Friday, September 5, 2014

A Break From The Dick Jokes

I'm the sad kid without a Popsicle.
As I get older, I can’t help but wonder if I was ever a bully to kids I grew up with.
Maybe it’s because I have a child now…
…or because of the various nieces & nephews in my life…
…or because of all of the children my friends have,
but I think about it a lot.

Personally, I don’t think I was a bully and I hope the people I grew up with would agree.
But I also think about those situations where I know people were bullied in my youth, because I witnessed it.
Both boys & girls.
And I am ashamed that I didn’t do anything to stop the people perpetrating the bullying.

Sure, maybe not 9 year old Kevin, because what could he do?
That kid still wanted everyone to like him…
…both the bullies & the bullied.
But the Kevin who stopped caring what the masses thought.
Whenever that was.
Maybe 30 year old Kevin.
Or 35.
Possibly 38 year old Kevin, which is who I am now.

I see people on Facebook whom I went to school with.
People who I know were bullied…
…and they’re all grown up.
They are married.
Having kids.
They have beaten the bullies…
…but I don’t know if it the torment experienced so long ago still haunts their memories.

When talk of bullying comes up the press and the talking heads rule, “It’s like that for everyone, get tougher skin,” I wonder if these jaded people have erected a wall that separates their life as a child to who they have become.  Perhaps it’s how they deal with their own pain, by ignoring the reality of the past.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry if I was the cause of torment for anyone.
I’m also sorry if I didn’t help put an end to the torment at the hands of others.


…I’ll get back to dick jokes now.

1 comment:

Matt Lichtenwalner said...

“It’s like that for everyone, get tougher skin,”

While I have to admit that I've thought that way myself on one level or another in the past, I would argue that those who say that either:
1. Were never really bullied. or
2. Like you said - have created a wall of sorts. Or
3. Are unemphatic jerks.

Real bullying (which I fear is actually more common now than when we were kids) is constant. Anything that's constant in your life affects you. It changes how you see the world - or perhaps just how you see yourself in the world.

Obviously, I didn't know 9 year old Kevin, but based on what I know of 38 year old Kevin, and the fact that you posted this, I suspect that you weren't ever what I would consider a 'real' bully. We pick on each other occasionally as a societal norm, but I think that there's a pretty big difference between that and bullying.

Still? Good on you for saying what you've said. Already had respect for you, but it just grew a bit.

No dick jokes based on that last line - I've beaten you to it. (See what I did there?)