Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Killing of the Bullies

Shit. I've started it. It's been nagging at me for a while. It's been nagging at me for nearly 20 years. The assholes in my life who have bullied me. The ones who no matter how much time goes by, I still can't shake the anger and rage that wells up when I think about it.

I should be asleep in bed with my wife right now. I should be catching some z's because tomorrow is going to be a long day of work. Instead, I've been trying for the past 12 hours to write this post. This is the final version... Let's just say I've worn out Ctrl+A and delete today.

So, here goes. Want to know what goes through the mind of someone that's been bullied? Want to know why I strive every day to be a nice guy and stand up for the underdogs? Here's why:

Have you ever spent the first month of school being so nervous about bullies that you spend the first hour of the morning throwing up because you are so full of fear?

Have you ever felt as if no matter how hard you try to just blend, you still stick out like a sore thumb with a sign saying "Hurt me badly please?!"

Have you ever really had a wedgie so bad that your butt bled? I'm not talking about a little blood... I'm talking about being afraid of going to the ER because you can't get it to stop?

Have you ever been in the high school pool with the bully and pretend you have to shit for an entire hour because you know if you get into the pool, they're going to put you under until you actually think you are going to die?

Have you thought of 3,472,573,927,875 ways of killing your bully because that's far better than thinking about the pain you feel? And once you thought of every possible way of killing them, you then feel such guilt because now your own rage, anger, and violence that you want to direct towards someone is what you've been enduring?

Have you ever felt as if a supervisor purposefully sought you out just to pick on you?

Yep, here goes with my role call of bullies that should have had the shit beaten out of them repeatedly. Following everything they did to make my life hell. The people in high school I left the names out. The worthless supervisors in the Navy... Maybe their employers will find this and question the integrity of their employees....

Junior High School:
J.H. While this grade a Asshole never put his hands on me, him and his cohort P made sure that their words stung more than anything. Penzoil... That was the nickname gifted to me by these two. Why? I had pimples.. LOTS of them. I had oily skin. The joke? Hey JD, if you sold all the oil on your face to Penzoil, you'd be a millionaire! The one time I tried to stand up to P was on the weekend. I had gone to my school to go rollerblading. I just wanted to have some time to skate around on a nice blacktop that was smooth and envision being like the olympic skater Olav Koss. That dream was quickly taken away as P chased me around the blacktop with a belt and kept hitting me until I fell. I tried to defend myself but apparently her BIG brother was playing basketball. I.O. took it upon himself to come over and "defend" little sister. You know the "back breaker drop" that pro wrestlers do? I lost count at around 7 or 8 times being dropped on his knee. I laid there in my own pee and cried until they all left and I could limp home barefoot since they saw fit to take my rollerblades with them. Thankfully no one was home, I could take a shower, throw away the soiled clothes, and lick my wounds in silence. Sadly, most people who are bullied all go home and suffer silently. Trying to hide the shame they feel for not being able to stand up for themselves. We suffer silently asking God WHY? Why can't I fit in? Why do they continue to torture me?

High School:
R.P. and J.H., and the countless (worthless) wannabe gang bangers and their piece of shit girlfriends

Yes, these Grade A assholes were the ones who threw apples at me (IN CLASS), shoved me off the bleachers, tried repeatedly to drown me in the pool, gave me wedgies that again left my butt bleeding profusely. The ones that would pick on me in class and the worthless teachers who just shrugged it off. Yes Coach Johnson, I'm looking at you.

The worthless gang bangers who thought wearing red made them suddenly god's gift to the world and also gave them the right to torment every timid white boy who crossed their path. The ones who would throw rocks at me when I wasn't looking. That's why I started wearing baseball hats. They lessened the pain of a golf ball sized rock pelting me in the head.

This whole time of experiencing pain and humiliation grew and grew. Shit, I wish I could say that the bullying stopped at high school.

