A Bullied Kid’s Bodyguard

» Posted on Nov 17, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on A Bullied Kid’s Bodyguard

I am posting various people’s stories about being bullied. I want to thank people for sharing their stories on my blog. This is another tale of a person being bullied and how it affected him throughout his life:

Margaret, I think I told you in the bookstore how I had been bullied at several stages in my life.   First time as a three or four year old child by a neighbor boy who threw mud through a fence knot hole as I peered through.   Another in the 3rd grade who threw a rock striking me in the eye.   Same year (perhaps same kid) who was our back yard neighbor who would not let any of us ride bikes past his house or on his street (him throwing rocks).  His father was an FBI agent as I recall.    Same in Jr. High School (8th grade) when on my first day in the home room a teacher who was oblivious to the gang thuggery in her home room of a white trash kid ring leader and his gang of Hispanic kids that picked on another tall young but emotionally troubled young man (special needs).   All day long I had resisted their butting into conversations in the art class home room to pick on that kid.   Not till the last period did they shove me into the kid and as I did they all jumped me in front of a coach who was indifferent to intervene.   And from that point on that special needs kid was not bullied but I was.  Mercilessly.   Especially in the hallways and bathrooms (where I was indeed a challenged young kid with catheters and leg bags) in stalls without doors or locks.    

You talked about reaching those who could make a difference, those standing by.  I had several who did try to stand up for me, an African American young man was my friend in that classroom.   And a principal who knew something was wrong but would not intervene (and I never had any like or respect for him after that), even socially when my mother became a teacher at that school a year after I went on to High School.  Finally, not sure what did it but something did and I was transferred into another home room where the leader of that room, a cowboy kid, said ‘now that you are one of ours they’ll leave you alone.  They know I’ll kick them cold.’  And sure enough I was left alone with those standing for me.  Why they didn’t before? Because (they said) it was not their ‘home room.’   And as good as they were its sad its almost territorial in how far one will go to stand up for another.

In high school my parents paid for a body guard for me.  A friend of theirs from church had a son who was very large (tall) think and crippled himself.  He drove me to school every morning and home each night.  He was a senior then and in some ways it was good – in some not. Later, in the next grade my mother I think talked to my neighbor’s mother and father whose son (a year older than I) and who was a very handsome and man’s man kind of person, Guy, was instructed daily by his mother or father to ‘wait for Steve,’ as I walked to school then with them to and from. The bully, though my freshman year continued to bully me in PE with another aloof coach not really attentive.  I had hair on my legs (then as a result of drugs or whatever for the urology condition) and he used to come by and pinch it from behind me in those horrible gym clothes.    And I never showered.   It was hard enough just dressing/undressing and being picked on by body parts.    

Those cold things some say last a lifetime for a man.  To this day I don’t undress in public places (like gyms or Y’s) and it reflects in not being athletic myself even for health.  Coaches, teachers, administrators – most were either aloof or would not get involved.  A few did and they were saints.  Thank God for many of them like Coach Osborne (baseball), Mrs. Ramos (Choir) and Mrs. Burns (Art) in High School.  Mr. Pitts (World Religion) and Mr. Clark (World War II).   An Army former Col (retired) was a treat to have in studying WWII.  And he did not put up with bullies.  But I always looked over my shoulder for four years and never attended many reunions for not wanting to see the bully again.