ITLR- My First Experience with Bullies

i was in second or third grade. for the first 2-3 weeks of school my mom would walk with me to the bus stop. once mom was comfortable enough, i walked there alone and would wait to board the bus to school (and yes, it was a tad shorter than most buses. let’s get that one out your systems). well, eventally i had 3 other boys (all older/bigger then me), pushing me around and making fun of my for being so small.

my life was a 20 minute hell for the next 2-3 weeks.

i’d never really been in a fight before, but their picking on me left me angry and sad at the same time. angry that they were picking on me, and sad that i felt powerless to do anything against it. now, they never hit me. the most physical it ever got was them pushing me. it was the verbal assaults that bothered me the most.

one afternoon after running home after getting off the bus my Maw-Maw (my dad’s mom) noticed i was upset (it’s amazing how women can read their kids/men). “boy, what’s wrong?”, she asked in her very country accent. i told her nothing and i tried to go outside, i just didn’t want to deal with it. well, that wasn’t going to cut it with Maw-Maw.

i explained to her my dilema and she looked at me understandingly. she told me, “well, i see. and which one is the biggest?” after i told her she said to me, “ok. now look. tomorrow, i want you to leave about 15 minutes early (i always got there first) and you find a big stick. then, you hide. when they show up, i want you to sneak up on the biggest one and start beating him with the stick. but you do NOT hit him in the head. only the body and legs. you hear me.” i nodded and she let me go outside.

the next morning my Maw-Maw saw me off to school and reassured me about what she had told me to do. i got to the bus stop, found a sizeable stick, and hid on the side of a house behind the bus stop. evetually they showed up. i took a deep breath, crossed myself and charged after the ringleader. everything was a blur.

10 seconds passed in rush of boiling blood, humiliation and sadness.

evetually, he was on the ground screaming for me to stop. i quit hitting him, and broke into tears. some adults had come outside to check out the rukus. one of the adults walked me back to my home and Maw-Maw ended up driving me to school. thankfully, the day passed quickly and was uneventful. when i got home i ran back to the house. i started doing my homework and eventually, there was a knock at the door.

it was kid and his mom.

my mom called me to the front door and kid’s mom went on about my beating her son. my mom was oblivious to the whole thing. Maw-Maw heard the commotion and came to the door. now, one thing about southern women: they are delicate flowers until you mess with their brood. Maw-Maw cut kid’s mom off and launched into a verbal assault of the hell her son had been giving me. kid never looked at me during the entire exchange.

then Maw-Maw dropped the fact that she TOLD me to carry out the deed. my mother was in complete shock. i had NEVER been in an altercation before. after my Maw-Maw explained what had been going on, kid’s mom asked him if he had been bullying me. the kid meekly replied that he was “just messing with me”. that was all it took; she grabbed boy by the arm and scolded him as she walked him back home.

i was sent to my room.

a few days later the whole thing had come and gone. i was outside and my Paw-Paw (dad’s dad) came out side and told me he wanted to talk to me. Paw-Paw was Houma Tribe Indian. he never spoke to me as much as he’d just tell me what to do. so when he said he “wanted to talk to me” my little ass knew it was serious. i don’t recall exactly what he said, but it was along these lines-

“there are some men that have hearts full of sadness. these men can only kill the sadness by hurting others. these men are twisted. but they never harm men stronger than themselves. they hunt what they think is weak. these men, when they see true strgnth, they cower. they fear the warrior. what you did was show him a warrior, and he’ll never bother you again. it’s never about winning or losing, all that matters is that you fight. and it’s not just men or beast that this applies to- when you become a man, you’ll understand.”

i KNOW this isn’t exactly how he put it, since….well, it happened YEARS ago. but i always remembered that talk. and now it makes perfect sense. as i got older i realized what he meant. after popping my fighting cherry, i was a different kid. i NEVER messed with anyone. matter of fact, i hate fighting. but whenever a kid pushed me, it was on.

a year later, i was at school playing football (tackle). a kid tackled me and as he got up he pushed my face into the ground. i went into the red. on the next play i nailed the kid with a brutal hit. he got up and we went at it. it was eventually broken up and i ended up visiting the principle. of course the other boy denied doing anything to instigate me. i explained what happend to my mom and got i punished for a few days. but, something even more profound happened.

that kid never bothered me again.

when i saw fight club (read it after) and got to the part of the movie where Tyler ordered the guys to start and lose a fight, only to find that most men will avoid physical confrontation, struck a cord with me. it made an impression because, well…….it’s true. even Doc Illusion stated in twitter how fighting seems to be a regional thing. i know in the south, men fight.

i don’t like how they leave out the narration after the fight.

