The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

When I was little, the world was a scary place. Everyone was bigger, smarter, funnier, prettier, luckier and more talented than me. They had joyful lives. They didn't fear spiders. They could run faster, swim better, hit the ball. They knew what they wanted to be when they grew up and they were good and successful at everything they tried and the whole world loved them. All of them. I very much wanted to partake of the fruits of society. To be invited to the party of life.

In elementary school, I got beaten up everyday. I still remember the girl that did it. I often imagine her and wonder where she is and how her life turned out. I hope she didn't end up living some dreadful, painful life of want due to the bad Karma she must have acquired for her cruelty. As I got older, I realized that she must have really felt awful about herself. She picked on me to feel better. I doubt it was a successful plan. There was another girl too. She never hit me. But her words hurt worse. I've searched for her from time to time since the advent of the www. She reminded me of a chihuahua. I would think about that when she was running her mouth. As she was spewing her hateful mantras toward me, I would picture a little yippy dog with little hair and bug eyes. It always made me laugh. To this day, whenever I see one of those dogs I think of her. It still makes me laugh although I feel a little bad about disparaging all those sweet little dogs.

It's important to point out here, that for every unkind, creepy kid, I knew far more who were kind, and well, normal.

There's a moral to this story. When someone hit me, I would not hit back. I would stand there and take it, but I would not raise a hand to my aggressor. I think I knew even then, though I didn't understand it at the time. I knew that I did not have it in me to inflict that kind of pain. I don't think that girl ever even bruised me. She hit as hard as she could, but other than the discomfort of a blow to the stomach, she didn't physically hurt me. It was my spirit she broke. I did not understand the need of some to hurt someone else. I was incapable of being unkind in that way because I knew how painful it was. I suspected that nothing I did would hurt as much as whatever it was that was already causing them pain.

As an adult, those concepts are much clearer to me now. Always wondering what is going on in the lives and minds of those who punish themselves by punishing others. The mystery is seldom revealed. As children, we often mistake kindness or apathy or even differences for weakness. I suppose we do that as adults as well. We don't beat them up anymore. Not physically. We withhold love, friendship, respect. We roll our eyes or discount their opinions, assume those we see as weaklings to be wrong or incapable of contributing. Unfortunately for us as well as our victims, we most likely missed opportunities to see within.

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What I didn't understand as a child was that pretty much, everyone else felt the same way. In my later years, that would evolve into quite a relief. I wanted to be normal, whatever that was. As it turned out, I was. Finally, I recognize the weakness of those who would belittle another in attempts of self edification.

I still don't hit back.

Views: 15

Comment by SydTheSkeptic on March 21, 2011 at 12:55am
Dana, you're amazingly compassionate to be wondering about that person who bullied you- because chances are she's wondered about you, and has felt great remorse for her actions.  Up until age 12, I was that bully.
Comment by Dana (scribblers sanctuary) on March 21, 2011 at 1:49am
Ah Syd, and we both survived our childhoods. What a glorious thing. :c ) I found the chihuahua. Never did contact her though.
Comment by photo2010 on March 21, 2011 at 2:49am

I had a boss who was a bully. For some reason he treated me horribly in words and actions. I loved my work, he was the biggest negative for me. I gave 100 percent of my ability, time, and ultimately my health to my job. I once asked someone if he thought my boss was bullied as a kid. He said that my boss was probably a bully as a child.

One day a terrible thing happened. One of my boss's sons was diagnosed with cancer and passed a short time later. I gave my boss a hug and told him how sorry I was. However, instead of my boss becoming sympathetic to my health problems, he treated me even worse. Eventually he quit, and my new boss was much more empathetic. About a year later, I heard that my old boss's other son had a massive heart attack while driving, and died. These are horrible things that I never wished on my boss, even though his actions I believe led to the illness I deal with daily. However, I do believe in Karma. There is also a belief in my old boss's religion, that children pay for the sins of the Father. I was bullied a lot growing up, and the memories of it are still painful. It still goes on with people who were caregivers to my Mother and me, and the bullies who are on the board of my condo. I still take the high road, and that's my choice.

Comment by lima on March 21, 2011 at 1:28pm

I was such a skinny stick rail growing up I was picked on constantly... but for some reason, I did not like normal, so I tried to do anything and everything to not be normal.   The words always seemed to cut more deeply than the pushing or shoving... I came from a very  strict religious family that always spoke of the golden rule as a mantra... kindness and karma was always taught, instead of vengeance, We might not see the outcome today, tomorrow or even next week, however sooner or later it all catches up... I was taught to walk away.   

Several years ago I was at a party where some drunk stranger came up to me and my friends and punched me in the face so hard it knocked my earrings out. I was somewhat upset, just standing there, I remember looking at her, telling her she was not very smart, these days you don't go around hitting strangers, and the next time she did,  she better make sure she knocks the person out. 

I turned around and went home with a hurt ego.

 

 

Comment by NatureJunkie on March 21, 2011 at 4:12pm

Stories for children usually address the topic of bullying by stating that bullies are cowards and that standing up to them makes them shrink away. I have never found that to be true in my own life experience. Confronting a bully is tantamount to backing an angry animal into a corner. My tactic is to remove myself from them, whether it's a boss or a new acquaintance. For me, withholding love, friendship, and respect from such people isn't about punishment, it's just self preservation.

 

Like you, I don't hit back either. Time and nature always seem to take care of them for me.

Comment by photo2010 on March 21, 2011 at 6:43pm

@Lima, I was bullied because I was a heavy kid. There was also a lot of 'sibling rivalry' between me and my older brother. He bullied me until one day when I put him in a half-nelson and he cried. But at times it was so bad that I had to go over my Grandfather's house after school, or sit at my Mom's workplace. We were 'latchkey kids'.

 

@NJ, my natural tendency is to walk away, avoid, withhold love or friendship, but there have been a few times in my life when enough was enough. There is a recent news story showing one kid being bullied. He picks up the bully and literally throws him down in a crumpled heap. While I abhor violence, this kid had clearly had enough, and with the torture I endured growing up, I can't say he was wrong.

Comment by Dana (scribblers sanctuary) on March 21, 2011 at 7:15pm

Photo - I don't know if I believe in Karma or not (although I talk about it all the time:c ), but I like to take the high road too. Just in case. 

Lima - I agree - words hurt much worse and much deeper. 

NJ - I was referring to the negative with bullies being the withholders, not the victims. I agree. Self preservation and Time and Nature. I hope you're right.

 

 

Comment by Pypermarru1 on March 21, 2011 at 8:41pm

Great Blog, Dana - as usual.

I've been 5`9 er so since birth it seemed.  Once I got to high school everyone finally caught up. 

Never got bullied.  I was in the quickest fight in history in elementary school years- got punched in the stomach, resulting in me rolling down a dirt hill.  Apparently, she was done shit talking before I was...ha

Humiliating? YES!  Longest walk home I ever had....humiliation makes your feet heavy :0)

 

Thanks for bloging again.  I love it.  When I see you have a blog on the Ark, it's like finding a 20 dollar bill on the street.  SWEET :)

Comment by lima on March 21, 2011 at 8:52pm
@photo, latch key here too.   I hope yall get along now.
Comment by photo2010 on March 21, 2011 at 11:03pm
@Lima, it's far from perfect, but we try. Basically we live 3 hours apart so we don't see each other much.

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