*First things first - if you are in school and you have to log reading minutes to increase Literacy Scores (ever hear that from your teachers?) then read my written blogs. Many schools are banning YouTube, so I am focussing on writing blogs, which you can read and hopefully help become better at Literacy.
Today's Blog Title: The True Story of How I Dealt with the Biggest Bully in My School
Growing up, my older brother got into a bit of..."mischief." Hard to believe, right? Well, one time he took things a bit too far and had to transfer to a different school.
That was a major bummer for me because when I was a freshman, he was a senior and I was hoping to have his protection in school. Now I had to face it on my own.
And since he was widely known for his extreme behaviors, people either really liked him, or really hated him. One such example of someone who really hated him happened to be my school's BIGGEST BULLY...we'll call him Heath.
Heath was over 6 feet tall and was also a senior. When my brother had to transfer schools, Heath saw this as an opportunity to take over as the school's toughest kid. My older brother had that reputation already locked in and I could go on and on about stories of how he punked out the "baddest of the bad" kids (or at least they thought they were bad until they met my brother).
Heath also shaved his head bald and grew a long goatee (which is a long, pointy beard hanging off of his ugly chin). If you look up images of Chuck Liddell or Stone Cold Steve Austin you'll get a good idea of what Heath looked like.
Well since I was only in 9th grade and Heath was in 12th grade, he saw this as a perfect time to bully me. He knew my brother was no longer at our school and thought this was his chance to take over and send a message to rest of the freshman class that he was the boss.
So one morning before school started I stepped into the bathroom by myself. This is where things got really scary...
I walked in and turned toward the bathroom stall when I heard the bathroom door open behind me. I didn't turn and look but I sensed that something was not right.
Before I knew what hit me, I was slammed up against the corner of the bathroom by what felt like a grizzly bear. I opened my eyes and saw Heath's ugly face about 2 inches away from my face; he was snarling and breathing heavy. He also brought his sidekick Brock with him as a reinforcement...maybe as a witness, who knows. (BTW, ever see the movie A Christmas Story? It seems like bullies always have a weasel as a sidekick).
My first thought was, "Oh God, don't let them shove my head in the toilet."
Heath had me pinned up against the wall using his forearms against my chest and neck. I was all by myself so I really didn't know what to do. All I kept thinking was, "Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry."
The bully and his crony (that's slang for sidekick follower) said some nasty threats to me that I cannot repeat in this blog. But in summary, he said something to the effect of, "I heard all about your older brother. He's not here to save you now, is he? You tell him we're going to get him too."
I froze. I did not fight back. I kept repeating in my head, "Don't cry. Don't flush my head in the toilet. Don't cry, don't flush my head in the toilet."
After what felt like FOREVER Heath finally let me down. He backed off, took a few steps back, paused, and said, "Wow, I give you credit. You ARE pretty down."
For the readers who don't know, "down" is like gangsta talk for "wow, I'm impressed that you didn't cry or scream...or poop your pants."
Then something strange happened.
Heath and Brock slowly backed away and kind of just looked at me. Brock said, "damn, this dude can hold his own. He didn't even cry."
I didn't say a word (I was still in shock). I just stood there with the same thoughts running through my head ("don't cry, don't show weakness, just stand here").
Then the two of them turned and walked out of the bathroom.
I took a deep breath and walked over to the mirror. I checked to see if there were tears in my eyes. I swallowed a few times to get that "lump" out of my throat (ever get that lump in your throat when you are about to cry?). I then composed myself and left the bathroom.
When I got out, there was about 20 or more other high school students standing there - students from all grade levels. They had immediately heard about what was going down in the bathroom and stood outside waiting to see the results (Chickens! Why didn't anyone come in to save me! lol).
Actually, it was a MAJOR BLESSING in disguise that no one came in to help me (that means this totally worked out in my favor). Because when I stepped out of the bathroom I could hear their whispers..."he stood up to Heath, he stood up to Heath, he stood up to Heath!" Kind of like, "Ding dong the witch is dead" (lol).
A few kids quickly rushed me and asked, "What happened?!? Did he flush your head in the toilet?"
"Did he punch you in the face?"
"Did he make you cry?"
"You stood up to him and Brock?"
"HOLY COW! JAKE PAUL STOOD UP TO HEATH AND BROCK!"
Little did I know, from that moment on I became the only freshman to stand up to the school's biggest bullies. I just stepped into the most prestigious reputation anyone could ever ask for.
And what did I do to earn it? The easy answer is - nothing. I did nothing. I did not talk back to the bullies. I did not fight back to the bullies. I did not run away from the bullies. I simply stood my ground.
I learned one of the most POWERFUL LESSONS OF MY LIFE: bullies want (and need) you to give them "ammunition" or a reason to taunt you, tease you, mess with you, and attack you. If you talk back, they win. If you fight back, they win. If you run away, they win. If you back down, they win.
Yes, it is SCARY. But you can do it.
Here's a song lyric I wrote about it,
Stand your ground my friends.