So there I was, sitting on the floor of the bathroom, out of breath, crying, and just thinking to myself, “What did I do to deserve this???”
Ever feel like this? Like, “What’s wrong with me? Why won’t they leave me alone? What did I ever do to you?”
If you have, then I’m here and happy to tell you, you’re not alone and it does get better! Actually, it gets a lot better with the right (long-term) attitude and you’ll see why shortly.
Hi! My name is Christopher Rausch, motivational/inspirational speaker, author, and life coach. It may be presumptuous, but I want you to know that I’m so thankful you’re making the time to read this now. I’m going to share with you my personal story of how I was bullied and the extremely important lessons I learned that’s helped me throughout my life. You may be surprised with some of this, so please read on.
Before we move on to my story, please allow me to share with you my major belief about life:
Every day is a new day, and what that doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger!
Seriously, I feel so strongly about this statement, that I permanently tattoo’d it on my forearm! Just so I can always be reminded that during the tough times, I’m growing stronger and stronger. Truthfully, just having it there has continually helped me thru some very dark times in my life. But as well, has provided me the strength to build an amazingly KICKASS life that I share with everyone around the world to this very day!
HERE’S MY STORY:
As a kid, I grew up not having a dad. Therefore, never learned how to defend myself or how to handle bullies in school. My mom would be there to help with the cuts and bruises but that was about it.
So, like I was saying at the start of this article, there I was, curled up on the bathroom floor, just wanting to disappear. What I didn’t mentioned is how I got there and who’s bathroom I was actually in. Oh yeah! Not what you thought right?
The main bully in my life was a kid named James Vidmar. I’ll never forget his name or how he tormented me over and over again.
So just a few moments before I was in the bathroom, I was simply walking home from school like I’d done so many days before. Some days I made it home without an incident, but this day wasn’t one of them. Then, out of nowhere, and without any provocation whatsoever, James and his buddies came up behind me and knocked my school books and papers right out of my hand causing them to fly all over the sidewalk and street. “Here we go again!” I thought to myself.
Then, like all the times before, he started pushing me, calling me all sorts of names, making fun of my clothes, laughing at my crooked snaggle-tooth teeth that basically resembled fangs you’d see on a vampire but worse! I won’t go into details but you can imagine the hurtful things he and his pals would say to me.
So, I did the only thing I could do after I picked up my books and papers. I ran like hell! I booked it as fast as I could! But, there was just one little problem that I wasn’t aware of. They were riding bicycles. There was no getting away from them. They surrounded me like wagons in the old west.
Of course, my running just made James all the more angry at me. So, he started punching me. First, it was my face, then my stomach, then unbeknownst to me, his friend got down on his hands and knees right behind me and James simply pushed me backwards over him. I landed head first on the pavement. OUCH! This time he was really mad and didn’t take any mercy on me. I pleaded, “Please just leave me alone! I didn’t do anything to you!” He snapped back, “Oh yes you did, you were born!”
Then, when I had the chance, I made a break for it again. But this time, I ran right into the nearest house with an open front door. Yup! Ran right in a stranger’s house and headed straight for the bathroom and locked myself in. I had no idea what to do next but at least I wasn’t getting beat up anymore. I was bleeding, scratched, bruised, and I just started crying.
The owner of the house figured out what was going on and finally talked me out of the bathroom. She was very kind and walked me home past the boys. Which, by the way, provided them with so many more names to call me as I walked by. “I’m gonna really get you next time Chris Piss!!!” Oh, that’s one of the common names they called me.
After I got home I was just so mad and tired of always running and still getting beat up so I made a decision that changed everything. The next time he tries this – I’m not running! “Why bother?” I thought to myself. “I’m just gonna get beat up anyway so might as well save my energy.”
So, the next time this all shook down, which was a few days later, I just stood there when they started taunting me. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t wince, smile, or say a word. In other words, I didn’t back down this time.
Guess what happened next? Think he hit me? Think he gave up? Did I punch him instead?
Well, I didn’t punch him (only in my mind, haha), but he did punch me. But this time, only twice. The look on his face when I didn’t run was priceless. He said “What Chris Piss? Aren’t you gonna run and cry in someone’s house again?” I just looked straight ahead, then at him in his eyes, and said “I’m done James. I’ve never done anything to you, so if this is how you’re gonna feel better, then let’s get it over with!”
