of teeth I can say I was never bully physically but more of the you talk and look funny variety. I felt bad because I tried to fit in by acting fake and picking on the other "outcast" or worst hope they show up and hope they draw most of the heat while people left me alone.

The turning point was the second half of my junior year where I felt so bad I wanted to give up on everything but something came over me that gave me the sense of screw it be yourself and my whole view change. I went from a god awful student to being middle of the pack (A-to Bs but I still sucked ass in math),more people thought I was cool not jock cool but that dude is funny cool, if someone insulted me, I usually hurl a funnier insult back, treated people that were view as outcast or freaks with respect and most importantly I stop giving a damn what people in the small fish bowl world of high school thought about me.

Even when I run across bullies online I still used the tactic of humor along with using whomever talking trash logic against them.