Can’t believe I’m still dealing with a bully 22 years later. Hard to imagine. I’m sure I’m not alone.
Some people never grow up.
Bullying is something I stay away from. When it’s happened to you, you never want to inflict it on another person. It’s why I don’t blow up when some flogger puts my name in a headline full of insults hurled in my direction.
Life teaches us many strange lessons.
Back in 1999, Tupac was the king.
His rap music was the soundtrack of my life. At the same time my family was about to lose our childhood home, but I’d come to peace with it. As a result we’d no longer live 10 minutes from high school anymore.
I had to take a long bus ride each day. Still, I had one friend to start high school with. My plan was to explode my friend’s list.
That one friend led to three more friends. The four of us were inseparable.
One night after school the three Italian boys’ parents met me at the school fence. They didn’t say anything, although I could tell they didn’t like me.
The next day it got to lunchtime. I went to sit down with them to eat and they ran off. I thought it might be an innocent prank. I spent the rest of lunch looking for them. Outside the art room I found them.
“Hey guys, where’d you go?”
They ran off again. This process repeated itself until I got the hint.
One of the three boys hated me more than the other two.
He went out of his way to make me look dumb. In s*x education class he said, “don’t worry Timbo, you’ll grow one of those one day.”
He was referring to the rubber c*ck the teacher was placing a cond*m over to illustrate safe s*x.
All the kids burst out with laughter. One kid had laughter tears. Making friends became even harder.
The kid had it all — genius at math, good-looking, 6-pack, sun-kissed skin, perfect white teeth (no need for braces like mine), and excellent communication skills. All the teachers loved him.
They didn’t know he was a little devil after class.
His pet hate was white kids from Australia that were tall, skinny, had acne, and weren’t school smart. I ticked all the boxes.
I eventually found new friends. Many looked like me, and some didn’t. We were the outcasts. One had a turban. One was from Afghanistan. One had a slight disability.
When September 11 struck the bully tormented my friend. He chased him into the science room and called him a terrorist. Others from his circle joined in and tried to hold my friend’s head close to the flame of the Bunsen burner.
The situation became so dangerous the school locked anyone of Muslim faith in a separate classroom to protect them from being burned by the crazies that couldn’t tell the difference between Osama Bin Laden and a refugee trying to start a new life in Australia.
20 years later
I bumped into the bully at a pub. Everyone from high school was there. Many were happy to see me.
Abuse flew out of his mouth at my girlfriend (now wife).
The other boofheads bopped their heads to the techno beats like it was still 1999 and they were cool.
Then I started to notice his comments on my social media posts. He’d make up all sorts of lies. Others would reluctantly join in.
I asked around.
Turns out this bully, despite being a genius mathematician, now worked a dead-end job for a furniture delivery company. Life didn’t go his way even though he could beat Einstein at a math equation.
Book smart doesn’t equal life smart, I guess.
The thing that makes no sense
On his Instagram I noticed he got married.
His new wife is the same heritage as me. She’s tall, skinny, and even has my gorgeous dumbo ears.
If I’m a dumb Aussie then why did he marry one?
I shouldn’t spend time thinking about this, but I do. And what about his parents? Do they give the same racial stares to their new daughter-in-law? Or does she get a free pass?
The other part that confuses me is how he has the time. He now has a newborn baby to care for. Instead of bullying, shouldn’t he focus on his kid?
I suspect he’s grooming another bully to torment school kids in 2030.
The unexpected advantage of being bullied
You might feel sorry for me because this happened.
While being bullied hurts like hell, it’s been a blessing for me. Being bullied shaped my entire life.
See, when those three Italian boys ran away from me that lunchtime in 1999, they changed the course of history.
The bullying forced me to become an expert at forming new friendships. It became part of my survival. So I got extremely good at forming relationships.
This led me to start a business and raise money from investors. I also used the superpower to become a DJ and play in well-known nightclubs. It made dating easier. It helped me impress my now-wife on our first date.
What holds you back forces you to grow faster. If anything, the bullying led to me overcompensating in the ‘making friends’ area of life.
Now, I write online for a living because of a few relationships I formed earlier in my career.
I’ll leave you with this…
The best strategy for dealing with bullies:
Let your success slap them in the face.