Friday, May 02, 2008


I don't like bullies, the other day Tracy got stopped by a police man for not indicating, if you live in Ibiza you will know that this is ridiculous hardly anyone indicates I have even seen police cars not indicate. Tracy just got told off so it wasn't really that bad.

When we were young we moved to England from Ireland and one of the things that happened was we got bullied for our accents, actually I have never really thought of it as bullying just mickey taking, but in hindsight it was quite cruel. In the end my brothers and I either ignored it or got in a fight over it. People often referred to us as "paddies". We lived in an area where all the kids went to a different school they regularly chased and harassed us, many of them where much older than us.

I remember one of these older guys with a large group of friends who where walking by us one night, he was 18 and us only being 14 and 15 he threw his weight around and just barged straight in to us with his shoulder, we kind of over reacted, my younger brother broke his arm with a pick axe handle. Because the bullying had become a little intense we had taken to carrying weapons to protect ourselves. A few weeks previously I had been beaten up by about 10 of these older guys, they jumped all over me.

What ensued was an even more prolonged period of revenge seeking by the victim of our little incident. I was sitting at a bus stop with a girl and he turned up with his mates they beat me with a motor bike crash helmet. He then found out where I worked which was at a little market stall on Saturdays (selling girls shoes!). He would stand there every saturday with his mates stirring at me, just standing glaring, this would intimidate me immensely I would like to say I was brave and handled it well, but I was a coward it frightened me. Constantly looking over my shoulder, a nervous sick feeling in my stomach, fear of going to work the threat grew and grew in my head. The worst thing was that the fear became very private and internal, I didn't tell my brothers i just lived with it and became increasingly nervous. In the end I told myself that I deserved it, after all it is completely wrong to break someone's arm, even if I didn't do it, I was party to the crime.

About two years after the incident I was a little older and a little bigger I saw the guy walking through a park something in me just snapped. I jumped out of my friends car and chased the guy, eventually I caught him this time it was just the two of us it was a little bit messy but I won. I'd like to say it felt wrong but actually it felt good I had finally defeated the bully. He never troubled me again.

What's the moral of the story?
1. Don't break peoples arms with pick axe handles
2. Bullying is often more mental than physical
3. You are always stronger than the bully
4. Fear gives them strength and fear keeps you weak
5. Violence tends to lead to more violence
6. Sometimes you have to rise up and fight back

Today I live a totally non violent life, in fact violence makes me very nervous, I hate seeing fights in the west end and would loathe to see my children ever be violent. Thankfully they go to an international school that celebrates national differences so hopefully will never be bullied for their accents.

I'd like to think that bullies don't succeed in life but they do the world is full of bullies.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog and this story is very interesting. Without wanting you to feel I am being critical, do you think you could possibly be trying to justify violent behaviour? I know you are not that man now, but you need to be careful. Love you man. Ian K

Hannah said...

His violent behaviour may well have taught the bully to not bully anymore. Maybe one good battering stopped him from beating many other people up.

Never show your fear! That mashes their brains. They malfunction. Der...

Lions only start to chase when the prey runs.

Brian said...

I hope it did teach the guy a lesson, thanks Ian I did think twice about putting this on here. Hannahs right I think there comes a time when you need to stand up and fight. The problem with this guy is his bullying was physical so I met it physically. My biggest fear is that we can become like the bully, they drag us down to their level. But if thats all they understand maybe it's the best way to deal with them. However it does give me a bit of a dilemma with the whole turn the other cheek philosophy. One that I agree with, someone once said "it takes more of a man to walk away from a fight".
Make every effort to live at peace with all men, I think as I am now 20 years on I would handle it all very differently.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian for writing this, today i needed to read it. Liked much your points. I would say also smile and laugh as much as possible in this world and cry when you need to remembering that others have wept, and just hope that your friends join you in both.

Hannah said...


I'd be interested to know if there is anything in the bible about fighting one's enemies. Is there anything which says fighting back is ok or is it all aimed at being nice in the hope that niceness becomes infectious?

What would Jesus have done had someone been battering him? Would he have allowed it to happen forever or would he have fought back eventually?

What about if your land is invaded? Is the Christian attitude one of allowing the invaders to take over in the hope they are stunned by such niceness and eventually become humble to it?

Unfortunately this world contains good and bad people and some of the people are never going to become good people no matter how much niceness is around them. Some of these people are called psychopaths and nothing will ever make them change their ways. Their brains were made wrong or were damaged for some reason.

I've discussed this issue with Christians before and they will not accept that some people cannot be made good.

The Incas used to have a very good method of dealing with psychopaths, or men who slept with other men's wives, ate more than their fair share, caused fights, lay around and didn't work. They would invite them on a one-way trip to a cliff. Bye!

In short, is allowing people to tread all over you, by beating you up or taking your land, REALLY the Christian way? Surely there is something in the bible which states that to hold your hand up to an attacker, of whatever kind, prevents hardship for many in the future.

If not, I have to say that Christianity may not be the dominant religion in time to come.

Brian said...

Really good point hannah, I am pretty sure christianity has already lost its dominance in many parts of the world. I want to look into it more, but there is a shed load of writing about acting justly and looking out for others, which to me indicates yes we need to defend our homes, our families and our land. Allowing tyranny and oppression is not the christian way. I'll do a post on it soon, sorry this a rather flaky answer.

Anonymous said...

I've always loved the slightly more gungho approach to 'turning the other cheek'. Jesus doesn't say 'if someone strikes you on the cheek lie there passively and take it' he says 'turn and offer him your other cheek'. OK so I'm paraphrasing a little, but it's a non-violent act that is still a way of striking back. Shows that you're not scared but doesn't respond in kind. Don't know how this works on the scale of invasion but I like it anyway.

Transit Rob