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.