Wednesday, March 7, 2012

my bully

His name was David Davies and he lived in the house behind ours. He was at least 2 years older than me and I was his scapegoat. Out of all the kids in the neighborhood, he picked me. I think my mom battled him more than I did, to be fair, but he made sure that I would be left out if he was calling the shots. I don't recall any physical abuse, but he was a mean boy.

Then there was the "dress UP" days of elementary school...when boys would lift your skirt up to show the world your underpants when you leaned over to use the bubbler (water fountain to those of you living outside of Wisconsin). Because "boys will be boys," all girls had to wear shorts beneath their skirts.

Later on there was a mean boy named Paul who called me "zit woman." And there were mean boys who snapped bra straps and made rude comments. There was a boy who kicked my books (stacked beside my locker on the floor) across the high school hallway. The senior who pinched my butt when I was a freshman. (I did ream him out--in a pent up tantrum of epic proportions. He never ever touched me again.) The girl who spread nasty rumors about me and called me names in the hallway.

I worked with bullies. I waited on bullies. I dealt with mean girls as a middle school kid and I dealt with mean men as a bartender. Thankfully, I've managed to repress most of the ugly memories and they don't haunt me for life. But if you were to ask me to name any bully from my childhood, I'd tell you it was David Davies.

Spill it, reader. Did you have a bully? Or are you like me, and mainly recall general mean behavior?


  1. Ugh. So many bad memories.

    I didn't have any bullies in school, but when I was in my 20s, I worked side-by-side for five long years with a woman who bullied me and others in our office. No one saw her for what she really was, not even the bosses. It got to the point that when I was pregnant with my first child (and planning to quit my job when I went on maternity leave), I had to actually lie about my future plans for baby names, diapering, breast feeding, etc. just so that this woman would leave me alone. I hated that I allowed her to treat me so badly, but I really didn't have the energy to fight back and I just went into a protective, do-what-it-takes mode to get through each day.

  2. We had a neighborhood bully. I don't recall his name, but can still picture him. He was a redhead with freckles and always mad. He once held me under water in the city swimming pool by sitting on the edge of the pool and pushing me under with his feet and then his hands on my shoulders. Thought my lungs were going to explode and that I was going to drown. I'll never forget that. I think I heard that he ended up in a detention school. He was an adopted child and ALWAYS angry and mean.

  3. I don't remember a bully per say...remember mean things said/did to me and the mean things I said/did to others- not proud of them, but they happened. Unfortunately, no matter how much lecturing, discussion, inservice, lip service one gives about being nice or how to stop bullying or how to be a friend to all, the actions continue. I know the issues my 7th grade daughter has with her friends are the same issues I had with mine. Does that make the issues right? Nope.

    I often want to ask parents/people who say something needs to be done...What would you like to be done that isn't being done already?

  4. His name was Jayson Youngberg and it was 5th grade through 8th grade; he was much bigger than me. I don't know what happened to him, nor do I care. It was a small church school, and there were only 12 kids in the school. Everyone saw him punch me and push me on a regular basis, and no one ever did a thing, even the teacher. I appealed to my older sister as she was bigger than he (my age) but she just laughed at me. I hate to say it, but I learned to survive by much the same way as Jennifer up there did. I still have trouble standing up for myself, but I go freakish wild on bullies when they target anyone else. Makes it hard to do my job as a school counselor some days.

  5. I never interacted with this guy but my husband remembered him as the neighborhood bully.

    I had my share of mean girls.

  6. I had the "mean girls" in 6th grade who made fun of my hair, my clothes, my parents for not letting me "date boys". In 6th grade????!!!!

    My teacher caught me crying in the hall one day and he put a stop to the teasing.

  7. Mark Bullock in grade school --I think he'd been held back, so he was huge compared to the rest of us. He picked out a few of us, and I remember running away from him, picking different routes, trying to get home. Yuck.

    In junior high school, the popular girls bullied me --even physically, putting gum in my hair once. I was an easy target. My mom is European, and we were quite poor. The combination meant I never really fit in clothes-wise, and her idea of cleanliness didn't involve clean hair daily. I was a mess, and I hated school. I've blocked out most of that time :-)

    High school was so much better --I still didn't fit in, but there wasn't a lot of bullying by that age.

  8. Generally there were just garden variety Mean People over the years, but occasionally there's somebody with nothing better to do than torment others. That said, I remember a group of kids in high school who were especially awful all too clearly, and exactly how it felt to be on the receiving end of their words and actions.

  9. Bubbler, eh... I haven't heard someone say that since I was in school. I moved from WI, with my family, 2 weeks out of HS.

    When I was in grade school, Vickie was very mean to me. Decades later she admitted that she was sexual abused by her step-father. So in my heart of hearts she was forgiven and my scars healed.

    I now work in a toxic environment where several people are hurting in their hearts and treat others disrespectful. They think they are being funny, but I see hurt within others, including me.

  10. When I first started reading I was thinking bullying must be a sign of the times today, but then when you mentioned bra snapping I remembered Gordon Grotts. Gawd, I hated that guy. He used to snap my bra back when I was embarrassed to be wearing a bra and through the years he only improved with age, moving up to such things as farting in class, leaving tacks in my chair, or pulling my hair. This was junior high and not grade school!

  11. I encountered lots of general mean behavior, but "my" bully was Sister Maurice, my second grade teacher. She loathed me (I didn't realize until I was well into my 30s that she didn't like my parents, who were active in the home school association and that she used me as a scapegoat for her dislike of them.) She went out of her way to belittle me and make my life a living hell. One example of the sorts of things she did to me: My family went out of town one weekend and I missed a day of school. Sister Maurice told me that my parents would be sent to jail for keeping me out of school for a family trip. I was seven years old. She was a teacher and a nun. I believed her. I never told my parents about the things she used to say to me. It never occurred to me that she was wrong. She made a point of being extra nice to the kids whose moms she liked. I had constant stomach aches. I can still feel the dread I experienced as I climbed the staircase to my classroom. By the end of the year I was so stressed, I had a massive outbreak of canker sores in my mouth. I get them when I am stressed, but this outbreak involved dozens of sores. It was agony even to talk.

    In third grade, I had a nice, normal teacher, but my younger brother had Sister Maurice and she abused him the same way she'd abused me.

  12. Bobby Julich. Hated him so much I blocked his name out. My mom mentioned him years later and I wound up sitting in a corner shaking and nearly vomiting as memories flooded back. Now I am living through my son's bullying, and I am struggling to act like a grownup when I see the little shit who is tormenting my kid. I blogged some of this:

  13. Kelly Hagan and Susan Haring. They were a year ahead of me at parochial school. They were very sporty and I was not. They called me "Gooly Glasses" and other (stupid) things that hurt so much I won't put them in print. They were mean to me for no good reason and I guess I was afraid of them.

    Wow. Like you, I am not haunted by my experiences of being bullied, but it is amazing how those yucky feelings come bobbing right to the surface when triggered.

  14. with a name like david davies (almost a duplicate of 'david david'), he was probably a bully so he wouldn't be picked on. or, maybe he was just a mean kid (that's probably more like it).

    my bully growing up was my older brother. he was bad - very physical - and i didn't dare tell on him as that just made it worse. i think my brother was a very messed up and took his frustrations/anger out on me.


Spill it, reader.