Echoes

It may be close to fifty (50) years after I last dealt with a young man who helped shaped my impression of men and boys, but his effect on me was the gift that keeps on giving.

Violent.

Cruel.

Carelessly abusive just because he (and they) could be.

Keith Roberts 01 1979

So, last night (since I’m already frustrated and ticked off anyway with legal b.s.), I finally gathered the courage to send him a message challenging his abuse of me.  Abuse just because no one stepped in to protect me.  Abuse just because his personality was aggressive, and my personalty was more cautious.

After being attacked, repeatedly, the drama didn’t stop until I got violent back.  I got in trouble, but it was worth it.  Because they never once got in trouble for touching me.  Bothering me.  Hitting me.  Abusing me.

Let me just say, reciprocal violence is not the answer.  It should never HAVE to come to that.  Even if it works to end the abuse.

In a tit-for-tat exchange of violence, men and boys will likely win 90% of the time simply because of their personality and stronger abilities.  A smart woman realizes that and acts appropriately and with caution.

While women aren’t without defenses, I am glad that society has evolved enough in the last 40-50 years to enable me to speak up and be heard vs. just leaving the matter at an exchange of violence.  I am glad that I had a kind of ability to face my accuser down, even if it’s only through the safety of the internet and facebook.

Keith Roberts 02 2017

He hasn’t responded, and he may never do so.

He may share this as hot gossip with the members of our class that he still speaks to.

Frankly, I don’t care.  He was a violent jerk in high school, and he’s likely still a jerk.

But, I got it off my chest.  Even if he doesn’t remember me, and/or never acknowledges that what he did was wrong, I’ve finally stood up for myself in demanding an answer vs. just leaving it as a violent episode in my past.

If I get an answer, should he remember those times and choose to respond, I will use that as a learning opportunity as not knowing that answer has always bothered me.

Getting an answer from him doesn’t mean it was my fault.  It also doesn’t mean that it will be a truthful answer.

But, getting an answer is the start of healing.  Just like demanding an answer was also part of my overall healing.

2 thoughts on “Echoes

  1. I’ll be shocked if he does reply to you. And one good thing about present day is that bullying of the type you endured isn’t tolerated any longer. I’m actually shocked the teacher in your classes didn’t intervene. The rule was (in our day) don’t HIT GIRLS. Gawd. If he doesn’t reply, take comfort in the fact that behavior such as he exhibited means that most likely today he is a sad bitter unloved little man without friends or family to comfort him. We become what we are inside. Good for you for insisting on healing and leaving that ugliness behind you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nope.

    He’s doing well.

    What pissed me off was his offering his home in Rockport, MA (complete with ocean-front pictures), for yet another reunion. Ugh.

    While I have conquered my demons by going to the reunion party, twice, and actually managing to stay to the end the second time, I am under no delusions that Karma exists or works.

    As for the rule of not hitting girls, that has never applied to me as I’ve always had a big mouth and been a verbal scrapper. I had to move schools because the 4th grade teacher watched me getting beaten up and turned her back, again!, ignoring the situation. Rather than continuing to stay some place that I was being abused and ganged up on, I walked home (another instance of skipping school), and refused to go back until something was done.

    The first time, they kept me back a year in school because I was willfully disobedient and refused to follow the curriculum. That recalcitrance, and my extensive absences from illness and hospitalizations kept me back even though everyone agreed I knew the work. Rather, it was about controlling the female child. And, not one official looked at the statistics of 5 kids being held back in a class of 25 students (a 20% failure rate), or noticed that everyone who was held back were all dealing with medical issues and related bullying.

    The second time I pulled a walkout in my 3rd grade glass, they finally switched schools because I refused to have that evil woman be my teacher. My Mom was amazing fighting for me, but she couldn’t save me from the fact that I was a very verbal and mature (adult) trapped in a child’s body and expected to comply regardless of the situation.

    Being an adult is so much better than ever being a child.

    I do thank you for your kind words, though. I know you understand.

    Like

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