THIS ONE got me though. fast forward to 9:30 on the clip.

stay up


28 Comments on “ITLR- My First Experience with Bullies”

  1. Mister E says:

    Ah, words of wisdom from the elders, how right they are. If kids would only listen to half of that type wisdom these days. I was lucky and was always one of the bigger kids growing up but when I was still younger my folks told me to not fight until it was time to fight, then let them have it. Your Paw-Paw hit the nail on the head with his wisdom.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      my nephew had it out with a kid that was pushing him around. he thought he was going to get in trouble. his mom (a VERY very Christian woman), told him fighting is only a last resort and a form of defense. she wasn’t going to punish him for defending himself.

      On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 8:56 AM, dannyfrom504

  2. Tin Man says:

    Bullies are one thing, standing up for yourself is another. Not everyone (either girl or boy) gets that … most of the time, if someone is bullying you, it’s more about their sense of power/weakness than it is about yours. Growing up, I was small and young for my grade (which all works itself out toward high school) and in elementary school, I got picked on a lot by older kids. Well, there was another kids that was about my same size – maybe a hair bigger – and we just naturally teamed together. If you picked on one of us, you picked on both of us. If you wanted to fight one, you fought both. Forget about fair – this was about survival – and if someone that weights 20 or 30 pounds more than you, is about 6 inches taller than you starts something up – backup is a good thing to have.

    After a while, most bullies will decide to go somewhere else – it only takes a couple times for someone to get double-teamed to decided that it’s not worth it.

    To this day, I will get in someone’s face – my basic premise is this….you want to start something (which most don’t) we’ll just have to see who gets to finish it. In my mind, it’s more about the willingness than the actual act of fighting that’s important. If another man KNOWS by looking in your eyes that you will fight him, the doubts start to raise in his mind, because you are in the minority. One single thread of doubt is all you need – that and the willingness to get your ass kicked if it comes to that.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      i can spot a fighter vs. a talker a mile away. talkers put on a show hoping to get attention by looking like a badass. you push a fighter and they just check your chin.

  3. Tin Man says:

    I always like this clip from The Replacements … “Pain heals and chick digs scars…”

  4. earl says:

    That was some great advice. Especially the part that all that matters is that you fight. It means you have something to live for.

    Fight Club should be required viewing/reading for all men.

    Once I started sparring with a punching bag I learned two things.

    1) If someone messes with me I could fuck them up bad. I never knew I had that much power.
    2) While I get a weird enjoyment the bruised/bloody knuckles…I know human bones are much more unforgiving than a punching bag. So I don’t want to physically fight unless I have to…because it will mess me up pretty bad. I’ll stick to mental assassination first…fists as a last resort.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      like i said, he was a man of few words. which made his words more important. he’s the one that taught me men don’t complain; they solve the problem or shut up if they have nothing to offer.

      this is same man that taught me to run-down rabbits, basic tracking, wilderness survival, how to catch and gut a fish. the same man that did THIS to me.

      https://dannyfrom504.com/2012/04/24/on-hunting/

    • earl says:

      Man I wish I had a man like that to tell me the complain part directly. While my dad has a lot of good traits…complaining was one of his bad ones. I’m having to weed out my whining tendencies.

  5. M3 says:

    I never got that shpiel. I always got the ‘ignore them and they will ignore you’ which never helped. Every feminized person around me mom, teachers, people of authority, absence of my dad.. all conspired to tell me to Hold my head up high, take the higher ground, be the better man.

    Being the better man didn’t soften the taunts, pushes, knockdowns and blows.

    I really wish someone early in life cajoled me into taking a few swings at my tormenter. Win or lose, at least maybe i’d have earned respect and realized a good fight wasn’t the end of the world. (Today, with punks carrying guns and knives.. might be different tho)

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      Pull a gun or knife on me. Either I’ll be dead, or you will. I don’t care.

      I always loved the end of “legends of the fall” when Brad Pitt got attacked by the bear. I always thought- that’s how I want to die. That’s a man’s death.

      Not sitting in an ICU with tubes in every orifice, life beeping away. Fuck that. Give a knife and an angry beast to slay.