I joined the Navy. I wanted to serve my country. Too bad the military is full of roided out washed up football players who now have a chip on their shoulder. Or think of the people who were discriminated against in the early 80's and 90's. Three people come to mind who made me hate the Navy and wish they would fall overboard. BM1 Richard Blanding. This guy had to be the piss poorest example of a leader I've seen in the Navy. I guess because he was hazed and picked on by white guys when he first joined, it was his turn to return the favor. Guess who got the shittiest jobs on the ship? Yep, this poor timid white boy. Enter Chief Warrant Officer Ezell. He's the best example of reverse racism I've ever seen. He had his little pride and joy Seaman Hamilton. One day, Hamilton told me to "get the fuck out of my way" and I replied "Fuck off asshole". The next morning at Muster, CWO Ezell called me out in front of the whole department. He suspended my liberty for the entire visit to Bahrain and made me stand double watches each day. And then my final nemesis on the USS Cleveland.... Chief Warrant Officer Eugene Schlotterbeck. This guy was a flat out douche bag. He found every reason to torment me. He called me a fat ass, "Cantgetright", worthless excuse for a sailor. He did the same thing that Blanding did. He made me do the shittiest of jobs, work the longest hours, and endure the verbal onslaught day in and day out.

Those are the people that made my life hell. They are the ones who have shown me that the only way I can be is nice. I never got the chance to get revenge on them. I still want revenge. I've tried to shake the anger and rage that built up from the 6th grade on. It goes away most of the time. But then there are times like today (this post actually started last night), in which I can't shake it. I highly doubt the bullies remember any of these events. But I do. They are all scars on my heart and mind that weigh heavily every time the topic of bullies comes up. The shame I felt after one particularly bad experience with R.P. in which I drove home, grabbed a wooden baseball bat, drove back to school with every intention of finding him and bashing in his knees and ending whatever chances of playing football he had. How shameful I felt as I sat in my car and cried for the duration of 4th period, lunch, 5th period, and 6th period. nearly 4 hours I sat in my car. One minute enraged at the injustice. The next moment cloaked in self loathing that I had nearly stooped to his level. Going back and forth in the worst game of dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I'd ever experienced.

Thankfully, I chose not to assault R.P.

Thankfully, I've learned that the only way to stop someone from being bullied is to stand up and do something. I fact, I now make it a point to stop whatever I'm doing when witnessing bullying in action and do it in a swift and powerful manner. I may get my ass handed to me while doing it. But I know that if someone just once would have stood up for me, I may have found the ability to stand up for myself.

And Thankfully, because of the pain I endured, I will emphasize being a kind, loving, and gentle Man to my son. I will ensure that he knows it is completely unacceptable to bully someone. I will expect him to be a gentleman. He will be Chivalrous, he will be kind, he will be loving, and he will stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. He will befriend those who just need a friend. Simply, He's just another Nice Guy in training.


  1. Wow Justin, thank you for continuing the conversation here. So powerful. I can only imagine what it feels like to you to get that all out.

    The part that struck the greatest chord:

    I know that if someone just once would have stood up for me, I may have found the ability to stand up for myself.

  2. wow!!! excellent post!!! i hate that you had to endure such torment (both emotionally and physically) without anyone steppin up for ya. but you've grown into a greater man than any of those bullys could ever even begin to see themselves as. AND you've learned values and the importance of passing them along to your kids. YOU really ARE a nice guy!!!

  3. Justin, This was a great and touching post. I feel your pain in this because I went through it as a teen. I'd like to share with you this link from a fellow blogger. She has resources listed about bulling and organizations standing up against bullying. Her daughter also suffered from extreme bullying.
    Thanks for sharing this post and for the twitter follow.

  4. Dan- That's the part that always stumped me... Why no one ever stood up for me. Alas, that was then and this is now. I just know that because no one ever stood up for me, I vow to never let that happen if I ever witness the same thing happening.

    Bettie Mae- Thank you for the kind words. I wish that those events hadn't happened. However being the eternal optimist, I realize I went through those things and made it out alive to help others who might be in the same boat. I also know what isolation being the receiver is like so I know how to recognize it and then make sure I stop it for others when I realize it's happening.

    Vanita- glad to hear you made it out alive as well. I'm heading over to look at that blog now!!! What is your blog btw?