I had a very interesting dream this morning. In it, I was in some type of after school club (I’m 31 by the way and haven’t been in college since 2005) and this bossy girl started delegating everything. She even pulled out a gun. I tried to stand up to her but she ended up shooting half of the group. In the dream, I decided to rethink my plan. I was determined to bring her down.
The next session, she came in and stared me down, daring me with her stare to do something, anything. I just knew she still had her gun. I started to taunt her, I wanted her to come to me. She did and put her hands on my desk and taunted me right back. I told her, “thank you, have a nice day.” over and over and over again. She grew angrier and angrier. She poured something awful on my hands and then her old mother came over and told her to stop it. The old woman called me a bitch and said there were witnesses’s, said they could get me later. I held my ground and the women left. The group cheered.
I’ve been in his situation before. I’ve been bullied lots during my life. I’ve even been bullied by my own abusive father. When you have to pull a knife on your father for fear of your life, you know you’re a fighter. When I was a kid, I was called chocolate lady by this awful kid in elementary school. I’m Hispanic, and I grew up in mostly white schools, so in the 80’s, I reaally stood out. I took it for a long time, then I taunted this kid one day. I taunted him until he threw the first punch, and then I fought back. I wish I could remember the victor but it’s a blur. He ended up getting paddled by the principal. Seeing him in an ugly mess of tears as he walked out of the principal’s office, was extremely satisfying. As per my mother’s wishes, I wasn’t allowed to be spanked in school. My punishment was eating lunch in the principal’s office instead of with my friends. I was happy for the solitude.
I was also bullied by other Mexican children at the Mexican church we attended. I was made fun of because I didn’t “sound’ mexican enough, I didn’t speak spanish, and I didn’t live in the barrio like they did. There was a whole gang of them so I wasn’t able to take them down. To quote Kenny Rogers, “I knew when to fold them.”
But as a I grew older, the bullies changed. They weren’t as physical, it was more mental. I worked with a girl who constantly belittled me. She was Hispanic and constantly questioned my “mexican-ness.” “Why isn’t your boyfriend Mexican? Why don’t you speak Spanish?” etc, etc. She also tried to spread rumors about my work ethic to get me fired. I didn’t say anything at first. I needed a plan. I waited..and came to find out she was skimping on her duties, that and she had such a temper. On one beautiful day, everything came together. I gently informed my boss of her behavior, and that day, she blew up at a customer. She was fired on the spot. Later, she begged my boss to rehire her. My boss asked my opinion, I said no. She was not rehired.
I’ve dealt with other bullies since then. Some have been brief, some have lingered. But the biggest lesson is bullies are not all the same. You can’t always say, “They are just jealous of you, they are really insecure sometimes.” I’ve known some bullies who are extremely sure of themselves, and shove their opinions down your throats. They belittle you with their words. Bullies are like shoes. Not every pair looks good on you, and not every bully is the same. They all have a weakness though. You just have to find it, and the rest will take care of itself. I think it also says a lot about you, in how you deal with a bully. Do you fight with fists or with subtle word play?
When was your last bully experience? How did you handle it?
On a side note. I’ve decided to give my main character a bully to contend with. People usually tend to think, bullies die out in high school. I think it might make for some great tension and character building.