Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sometimes you can't walk away

I am an easy going person. I guess it's in my DNA because my daddy and brothers were the same way. We'd go out of our way to avoid trouble if possible.
In grade school I minded my own business. My philosophy was live and let live, but there were some kids there who did not share this view.
One kid in particular was small in stature, but he was the biggest bully in grammar school. He picked on any kid that crossed his path.
I steered clear for the longest, but one day he cornered me on the playground. He began making fun of my shoes in front of my sweetheart at the time.
I kept a level had and took the verbal abuse but when I turned to walk away, he jumped on my back, put his arms around my neck, and laughed hysterically as he yelled, "ride me like a horse Watson!"
Something welled up inside me that I had never experienced before. I reached up with my hands, grabbed his forearms and flipped him over my shoulders with a force that was fueled by fear and anger.
He hit the ground very hard and his eyes rolled back in his head. "I've killed him," was the only thought running through my head.
As it turns out, I had only knocked the breath out of him. While he was still laying on his back trying to regain his breath, and his composure, I leaned in really close so that only he could hear me.
I told him if he ever bothered me again, I would beat him to death with my bare hands.
Not that I could have, or would have, but apparently he didn't want to chance it because he never bothered me again.
I would never advocate violence because it rarely solves any problems. It usually creates new and more complex issues, but there are times when it is very difficult to walk away.
Thankfully,  at least for me, those times have been few and far between.


  1. I had to deal with a bully in 6th grade. A boy a little bit bigger than myself at the time. He was relentless in provoking a fight and he got his wish one day. I snapped and punched him, and surprisingly (at the time for me) he ran away crying.

  2. My father used to tell me that he and his brothers were beat up at school because his father forbade them to fight. They were more afraid of their father than the boys at school.
    One day his father said he was sick of them crying about getting beat up and he gave them permission to fight back. They did, and then the bullies left them alone.
    I don't know of any other way to make physically abusive bullies leave other kids alone. I taught my grandsons to only hit someone if they hit them first. I feel guilty about it, but I remembered what my father told me and that is why I allowed my gransons to do it.
    I believe in turning the other cheek also, so this is a hard, puzzling question for me.

  3. Ornery had a very similar experience in high school. He is also inclined to avoid confrontation when possible, but the bully had bullied him one too many times. Having spent years working hard on the farm, his fist connecting to the other guy left a lasting impression. No more hazing. As far as I know, that is the only time he has ever reacted violently, but it sure made an impression on everyone at his school!


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