Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Intimidating he was, and this despite his size.

Here's what I think:  we all have been victim of it at some point in time and I also think we've been the intimidating one for someone else as well.

It's been all over the news and the social medias.  That is all we hear about since this teen girl committed suicide recently. I've been wondering if intimidation has become worst for the kids nowadays?  It's always been and (I believe) will always be.

When I grew up, in a very rough and though neighborhood,  it was a common thing to see fights.  People would settle their differences with their fists often.  I don't think "my time" was worst than today's.  It was different.  People stood up for what they believed in, and mostly for themselves.  My parents (read, mostly father) pushed me to defend myself.  I had troubles with some bullies in school, and my father would make sure I would stand up on my own.  If I'd come home crying after being beat up after school, I'd get yet another whack from my father for being weak.  He believed I had to learn. I did.

It may seem harsh (or even worst) for some, but I think that my father's technique made me stronger.  If I had problems, I had to find a solution rather than cry to my parents.  I would talk about it with them, and sometimes, without me knowing, my father would talk to my teachers or principal.  He interfered once, with me by his side, and it wasn't pretty.

Picture this, mid-seventies, I was eight or nine. At recess, in the girls' bathroom, there were always 2 or 3 girls hiding in stalls.  I would go in for a pee and they would climb on the toilet in the stall next to where I was and watched me.  Until the age of eighteen I didn't wear jeans, and very often wore skirts or dresses.  My father had a girl, and girls didn't wear pants that much (yeah, he was a special man).  I was often teased for being dressed different.  One of the girls, the leader of the pack, would often flicked my skirt, so I started wearing shorts under it.  She was a real meanie.  The things she would say and do to me.  I will say I was also a bit dumb.  She'd tell me to wait for her after school (to beat me up) and stupid me, I would!  I had reached a point, where I would avoid going to the washroom at school.  My mother started asking questions when I complained of belly aches.  I told her I was being watched when going to the bathroom and how I was teased.  She (naturally) told my father.

One morning as I was getting ready to leave for school, my dad told me to wait for him.  He walked me to school.  I remember being so nervous.  When we arrived in the school yard, he walked towards the head office and told me to follow him.  We made our way to the Principal's office.  Our principal was an older nun, who was very strict looking and didn't smile much.  When she welcomed us in her office, my father explained to her he had taken time off his work in order to address a situation and asked me to tell her what had been going on in the bathroom.  Sister Gertrude wasn't happy to have her morning start this way and it showed.  I told.  My father then asked Sister Gertrude if she ever had to pee in front of someone or in fear?  I still can see the look on her face.  He asked her what needed to be done so that this matter be resolved.  She reassured him and promised to take care of it all.  My father then said: "If I have to come back because of this, you will know how my daughter feels, trust me on that".  Let's just say I was hoping my father  wouldn't come back to school. Ever.

From that day on,  at recess, two teachers were in the bathrooms and the bullies were talked to.  I was called many things, but the worst of it was behind me and my skirt never got flicked again.  I did continue to wear shorts under it until later in high school...


flurrious said...

It's good that your nuns eventually did something about it, even though that doesn't always make things better. In my grade school, there was a lot of bullying and the teachers were well aware of it, but their attitude was, "well, that's life," and made us fend for ourselves. I was bullied at times, although probably not more than average, but I also learned that sometimes when the 3:00 bell rings, you just have to run like hell.

Attila the Mom said...

I was such a big kid that I was usually the protector of the bullied. Yes, I was a mutant.

The only time I can remember hitting anybody was when some guy called me a nasty name. So I punched him in the nose. Nobody wanted to mess with me after that. LOL