Was I A Bully?

Hi My Name is Danny, and I was a Bully – I think…

I never really thought of myself like that when I was a kid, but have come to realize it when I recently “friended” a classmate I had in high school. Anyway, I didn’t consider myself as a stereotypical bully – I was also bullied when I was young. I just took it upon myself to fight back. I guess the branding of bully came about because I then grew taller and bigger than those who bullied me.

I got into a lot of fistfights when I was bigger. Often these were against older people. I guess I toughened up when my uncle taught me how to play basketball. The game got me the confidence and the physical strength to get past my asthma (not the kind that where you had to carry one of those inhalers – I just got hospitalized a lot.)

The movies nowadays don’t really portray bullying accurately. For me being bullied and being a bully was a process between kids. I think school is a reflection of the society we are in. As adults, there are always those who wield more power than other people. I was a little bit in the middle when I was a kid. I was taller but wore thick eyeglasses. I liked playing basketball games but I also liked staying in front of my PC for very long hours.

Am I a nerd, a jock, or a bully? – I don’t know. I just preferred to be me.

Bullying starts with name calling. Big kid calls small kid a name, small kid calls big kid a name. Big kid gets physical, small kid withers. I was called a nerd yet I was also elected the class president several times. I liked staying in the library, yet I also liked staying in the basketball courts.

Before you go analyzing my childhood, let me just say that I had a great dad. In fact, he was personally summoned by the President of our country, the late Madame President Aquino, the mommy of our President now. Did my dad get violent with me? Well, just the belt. I guess that was acceptable during the 80s. It didn’t cause me sleepless nights, I just knew that I was out of line.

Probably the worst case that I’ve ever experienced was inside a billiard hall. I was 15. My friends and I went to the club house and an older kid from our school kept following us. At first we didn’t mind, he didn’t seem like he wanted to hurt us or something, but when we got to the pool tables, he started hitting my friend’s head lightly. Like a slap in the back of head. At first it seemed like a little physical joke. He did it one time and it was light humored, he did it another time and we stopped playing. He did it a third time – this time harder.

This guy was as big as me, but definitely older. I told him to stop and he picked up two billiard balls from our game. I grabbed the sturdiest looking billiard stick. For a minute or two we just stared at each other.

He told me, that he was going to break my eyeglasses using the balls. I had to calculate, the formula was how fast could he throw the balls and how fast I could poke him with a stick. I knew that the billiard balls were harder and could probably hit me faster. Anyway, the equation was lopsided since there were three of us younger kids and only one of him.

Anyway, I think he also calculated, because he stopped. It was 1 bully with some billiard balls and some younger guys with a stick.

So, it wasn’t really black and white. Since then, I’ve made it a point to protect my smaller friends. When they were bullied I was the one who stood in front of them and most of the bullies backed out.

So was I a bully? You tell me…

by Danny Garcia


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