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Bully or Hero
Who hasn’t been bullied?
Most of the people reading this, if not all, have been bullied in some painful shaming way at some time in their life. If you’re my friend then you know I don’t look like or act like someone who has ever been bullied. You’d be wrong to assume so...
I remember getting an entire carton of red fruit punch dumped over my head as a high school freshman. Squishing my eyes tightly shut I felt it flow over my ears, face and neck. It ruined one of my favorite Christmas presents, a brand new gleaming white sweatshirt. As the sugary bright red juice dripped off my hair and down my face. I wanted to magically disappear. The crowded and deafening lunch room was now the most confusing and embarrassing place with all eyes fixed on me. An older, stronger and physically bigger boy picking on a weaker one is as old as humanity itself.
I’ve been bullied physically, psychologically, emotionally and was sexually abused as a young boy. Humiliation seems to effortlessly cling to us like our own personal remora no matter what we are, or what heights we achieve in life. Attached to our side like a bad friend that won’t get the hint, we can be continuously stalked by the bullies of our past.
Traumatic events can be many years old yet never fully leave our psyche, as if we’re branded somehow. Scars lying deep inside us can swiftly combust, burning to the surface igniting our memory. A small trigger can fuel a rocket ship carrying us to horrible days gone by; decade old scars can feel like fresh wounds infecting us with fear and anger when mentally relived. Grown adults that appear powerful on the outside can be reduced to a trembling child all over again.
A scene from that new movie you went to see, the exact color car catches the corner of your eye, a person who looks just like her walks by, you hear a particular name, the town you grew up in, that all too familiar smell, pulling up at that job each morning, a bus stop….
Many things can trigger painful emotions, and they always catch you by surprise, just like a bully hiding behind a corner. A viral force of miniature bullies coursing through your blood; the assault is on and it’s an invasion of marauding memories living within you like ghosts from your past.
Courage is essential to win in any noble endeavor, but so is the right education along with the aid of close friends and mentors. If you want to turn your haunting bullies from the past into granulation tissue, you need the right team, following a sound plan. With help from Men’s’ Psychology you can turn them into ugly scar tissue, but more importantly, you can aim your past hurt for good.
Sometimes the personal effects of systematic bullying are so traumatic that it appears to be dormant, lying in wait. Like a sleeping Grizzly Bear caught by surprise the dormant painful events can be devastating if woken.
Burying our emotions can be part of our body’s survival mechanisms but when it’s past the point of remembrance it is unhealthy weather apparent or not. Pushing down emotions on a conscious level, and not letting the past breath has several effects on our biology including: Overeating (especially sugary unhealthy foods) which can lead to hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, depression, impaired memory, decreased immunity and increased anxiety. Not to mention our own internal room containing a huge Pink Elephant…
Not expressing the emotional pain that we are aware of causes us to focus on it much more than expressing it. “Our focus determines our reality.” “Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn” In many cases medical therapy from a licensed professional is the right approach to begin the process of solving severe abuse of any kind.
On one occasion I remember some popular girls taking up money in our home economics class to buy soft drinks. It was one of those rare days you looked forward to in grade school, Friday fun day, and the teacher was allowing a special treat in the form of soda pop, aka coke if you live in the south.
Little things are exciting to children and their small worlds seem to be swayed effortlessly by outside forces. Emotions felt whimsical as a young boy and those same simple joys rarely visit me as adult. What about children who are picked on pushed past those wonderful childhood emotions that are so important in development? I digress...
All the students who brought money eagerly handed it over to the three popular girls who were tasked with getting the drinks. Absent upon their return was my drink as well as the money I gave them. Watching them hand out drinks to all the other kids I patiently waited for my coke, but soon I realized none were left. They giggled and said “sorry, the machine was broke” with an almost evil smile across their faces. I felt so stupid and helpless.
Why did I feel like such a loser when they should have? Thanks to Dr. Paul Dobransky, and Men’s Psychology, I now know how extra nasty this treatment was over a simple drink. Girls instinctually understand the significance of being excluded from a group, and it feels like their very life is in danger. It wasn’t so long ago that group exclusion for a female was in fact a matter of life and death.
As a senior in high school I was drinking beer and lying on top of a car hood with my eyes shut. A very big guy from my class punched me so hard in my face that I still have nerve damage that runs down my right eye to one of my teeth. I coughed up blood clots for a couple of weeks and did my graduation walk wearing a right eye as black as the polyester gown that draped my body.
Walking around my school was a non stop anxiety session as I had to explain the black eye that was slowly turning purple each day. Over and over I was asked “what happened?” while enduring constant staring jeers and pointing fingers. To this day I’m not sure why he did it.
I wasn’t puny or wimpy as a child or a teenager, and I’ve purposely left off many traumatic bullying situations that were acted out on yours truly. What I went through pails in comparison to what others have endured. Some have been brought past their breaking point and tormented to the only place they think they can find solace, suicide.
