Stand Up

The main reason why I am writing about this is because I had found about a couple of friends of mine who had to deal with bullying.

It’s no secret that I was bullied as a kid. I was told that “stick and stones may break your bones, but names never hurt me.”

Whoever said that is a bold faced liar. The truth is that names do hurt. And they can cause an emotional trauma. To this day, there is a particular nickname that I will never repeat where if I heard it, I will lash out and lose it. That insult cut me deep. But the name calling got so bad that I would never go outside to play because once one person started, so did everyone else. Staying indoors wasn’t that bad, since I had a Nintendo to play with.

It go so bad that I started taking karate lessons to defend myself. And that was something that was instilled in me. I learned to stand up for myself and not take it. I never attacked anyone, but when someone would insult and attack me, I was ready.

You’d think that if I ignored the bullies, they’d leave me alone. Nope. That would give them cause to keep up with the insults that would lead into physical altercations. After defending myself a few times in school, it died down.

In high school it got worse. I was always called Steve Urkel, and I hated that because that was not me. I got into screaming fights over it. People started to back off because they saw I wasn’t a timid, pushover kid. I was mad as hell and I wasn’t taking it anymore.

Then that fateful day happened.

I got in a fight with someone who called me that one name I hated. I chased him into a classroom and fought him. I won’t get into details, but watch this clip here from A Christmas Story as an example:

Since then, I was left alone.

In today’s world, we have anti-bullying laws and programs to mentor, teach, and change bullies. These things don’t always work. What’s happening is that these laws and programs are continuing to keep our kids in the dark about what going on. Seriously, if you’re being bullied, don’t just tell a superior, stand up for yourself. All ignoring does is adds fuel to the fire. Most bullies won’t back down unless you confront them. Sometimes you have to.

So the next time you’re being bullied, stand up for yourself. Use your words to fight back. But don’t throw your fists up unless the bully does first, and remember to defend yourself if it comes down to it.

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