  6. stevie tellatruth says:

    good post, man. shows how our generation was taught to stand up for yourself, while this generation is groomed to sit back and expect somebody to come to your rescue. we’ll just see how well this works for society in another 20 years! (unless the manosphere REALLY makes a dent on the current narrative. i know, i know…i”m dreaming lol)

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      All I can do us look after me and mine.

    • Stingray says:

      There are kids in the youngest generation today re-learning these rules. We homeschool and at last count there are about 2 million homeschooled children today. Many. many homeschooled families are teaching their children old school rules. It will be very interesting to see what happens with these dearth of children as they come of age. They are still vastly outnumbered, but they have a lot going for them.

  7. The Mistress says:

    It’s just as you said: men fight. That has been a fact of life since life began. It can either be a matter of dominance and declaring your rank on the ladder (think of a wolf pack) or sport/blowing off steam, such as when you and Doc went at it in our room at the Bellagio.

    Most northerners have become so cowed by the thought of consequences that you hardly ever hear of bar fights, especially ones in which cops don’t get called. Down here, you’ll see one almost every single night. Once it’s done and all parties have released their tension, typically, they’ll end up slapping each other on the backs and buying each other rounds.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      Love you sweetie. I like the fact that you didn’t say a word and just moved furniture as me and hubster rassled.

      I admit, had Doc flipped the switch, he’d own me.

  8. Tin Man says:

    Now, my boys have that message loud and clear from me…people will fuck with you, but you don’t have to take it.

    My Oldest, is a Drama/Music kid, and is a pretty easy going guy – but don’t push him too far. He told me about how this “jock” at school was calling one of his drama friends a gay and asking him about it was like to suck dick and then asked my son how if felt to have his dick sucked by his gay boyfriend….he told his to fuck off, the jock decided to it was time to be a bad ass, and pushed my son – didn’t play well (I’ve always told both my sons, someone shoves you, time to give ’em a pop to test their will) – that what he did. Jock slinked off holding his nose and mumbling. He never had any more problems from the jocks after that day.

    My youngest, he’s a big kid, doesn’t cause too many problems. Well, got called to the school one day because he got in a fight. There was a kid that too him over the edge – first with verbal stuff, when that didn’t get too much of a reaction, shoved him and said “come on” – well, one punch and the kid was down – he was on his stomach, my son pinned him down with one knee and held him there trying to get him to stop struggling. He finally settled down. In the principle’s office, I was told that this kid had been egging this thing on for a couple weeks.

    Now, I don’t advocate fighting – but I do advocate sticking up for yourself, and defending yourself. My boys know I’ve got there back if they get in trouble at school – if they start it, then they admit it and take the punishment.

  9. Raul says:

    Sage advice. I’m not a fan of throwing fists at the bar but the paradox of it is that the willingness to if need be defuses almost all of those sorts of situations anyway. 90% of all bar fights at least where I’m from are started by come at me bro douchenozzle frat boys who usually have little real interest and even less aptitude in fighting. Yeah they’ll throw the occasional sucker punch if they’re drunk enough and/or enough of their boys are standing behind them but a firm you gotta be shitting me look in the eye and they’re good with telling you how lucky you are. Kinda like chicks really, carrying yourself properly cuts down on 90% of the bullshit.

  10. M3 says:

    Still, ya gotta feel bad for all the boys of feminist mothers or single moms/beta dads who teach their sons to be the bigger man, turn the other cheek and all that guff. When you’re young, you have no choice but to believe authority figures.. you’re survival kind of depends on it. Like breeding perpetual victims and doormats.

    The sphere wisdom needs to usurp feminist/feminine utopia unrealities.

  11. Stingray says:

    My son recently had a very minor brush with bullying. It really wasn’t a big deal, but we started teaching him all of this. Don’t start a fight, but be willing to finish it. He’s young, so of course, he was worried about this other boys parents yelling at him. We told him to not worry about that at all. Dealing with the parents is our job. They might yell at you, but if you were defending yourself, WE will never punish you for it. We told him, you may have outside consequences for fighting, but your parents have your back.

    It never turned into anything but it was the start of his learning of these situations.

  12. […] eventually, he was on the ground screaming for me to stop. i quit hitting him, and broke into tears.… […]

  13. Legion says:

    If my father found out any of my brothers or I were in a fight, we had to answer 2 questions honestly: no, yes.
    “Did you start the fight?”, “Did you finish the fight?”
    If we said no to the second question: “Then tomorrow you finish the fight.”


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