It’s hard for me to contemplate the lives of so many children and adults who were, and are relentlessly teased and picked on. What is being done? Who or what stands in the gap for the victims in our great land and around the world?
There is a show on MTV called “Bully Beat Down” and it’s quite entertaining. To see a bully get what he deserves and a little taste of his own medicine is pure visceral enjoyment. I’m not saying this show is the answer by any means whatsoever, but its still fun to watch.
I don’t know how much of the shows bullying aspect is staged, but the fight scenes are very real. I’m not endorsing street fighting or putting your hands on anyone but I think the show raises some interesting questions. The premise is based around an always over the top douche bag bully who harasses a smaller weaker victim or victims. At the end of the show hosted by the spastic Jason “Mayhem” Miller, (I love you Jason if you’re reading this) the bully gets a chance to win ten thousand dollars. But first he has to except the challenge to fight a professional MMA fighter.
The prize money all or part can also be awarded to the victim/s, depending on how well the bully fairs in a two round cage match. The first round is five minutes and is submission only; the second round is five minutes and involves striking only. Submissions are chokes, arm locks and holds that make you “tap out” less you break something. Strikes are punches and kicks all done from the standing position.
The grand finale ends in a mini auditorium complete with cheering extras and dramatic loud speaker announcements as the fighter’s make their entrance toward the cage. Before the fight begins the victims are taken back to be introduced to the professional MMA star who is essentially fighting in their honor. Joyful smiles usually appear as the “little guys” meet the pro for the first time and he’s usually doing his warm up by smashing a heavy bag with punches and kicks. They know he’s going to take care of the bully and maybe it’s the first time anyone has ever stood up for them.
I’m not here to talk about fighting your own battles, stepping up, or argue the point that violence doesn’t solve problems (in modern day society it usually doesn’t). I’m talking about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table coming to the rescue. I care about the strong standing up for the weak and the able overseeing the helpless. Long live the just men who guard over the innocent and who protect those in need.
Observing Ego: One of the interesting aspects of the show takes place after the bully’s destruction in the cage fight spurring his sudden epiphany. Maybe some people just need to be taught a lesson in the way of experiencing what they dish out. Maybe it’s the push bullies need to gain observing ego.
- Who hasn’t wanted to beat the living day lights out of a powerful bully that made your life a living hell, or see someone else do it?
Sometimes bullying isn’t physical coming in the form of something much harder to detect, but by no means less destructive, especially in the long run of life. Emotional abuse can be a powerful and almost invisible evil that breaks your will. Silently destroying you the longer you endure it and usually unnoticed by those around you. Time can seem to stand still as certain people and places loom dark and menacing over your arrival; they wait like clockwork to sink their hooks into your soft flesh.
It’s possible to carry on for years under the crushing weight of emotional bullying if no one sees. No one is impervious to this type of abuse; adults, children, as well as our forgotten elderly are included victims of invisible emotional abuse.
Modern advances in technology have also provided bullies modern avenues to which they hurt others through. Social sites, text and email can be covert formats giving bullies stealth entry into the world of another.
Awareness is hopefully gaining traction and there are movements to solve this problem of rampant bullying across our country. Like all great causes that are needed, I hope the pendulum doesn’t swing too far in the wrong direction. Masculine men are an endangered species and I can’t help but wonder how this topic could further perpetuate that problem. Masculinity = Bullying. Wrong!! Masculinity without maturity and character could cause bad behavior and often does.
Bullying anyone to the point of tears or suicide is awful and needs to be rooted out and destroyed. I just fear that all things masculine will be held up on the court of public opinion, tried, and then sentenced to death. If not masculinity then maybe some physical ways of life will be scrutinized and banned. Maybe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts will be banished in the future?
In reality those activities help destroy bullying, at least physically anyway. I think martial art training helps guard against emotional bullying also because of the way it causes you to carry yourself. Even a child, elderly person, or anyone who has real self defense training under his/her belt stands and walks differently because of it. An easy target no more!
I’m not trying to self promote combat training because there are many answers that are needed to solve the problem of bullying. I think it really does come down to society collectively working together to solve this issue at the local levels. In the meantime, while society awaits the grass roots movements needed, victims will need individuals to protect them.
My father recently had a friend pass that he hadn’t spoken to in over twenty years. This friend was his protector in school more than fifty years ago. To hear my father speak emotionally about this man caused me to think.
My father never forgot his kindness and bravery and how he stood in the gap against his aggressors. Fifty years had passed and still so much vivid memory fueling my father’s description of those events. It showed me how much people are affected by bullies, and how it stays with you, but then I noticed something else in his stories.
The overpowering energy coming from my father’s words were of his protector and not his abusers. My father is an amazing man but he doesn’t have many close friends left, actually, he doesn’t have any - they are all dead.
There was genuine love and admiration emanating from every poor of my dad as he described his guardian protector - "He was a real bad ass". Standing up for those in need, and jumping in when others run is true masculine power, and can change the world. That thought and idea makes me smile and I hope I’m that man all of my days.
Go live your dream…