Bruce's Story

My name is Bruce, I am 42 years old. When I was about 10 years old my parents... moved the family to a small very tight knit rural town in Northern Maine.

Kids, you see, can be very cruel, very mean, very terrible to an "outsider". I received years of getting tormented by physical abuse, daily beatings, name calling, (I am so upset when people don't consider this harmful. Try it on for size for several years as a 10 year old, see how it feels) and assaults resulting in torn clothes, bloody lips, black eyes, contusions and spells of numbness from being kicked in head and genitals. This culminated in being held down and then having my front teeth kicked out of my head. OUCH!  PAIN!  HURT!   Several dozen kids chanted on the bullies while they beat me and held my head while another ran up and kicked my immobilized face with his foot, sending my two front teeth through my upper lip, leaving them lodged there.  The nerve ending throbbed, my ribs aching from an unnumbered amount of blows, but the crowd became deafly silenced when I lay their, almost in a coma, wishing I were dead!  ...I couldn't handle life much after that.  I became an introvert and then the rage took over.

During these troubled times while my abuse mounted, our home had become overrun with kittens! Dad did some house cleaning and tried to rid the whole home of all the cats, to bring them to a field in the country to live out their lives. I know God allowed my cat "SKUNK" to stay behind. Maybe looking back, knowing how stern a man my Dad was, below the hard manly nature, he was a true loving father.  He may have "said" he couldn't find Skunk and left him for my companion. At any rate, Skunk was a Black and White cat that would ride on my shoulders everywhere I went, through the fields and woods as I walked, as I played with my trucks and little army men in the dirt, building endless road systems and battlefields.  Skunk would lay just out of my way, often bringing me dead field rats, shrews, birds and snakes.  I would assume this was to show me that he would protect me.  As I would often sit and cry in fear in my room at night, barely audible as to not alert my parents and siblings, Skunk was right there, purring away rubbing against me and being a companion in the darkness that was my childhood. I often ponder, as an adult, does God use Kittens and Cats as Angels? You decide, I know I have.... and I thank God for my angel Skunk!

As I grew I started taking it out on others. And, one day I was so fed up I started to take my life. I went through therapy, and well, most "experts" would say.. "get over it.. move on.."

I wish some responsible adult, a teacher a parent or anyone would have had the nerve, the insight and the fortitude to see what was happening. I went through hell and was mocked and mimicked when I did return to school without front teeth, almost as a crown of shame. And there were more taunts, like "your going get some more of that whenever we want to".

I went through periods of alcohol, drugs and a few more suicide attempts, they were more cries for help, pleading for someone somewhere to please help me!

I'm mostly over that time.  I have a beautiful family and The Lord Jesus Christ, whom gets me through each and every day.

I would ask that if you are a victim of abuse, of depression or know of someone who is suffering, take time to just share a hug, a warm smile, a tender moment of sincerity.  Share with that person that you are there. You cannot POSSIBLY know what that person is going through, no one can.  I remember people saying, its just kids play, nothing serious really. My God, what is wrong with people... adults who allow this type of behavior to go on, to continue without taking a stance to prevent it?

My prayers are out to you, the family and to other families such as this precious Jared. I would say that Forgiveness as a first step.  Forgive those whom afflicted you.  Help the healing process begin.  Only time and Love will help mend a broken spirit and mind. God, in and through Jesus Christ, is my rock, a place I can go. My loving wife shares in my pain, and understands. I sometimes have a hard time, remembering the horror I went through. Bullies don't prey on the strong, they travel in packs most of time, they prey on the weak, and in turn they become stronger and the weaker become weaker.  So sad. I made a promise when I was raising my children, ask about school. Are their any incidents that need being addressed.

I feel so sad that suicide is the escape from behind the pain that a person is enduring. I know from personal experience that when you are in the ditch, face down in the muddy water, that after so many times, you just don't feel like getting up. Getting up only means being put down again, more mental and physical anguish. My wound is not yet healed.  My heart is not totally forgiving of those who robbed me of my childhood and innocence. I wish I didn't have to have that experience... but since I did.  I wish to share with folks out there, and let them know that "it'll be ok" is NOT the correct response.  Please everybody, get involved when someone is hurting, whether it's from physical or emotional abuse. Loneliness is a sure hard place to reside...  Take time this day to talk to someone, a stranger, and ask how you can enhance their quality of life. Make it a point to be involved with children as well as adults, let them know that yes, someone is genuinely interested in their well being!

May God Bless you.

Bruce C.
Sept. 8, 2001

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HEAR JARED'S VOICE - PLAY - From an interview with Pasco School District investigators concerning the assault.  This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real clear, but worth the download effort.  Jared had a real mellow voice.     Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then play again from the start.   5 minutes long.
A Congressman speaks out about bullying, and in support of an anti bullying law in Arizona       "The school ground bully has been around for too long.  His entire success at bullying is predicated upon arrogant disregard to simple decency, and a willingness to brutalize an innocent victim simply because the bully is bigger and stronger and others are afraid to intervene.  It is insidious and calls for society and government to intervene decisively.  This bullying bill is a start.  As you deliberate this bill please reflect on the fact that Government's primary purpose for existence is for the protection of its innocent citizens.   ...Then remember your bully as a child."        Congressman Trent Franks (R) Arizona


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