Monday, November 1, 2010
BULLIES AND A LITTLE GIRL
In hindsight... growing up, is hard to do. I have empathy for all school aged children. It’s tough being a kid. You have to answer to everyone, while trying to figure out who you are. It can be difficult to conform. And marching to the beat of your own drummer is tricky, at that age. You can be labeled or ridiculed, for doing nothing at all. A lot can get lost in translation between adults and children. And between, children and children. Life is complicated. You have to HANG TOUGH. You can’t be too thin-skinned to survive the ups and downs along the way. I’ve reached the age, now… where if I want to wear my TRILBY out and about, I do so... and I ignore any snide remarks being bantered about, because of it. But kids don’t have that same filter. They haven’t learned to compartmentalize. They tend to take everything, to heart. And that can lead to heartbreak. When I was a small child... I was the victim of bullies. The elementary school was about four blocks away from my parent’s house. You could take the long way there or you could take the shortcut through the neighbor’s backyard. Every time I tried to take the shortcut… trouble reared it’s ugly head. I would start to climb up the long hill which lead to my street... when I’d get about halfway up, BAM, I didn’t know what hit me. I‘d end up tumbling to the bottom. I got there... because a small group of little hoodlums... would grab my books and papers, toss them all over the hillside, and then push me down, until I lost my footing and fell. They laughed and laughed, as they ran away, leaving me there, in tears, in a crumpled mess, to collect my things. I felt horrible. Being picked on, wasn’t fun. And this wasn’t an isolated incident. They did it to me, over and over again. I tried to fight back. But I couldn‘t defend myself. They threatened worse violence towards me, if I told anybody. I was scared. I was one lone little girl, up against an angry mob. I finally conceded, that I’d have to take the long way home, to avoid the confrontations. So that’s what I did, even though I thought it was unfair. I also eventually told my parents, who were quite upset... by my dirty clothes. And, by how long it was taking me to get home after school, each day. They alerted the neighbor to what was going on in their backyard. I wonder if those BULLYS grew up to be juvenile delinquents? Or became... mean, rotten adults? Perhaps, it was just a phase they went through as youngsters, and later outgrew? To this day, the memories linger and I will never forget the pain and humiliation I felt from their bullying. I’d like to say, this experience, made me stronger. I guess it did. But I still question why it had to happen, at all?