I realize that reading about my schoolyard bullies might get a tad depressing, but I have to tell you that writing it all down has been an amazing stress reliever for me.
I’ve been carrying this burden around for years. Occasionally the subject would come up, and I’d share my bully stories with someone. They would always just stare at me in surprise and say, “That happened to YOU in a CHRISTIAN school?” They were always shocked.
It is shocking that it happened, but (looking back now) I can see the unique set of circumstances that combined to make it possible.
Many people, who went to school with me, in other classes, can’t believe it happened. They don’t remember any of it and try to convince me it wasn’t as bad as I think it was. But I refuse to sugar coat my experience just so someone else can have hazy nostalgic memories of our school. I’m sorry. It did happen and being able to finally expose it brings me a great deal of much needed, long suppressed relief.
My classmates, however, don’t question it. They know. They were there. And a couple of times, when faced with people who thought I was exaggerating, they have backed me up.
I appreciate it now, but I often think, “Where were you back then?” I guess I know where they were – scared and afraid of making themselves a target for Josh’s rage. I know. I understand. It’s just that it was awfully lonely out there in the cold by myself, you know?
So that’s why I’m committed to finishing The Bully Chronicles. I promise it’s not that much longer. And soon I’ll be back to my opinionated, funny self. In fact, a lot of what happened during those years made me who I am. In order to survive those years, I learned the art of self deprecation, cynicism, and sarcasm along with a finely honed sense of humor. So, in part, that’s why I am the way I am.
Perhaps the most important thing I learned from Josh was to laugh at myself – before anyone else could.
But if you think I’m going to thank him for that, well, you’re crazy!
Back to the bullies…