I'm serious about this question and worried by my inner answer.
If you are in a rush and not in the mood to read a long blog, pass today. This is not a fluffy post.
Last week I had to drop off lunch to one of my sons at his school. (special day required a special kind of lunch - you know how it goes, they give you the "notice" the morning of ?)
There was this young boy about 12 years old. He sat in the main office waiting for who knows what. What I saw was a sullen, angry, bitterly self-contained, frozen in rage, young man. My youngest recognized him, and being as young as he is, didn't clue into body language - there went the bright and chipper " HI ---!" he said "How are you?" and as we were leaving he said, "Bye ---." At no time did the other child's eyes move, shift or blink. His head never moved in acknowledgement of the hello or goodby greeting. He sat hunched over, frozen with a tense, contained look on his face. Anger. It was damn scary seeing that on the face of a 12 year old.
This same boy shares the bus ride with my kids and all I've heard about this boy is negative. Three years of negative. No one likes him. He's been suspended from the bus a few times every year. He targets younger kids. Sets them up and then takes advantage. He taught my eldest about spit balls (bombs they're now called?) and got my son in trouble. Mine thought he was so cool. Taking him under his wing - so to speak. Trouble is cool to those that are younger - until they are faced with the consequences. How often does the duped youngins get the brunt of punishment as the true perpetrator gets off scott free? ( they've had enough practice to know how to work the "system")
I'm actually scared for this boy. Not my kids, but the "bully".
The last post was delving into the past. How does an event in your youth affect the present, remember?
I ask this: What kind of future does a bully have? How does being a bully now affect their future life path?
I have one scenario that I lived through. Please allow me to tell the tale.
As young as third grade this boy was a "trouble maker". Yes his family was incredibley dysfunctional. His brothers and sisters all had different fathers. It was a large clan and he was the eldest. What did he see that twisted him at such a young age? He ended up being belligerent, harsh, agressive and unforgiving. Contained rage. Third grade.
I made the mistake of doing the old "pull the chair out from behind him as he sat down" gag. Not funny. For him or me. It may have been funny with the Three Stooges, or cartoons but in real life, it's not and there are consequences. Granted, I'm talking third grade here - not rocket science. I WAS angry at him and I thought, clever me, I'd get back at him.
I never claimed I was a smart third grader.
Yep, the principal "talked to me". No need to explain further - you get the gist. It's what happened on the playground during recess that sticks in my mind.
Recollect that boys and girls were segregated during those days. Didn't stop him. I was far on the other side of the grounds, hunched in the shade drawing pictures in the sand. The sudden silence from the kids around me kind of let me know something wasn't right. It was one of those moments of perverse and morbid fascination that humans have with the thrill of viewing imminent violence while knowing they are safe from any fallout themselves. Kids start young.
There he stalked, his face a grim and furious cast of hate and intent. He never wavered from his path or took his eyes off of me. You know that "deer caught in the headlights" phrase you read about all the time? It exists. I'm sure I wore it because I was frozen to the spot by the shock that I was a target, that I wasn't safe on the "girls" side and no one was stopping him. Three steps away, his fist was brought up and back. On the final step it was coming around and slamming into my stomach. I stood there and watched it coming, hitting and being amazed at the pain.
He stepped back, looked arrogantly at me, his eyes still blazing with internal emotion then he turned and walked away. No words were said, before, during or after. Silence. Again, no one stopped him. No one came to me - to give comfort or concern - or alert the so called "recess aides". I was given a wide berth by all the other students around me. It was damned freaky.
I stayed away from him after that, but he left me alone too. I call that lucky.
Decades later I read the newspaper. This same boy who was now a man, stabbed and killed the mother of his three year old daughter - while his daughter was present.
So you might ask "Why write this post and ask these questions?"
Remember that boy sitting in the main office I first told you about?
He wears the same look on his face. The same intense anger - internalized and festering.
What is in store for HIS future?
Yes , I am worried - for the bully.