The first time I can remember being bullied, it was just after my parents had taken us to Canada. We were horsing around as usual on the playground and I somehow ended up at the bottom of a large dogpile. I couldn’t breathe and the kids wouldn’t move. I flailed to no use. I ended up biting one of the kids on top of me. He started bawling, which got them all off of me, and ran to a teacher. I was taken to the office, mom called, etc. I got grounded.
As a child, I was always encouraged to walk away. Don’t fight. No violence. But, that wasn’t in my nature one bit. After moving schools (due to moving, not the incident), I ended up in several more fights. Sometimes with friends (white trash that were the staple of the school), sometimes with guys I barely knew during sports, some younger kids I bullied. It was a cycle, truly. One would go after me, I’d go after the younger kid. Its how the hierarchy is.
One day, while waiting for my mom to pick me up at my sister’s school, my “friends” and I were tossing a football back and forth. After a short throw by the trashiest of them all, I turned around to go long and instead I ended up with the ball cracking me in the back of the head. I blacked out. And he ended up with my hands around his throat and my knees on his chest. I came to seconds after starting my blind rage and got off of him. After that day, he nor any of my “friends” fucked with me. That year, my parents had bought a house, so I decided to move back to the school I started at, hopefully with a second try. Grade 8. Last year before high school.
Soon enough, I had the vultures circling around me. A bowlcut blonde, a hard-jawed ginger, some guido prick; there were several who saw me as a target, including, again, a “friend”, a tiny little fucker. I has scared myself when choking out the trailer kid. I didn’t want to fight at all, but I did… and I beat each one. The first one, the bowlcut, attacked me with some small stick, cutting my hand, but I went after him anyway. He later ran off, screaming AIDS like little dumb fucks do. He would later get his head slammed into a locker in high school after mocking me in math class for getting knocked over by a car that morning (no injuries). He shut up after that. The ginger was an all around dick, even to his friends. For whatever reason one day, he grappled with me and I took him down, putting him in a full nelson as my dad had taught me before my sisters (and the excuse to end fuck around) arrived. I had him pinned and told him to stop. He walked off, defeated. Nearing spring the next year, 1999, the guido and the ginger teamed up. The ol’ push him over my friend’s back trick. Except when falling over I grabbed the pusher and locked him in my legs. It was a strange sight. The ginger on his hands and knees, me at an obtuse angle, holding the head of the guido with my legs while my hands had his arms. Quickly, it broke and scattered as a teacher noticed the scuffle.
During these times, I was a major beta. A pacifist politically. I had little clue of anything, except that when confronted, I fought and fought hard and fought well, even to the point where it scared people. I was hanging with a girl, an ex’s friend, outside a donut shop. There among the crowd was some crackhead or meth head. He began to mock me then hit the back of my head. I stood up, so did he. He slapped me. “What?” he said. I slapped back. “What?” I retorted. Suddenly, I was being pulled away as he threatened brimstone, death and assfuckings for my slight against him, a guy with a posse of coffee hounds and fat chicks. Apparently, he was known to carry knives.
I feared much during those times. I feared girls, bad marks, girls, my parents, many things, but when I fought, I feared nothing. I was in the zone, like a sport, like when I played soccer, I was there and nowhere else. When training in Muay Thai back in Salt Lake City, I feared. I feared how stupid I looked. I feared that I didn’t know what I was doing. When sparring, I feared my power. I ended up quitting, and having to pay for it. Afterwards, I feared my wife. I feared what her leaving what do to me. I feared moving. I felt fear, always.
Fear is the constant that drives us into submission, I discovered. Hiding and waiting. Moving to shadows, never seeing the light, prevents us from taking that fear and letting it go. What cured me of the submission, and by that, my bad habits that drove me into isolation, was letting go. No grudges. Let go of the hate. Let go of the fear. Reveal all. Reveal that you are a violent man, when provoked. Reveal your wants. Your needs. Reveal your loves and likes and dislikes. Be blunt. Remove the social filter that the schools installed. Use your filter, the one that lets you get laid, not the one that lets you be kind to cunts or sweet to sluts. Be.
I’ve nearly gotten into fights since sparring. A trucker here and there at my guard job, provoking me during the worst times, and only my partner getting the middle to stop it before it started. I still look out for trouble, wishing it would find me, for I want to get in that zone again, win or lose, and feel the rush of swinging fists and throwing knees, knowing this isn’t padded and it isn’t practice. That its real. Its life. And I’m living it, in the face of everything, as I should: free.