Friday, December 9, 2011

Tiny little bullies

I hate bullies. I hate it that some of these bullies push kids like this to suicide.

Growing up I wore black horn rimmed glasses, wasn't 'tough,' and was smarter than average. All this made me a target for bullies. Yes, I encountered bullies in school, but what's worse was when I went home, the house I lived in was full of bullies.

When my mother got killed on the operating table in 1973 in a Detroit hospital my two brothers, my sister, and I got packed off to live with my crazy aunt and her family. It became pretty clear pretty quickly what the deal was in her house. The deal was she treated us like crap, like we existed to serve her and her kids. She bullied us and treated us like second class citizens, and as a high school friend who I recently reconnected with on Facebook said, "...much like indentured servants; offering you one act of humanity, by allowing you guys to sleep inside the house." If we crossed one of the many boundaries my crazy aunt laid down, she'd think nothing of hitting us with belts, her fists, switches, and once, when I was 12, she threw a stainless steel sauce pan at me. On the day I got out of the hospital after my emergency appendectomy in the mid '70's, I got home and was laying on the couch reading the latest issue of National Geographic that I had gotten out of her purse, it had been sticking up out of her pocket book so it wasn't like I had to dig around in there to find it. She saw me reading it, snatched it out of my hands, and screamed at me for 'stealing it.' She shouted that if I hadn't just gotten out of the hospital she'd have whipped me for stealing her magazine.

And of course all this bad behavior by her towards us didn't go unnoticed by her children. They quickly learned to treat us like we were second class citizens who were there to be bullied. If we had some possession, be it a book, a piece of candy, a record, whatever, and they wanted it, all they had to do was to tell their mother we wouldn't share it with them and she'd force it from us and give it to them. They also copied her violence and psychological abuse towards us. My eldest cousin found out one day that when hit in the nose I would sneeze uncontrollably, so of course for the next few weeks he would chase me down, punch me in the nose to get me to sneeze, and he encouraged others to do the same. His brother not only used physical violence to bully me with, he loved to spread the rumor that I was, as he used to put it, 'a queer.' Both of them encouraged others to treat me and my siblings as badly as they treated me.

I made the decision after my heart attack to cut my crazy aunt and her bullying pack of jackal children out of my life. Being around them, hearing them, hearing from them, all brought my stress levels to rise. So I cut them out of my life. It took awhile for my crazy aunt to get the hint that I didn't want to talk to her when she called me. She finally quit calling and not too soon after that she died. Most of her children got the hint that I didn't want to talk to or hear from them and they quit bugging me.

But one of them has recently tried to establish contact with me through this blog. And because he was raised with such a high sense of entitlement towards me and my family, he can't imagine why I don't like him, won't let him comment on this blog, and don't want him in my life. And like all bullies, he's oblivious to all the bullying he used to inflict on me. When I remind him of some of the shit he and his dead mother used to do to me and my siblings, his only response is to tell me I need 'help.' Actually, I needed help back when I was living in that house with him and his crazy mother. I told him in an email recently to fuck off and I hope it sinks into his drug addled brain. Having a person who used to bully you try to be friends with you is like your rapist wanting to hang out with you right after he finishes raping you.

If you're being bullied, tell someone. And if they don't do anything to help you, keep telling people until someone does help. I couldn't tell anyone for years because the person who was supposed to be looking after me was the ringleader of the people who bullied me the most. And in a strange way, I'm glad others from that era saw what was going on because it shows that I wasn't making shit up and that outsiders could see through the mist of lies and smokescreen of respectability that my crazy aunt tried to project.


Sam Vimes said...

God, that must have been an horrific existence. Good thing you survived and thrived. The best revenge is to live well.

Caffeinated Joe said...

Sorry for the pain you went through in the past. But kudos to you for cutting them out now, where they deserve to be. Leave them in the rear view and move forward. I have similar stories and I only say that to let you know I understand, in a small way. :)

kirby said...

I imagine his reasons for trying so desperately to reconnect have everything to do with him and nothing with you. His twelve step program telling to make up for his shit? His bible telling him to atone or go to hell? He's going to bully you into making him feel better? Fuck that guy.

Margaret Benbow said...

No surprise that bullies (literally) beget bullies. Thank God you're free of them now.

gmb said...

You can't change a sociopath. That's terminal. I'm glad you cut them off. Like lancing a boil off your ass.