But I wasn’t sure what hurt most; the pain, or the cause of that pain?
I often see some boys who are bullied around by their peers at school in movies or read about them in novels. Yeah, and I know probably many of us had the experience at some point of our lives.
But for me, it was like how it was for Peter Parker at his high school and college years: wherever I went, I would pull those bully guys like a magnet.
Looking back now, I really see that I was almost the twin of Peter, with thick glasses, tidy and neat looks, quiet and withdrawn attitude. A real nerd, right?
And bullies like the nerds!
Nerds are easy targets, easy prays. You can easily make fun of them, laugh at them, pull and push them around, and like it was in my case, you can even kick the hell out of them as you please.
Because nerds don’t like fighting. Mostly they don’t even know how to use their fists or kicks. They all take it to the end, and can’t even complain about it, because as it was in my case, they don’t want their beloved ones to feel sad for them.
Most importantly, they don’t like being pitied. Since they already feel low, they don’t want to look even weaker.
And almost with no exception, every nerd has a specific bully guy or a specific group of them. Such bully guys can excuse themselves for having some inconvenient situation, or undesirable family atmospheres, or whatever.
But just because you’re superior physically while you’re inferior in almost everything else, it doesn’t give you the right to hurt other people for your own problems! Therefore, there’s no excuse in my eye for bullying others.
Well, I had a nemesis at school, too. He wasn’t exactly a Flash Thompson, though. At least, Flash liked Peter, and their friendship proved it eventually. But this guy was no friend!
And apparently, he shouldn’t have any problems to show as excuse, either. He was simply a spoiled and handsome rich guy. And he would grab every opportunity to insult me in front of others.
Before the day I woke up with such pain, he had given me another beating with his friends… just for fun! Yeah, this was his answer, really. When I had asked him once why he did all that to me, he had simply said because he could and he enjoyed it!
With everything I know now, it’s obvious he would be punished for his behavior, because what he did was really a crime. But I was too proud to tell anyone about it. Moreover, I was scared what he would do later on.
So only option I had was to hold on until the end of high school, and that was exactly what I did. I went to a doctor next day, lied about what happened, and took some medicine according to his directives, so I healed physically. But my emotions were telling another story.
There was only one person who gave me the hope and courage to carry on: Peter Parker, or with his alter ego, Spiderman!
I used to read Spiderman comics a lot, and I had only three real friends: my blood-brother, my cat, and Peter.
He would always encourage me to move on, and hold on. He would show me that the life brings unexpected gifts eventually. So with his support, I carried on.
When you are in such a situation, your life changes at some point, that’s a fact: either you reach to a point that you’re completely broken, or you have a moment of emotional explosion so that you change in other ways, and become aggressive yourself.
I also practiced body building, and Far Eastern martial arts. In another word, the change for me was the second one. I was still alone mostly, but at least nobody could dare to try and beat me or make fun of me anymore, because I was a wild tiger unleashed.
Once while I was at the gym, a guy walked in and I recognized him at first sight, because you can never forget someone who turns your life into hell, and causes you to wake up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in stomach.
While working, I began to observe him from a distance. It was for sure that he was new to the sports, because he didn’t even know how to hold a bar. I also realized he didn’t remember me. Well, the change with me was so profound anyway.
What took his attention though was my performance, which was really some phenomena according to my coach. (I would lift around 30 tons as total in a two hour session; I would work with 250lbs for leg pushes with 4×8 sets, just go figure.)
It was also funny to see that it offended him somehow. I think he was mostly surprised and offended, because my height was almost the half of his. When I noticed that, I began to push myself a little bit more, just to irritate him. After some time, he couldn’t help and approached me to ask what I injected into my veins.
“Nothing,” I said. “Just vitamins.”
He didn’t believe in me; he was sure I was using some hormones or something. I just smiled, and kept silent.
He said something very unexpected then: “I will be stronger than you! I will be better!”
As if I challenged him!
He asked me how long I’ve been training, and I said it’s been three years. Well, it was his first day in body building.
“How much weight do you push at bench-press?” he asked.
“Around 300lbs,” I said. He was stunned.
While I kept working, he stayed silent for a while, and watched me. Strangely enough, he still didn’t remember me! I didn’t know if I should have felt hurt, or happy for such a change.
Then, at the end of my arm curl sets, he asked me to make a guess about how much he could push at bench-press.
“Why don’t you try 200lbs?” I suggested. Well, as you can easily guess, you can’t start with such a weight at your first session, but I played on his vanity, and I won!
He agreed to try it with my help.
I helped him to push 200lbs once, and then, right before the second repeat, I asked him:
“You were at (so and so) school once, right?”
He was lying under 200lbs bar, and I was standing right next to his head, looking at his face from above. And he looked at me with a surprised expression.
“How do you know that?” he asked.
“There was a guy named Selim in your class, right?”
Then he recognized me suddenly, and he turned pale. I smiled softly.
“You asked me what I use for such strength, didn’t you?”
“You… said… just… vitamins…” he stammered.
“Yeah,” I said, nodding. “And there is one more ingredient.”
“Wh-what is that?” he asked.
I looked at his eyes directly, and spoke with a cold tone of voice: “Anger!”
He was shocked. I continued: “Whenever I feel that I can’t push it anymore, I think of you and what you did to me! Just one question: why don’t you do it again?”
Well, don’t worry, I didn’t do him any harm, because I wasn’t like him. But trust me, it was a perfect Spiderman moment, and I left him there for a while not bound by a web, but nailed under that enormous weight. I kept on working, and after a few minutes, I went to my coach to tell him about the guy. They pulled him out of there. And I believe he got the message!
Moreover, I found out about the changes in his life later on. His father had gone bankrupt, and they had lost everything they had. The reason why he started body building was to improve his physical appearance so that he would be able to work as a model or something.
As it was said at the end of one of Spiderman adventures: “This is the way of life. Those who were popular once go through the gutter; and those who were bullied once become Amazing Spiderman!”
I was at my mid twenties then. Now I’m forty years old. I became a successful author and book translator, and now writing articles on my own site for everyone all around the world, who would care to read what I write. From all the comments I got, I know I’m on the right path one more time.
So shortly, I’m not that bullied boy anymore.
However, what wasn’t said at the end of that Spiderman adventure was that whatever you become, or whatever position you reach in life, even if the events become just some distant memories in the past, you never forget the feelings.
Those old scars are still there, and whenever a tiny trigger scratches them, they begin to bleed immediately once again. Because you know the pain!
There’s a saying that I really like: whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
That’s certain. And I know this is true from experience. At the other hand, emotions are immortal, and they stay in your subconscious mind.
We will continue with this subject in coming days. Because now I can see that those bastard bullies are a common problem all around the world nowadays.
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