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.
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.
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.
Sept. 8, 2001