Didn’t expect that did ya?
The best part of all this? Standing up for myself and not running took the fun out of it for him. He loved the thrill of the chase. The beating was a bonus, but without the chase, he was bored rather quickly. After that, he would attempt to punk me a bit, but I would just stand there and look at him.
There’s more to this story, and how I eventually became bully, but will leave that for the next article perhaps.
Now, I want to share with you what I learned about these individuals and how I still apply these principles today.
WHAT I LEARNED:
As I got older I wanted to better understand why people become bullies in the first place. Below are some bullet points I’ve found to be true for me:
- Perceived control
- Being angry and violent gives the aggressor the perception of being in control – perhaps something they don’t have in the other areas of their life
- Lack self confidence
- They have to pretend to be tough to get people to like them since people who are afraid of you tend to be nicer, even though it’s all fake
- Probably abuse or learned at home
- These kids are learning it from somewhere and what I’ve found is that they themselves were abused, or saw abuse, but most commonly, it’s both. It could also be abuse from a sibling as well
- Missing attention at home or trying to fit in (peer pressure)
- Who doesn’t want to be popular and liked? Well, with enough peer pressure from people you want to be accepted by, you just might do anything to get it
- Don’t know how to process emotions
- For many people, they don’t have the skills to cope with anger, fear, and resentment so they turn to violence to release their emotions
- Depending on the age, and especially if it’s a male, testosterone starts raging in the blood system impacting our ability to control our impulses
- Lack of empathy
- Physiologic issues that are undiagnosed that directly impact our ability to have compassion for others– Asperger’s syndrome, for example, is one which is a form of Autism
- Don’t have someone to talk to
- Simply put – they have no one to vent and seek guidance from
- Perception that only the strong survive
- Could be from movies, video games, media, parents, etc.
- Stand your ground
- Yes, you still may get hit, but running and defending yourself only increases the joy the bully gets
- Agree with them
- As crazy as it sounds, when someone is taunting you with names, just laugh and agree with them! “Chris piss Chris piss…what a stupid name!!” my reply “I know right, I wish my parents would have given me a cool name like Chip!”
- Learn self-defense
- Ask your parents or enter you in self-defense training, not to fight necessarily, but to defend and build your self-confidence (HUGE!)
- Forgive them
- As hard as that might be, take pity on them for we don’t know what is going on at home for them
- Find your own click
- We all have people we get along with so instead of worrying about being one of the “cool” kids, instead find your own group where you feel comfortable being you!
- Don’t hurt yourself
- This is not your fault! This even goes for abuse at home! Don’t take the emotional pain and inflect more of it on yourself physically!
- Don’t think you are not good enough
- Trust me on this – you are! Keep improving your confidence and you’ll absolutely find people who’ll make you feel MORE than just “good” enough but amazing! I’m a living example!
Listen, I know what you’re going thru and trust me, it gets better! Courage and confidence is not something you can order on Amazon and it’s not overnight either. It took me years to become the proud, accomplished, confident, and understanding man that I am today.
I honesty wouldn’t change a thing that happened to me at any point in my life. I could tell you many more stories about my journey that nearly killed me, both emotionally and physically, but like I said before, I’ll wait for the next article. For now, I want you to print this out and place it where you’ll see if often:
Every day is a new day, and what that doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger!
I speak, coach, mentor, and write about creating an UNSTOPPABLE attitude for personal and professional KICKASS Success and I am living proof that life is amazing no matter the ups and downs!
If you like what I’ve shared with you, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to email me at Christopher@ChristopherRausch.com or hook up with me on any of my social media accounts that are on my website at: www.ChristopherRausch.com.
Until next time, I wish you all the KICKASS success you go after!!
You deserve it! You really do! Click here to read my next article, How I Became the Bully and What I Learned From It!
Christopher Rausch is a Speaker, Coach, Author, Radio Show Host and the creator of “The KICKASS Guide to Life™,” the complete guide to living your best personal and professional KICKASS™ life! When he was young, Christopher’s life was anything but KICKASS™. He grew up in the inner city of Los Angeles, California. Read More…