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Posts Tagged ‘Bullies’

Seeing as Bullying is once again the hot topic I thought I would share my bullying experience.

Brody was in grade seven, for the second time around.  That in itself would not be bad, but he also spent two years in grade six.  He also tried to jump out of the second floor library window.  They should not have stopped him. 

I had known about Brody for a year or two before we came face to face.  Due to my dyslexia it was decided rather than repeating a grade  I would take remedial classes to make up for the classes I had missed while dealing with the dyslexia.  It was not a great idea, first, going to the remedial classes forced me to miss yet more classes.  Secondly, Brody was taking remedial classes, and that is how I became a large blip on his radar.

It wasn’t too bad a first.  I’d leave school and waiting for me at my bicycle would be Brody who would want to ‘borrow’ my bicycle. 

“Brian, unlock your bike I need to borrow it”

“Brody I can’t let you borrow it I need to go home”  At which point Brody would try to pick the lock and failing that he would threaten me, perhaps shove me around but eventually he would ‘give up’ and leave.   I fell for that once, he really didn’t leave, he hid in the bushes around the block and at the last second he would jump out from behind the bushes and throw me and my bicycle to the ground.  I soon learned that I could leave out the back door and go to my friend Roberts house for an hour or so, then go back to the school get my bike and head home.  For awhile I simply stopped bringing my bike to school, Shane, (another friend) was Brody’s other target.  Shane and I lived two houses apart, and we would walk about a mile out of our way so Brody could not follow us home. 

Andrew and I had identical bikes, Brody did not know the difference and would lay in wait near the bike thinking it was mine.  When he realized it was Andrew’s Brody would be so upset he would shove Andrew around.  Andrew also stopped bringing his bike to school.

Often times I would walk home with Brahm.  Brahm was rewarded for his friendship with me by getting a kick in the shin by Brody. Sorry Brahm, and thanks for sticking with me.

Eventually I told my mother about the situation.  She had my brother, (who was in high school) talk with Brody.  My brother spoke to the wrong guy.  That guy told Brody and my life became even more difficult.  I wish there was something I could type here that would help parents help their kids.  But I have no answers.  Thanks for trying mom, and Mike.  But seriously the situation only got worse. 

The odd thing about the situation is that Gail, Brody’s sister and I were pretty good friends, and my life may have been made easier if I had dissolved that friendship.  But I was far to stubborn for that kind of nonsense.  Gail and I had been in the same class and friends for three years before Brody started to target me, and until that time I didn’t even know they were brother and sister.

So, you may be wondering, how did it end?  Before I answer that I want to point out that the way it ended will not work for everyone. In fact I can’t really recommend it as a solution, but sometimes…

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a sports guy.  Sure I’ll watch the occasional hockey game on TV.  I used to play pool and darts.  Living next to Penn State you pretty much have to have at least a partial interest in football, or at least Penn State football.  But if it all went away tomorrow, it wouldn’t bother me in the least.

At lunch and recess we used to play hit the bat.  One person would be at bat and hit the ball,  if you catch the ball, the batter places the bat on the ground and the person who caught the ball would roll the ball towards the bat, if you hit the bat you became the batter.  (Naturally I played to lose seeing it wasn’t until high school when I could actually make a connection between the bat and the ball, it would have been a very long, dull game).  My father who was a terrific ball player and played on some sort of league had purchased a new glove and allowed me to borrow his old one.  In truth I think he gave me the glove, only I didn’t know it at the time, we will have to wait to see if he comments, I do know that later he did give me that glove, and I kept it for a very long time.  There is a part of me that wishes I still had it.

So what does all this have to do with Brody?  Be patient, I’m just waiting for the words to be typed.

Peter is at bat.  I am trying to look like I want to catch the ball along with a bunch of other guys.  Out of the corner of my eye I see Brody heading towards me.

“Brian!  Brian I want to play, give my your glove”  I knew if he got my glove, I would never get it back.

“I can’t it is my fathers, I can’t lend it out”

“Give me the glove now!”  In my 45 years I have only been absolutely sure of three or four things in life.  At that moment I knew one thing, Brody was not going to get that baseball glove.  “Brody, please, I can’t.”  At this point I was quickly scanning for a teacher, I knew this was not going well, a crowd of kids was starting to form.  Peter stepped in to try to resolve the situation,   “Brody…”  Brody punched Peter in the face and Peter went down like a sack of potatoes.  Remember, Brody was at least two years ahead of us.

“Give me the glove!”

“Brody, I can’t”

Brody came at me, and suddenly everything slowed down.  It was very surreal, he raised his fists and kept coming at me full tilt.  But for me it was like watching a movie in slow motion, I was aware of the crowd but in a very limited way.  I also saw the flaw in Brody’s approach,  as he came at me I ducked low, my shoulder caught him just below his ribs and he went up and over me and landed hard on his back behind me.  As I turned he started to get up, his eyes bulging, his face red.  He was saying things I couldn’t quite hear and he came at me again. The exact same way.  Again I ducked down, again he flipped over me, again he landed on his back, again I turned and again he started to yell things at me, but I looked in his eyes and I knew he was done, I also knew he just couldn’t give up but I prayed he would stay down of course he didn’t.  He almost made it to his feet but my knee got him in the chest, hard! Now Brody stayed down and he wasn’t yelling anymore, he was too busy gasping for breath.

I sat in the principals office.  Mr. Russell just peered at me from over the top of his glasses.  I don’t know how long we sat that way. I thought he had phoned my folks, I thought that is what we were waiting for.  I wondered how much trouble I was in.  Eventually in a very quiet calm voice Mr. Russell spoke to me.  “Brian” he said, “I’m sorry, you are not in trouble, go back to class”.

I didn’t see Brody for a few months.  In fact I never saw him again in school.  One winter day I was walking home with Anna who lived not far from me and Brody appeared from behind a snow bank.  Anna started to run but she was safe, Brody was after me.  He tackled me to the ground yanked off my hat and started pulling my hair.  “Now who is stronger?”  I clasped my hands above my head and then thrust my fists forward when my fists hit his head he let go of my hair, I hit him again making contact with his chest.  He flipped onto his side.  I rolled him onto his back and landed with my knees in his chest.  He was still lying there when Anna and I walked away. 

A few weeks later Gail told me that Brody was going to another school and was no longer living at home.   Spring eventually came.  School ended for the summer and I never saw Gail or Brody again.

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