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Old 02-14-2019, 04:28 AM
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Stumbled on a video online of me as a child being bullied


I was a troubled kid. I was very "sensitive" and did not react well to taunting and bullying that I suffered from ages 5 to 10. My family struggled trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I tried to articulate it as best I could, I saw a child psychologist throughout, but basically though I was a textbook case and the bullying should have been addressed by authority figures like teachers or parents, it never was.

I grew up, and largely got over it. I learned to ignore the taunts and as they grew up too it faded away quite abruptly and basically we all got on with our lives. I look back on my childhood, outside of those times, as being quite pleasant and fun.

But today I was searching something random, which led me down another path, and quite accidentally I found a video of old Super-8 film that was taken by a neighbour of ours, of when I was a child. It's of a school picnic at a local river bend park, in the mid-70s when I was about 7 or 8, and shows a bunch of the kids picking up another kid in red trunks and throwing him into the river.

And I realised as I watched it that the kid was me. I can even recall the event, vaguely.

And though at first I was fascinated by this incredible sight of seeing me and my friends as kids again, as I watch the central situation of being bullied*, it really has upset me for most of today.

I'm not sure what to think about it. It's a weird situation all round.

I can sort of remember and guess who the kids are, by name. I can also see my brother and sisters sitting nearby. That in itself is cool and peculiar and makes me feel strange, like managing to extract a dream and replay it over and over.

*I hate water, can't swim, and avoided all those sorts of splashing around things as much as possible, even now. They were just determined to get me wet, so for them it was a bit of fun. But for me it was harsh and cruel and a betrayal.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:53 AM
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That is bizarre. But I don't think that is an unusual scene, particularly back in the day - I'm sure I have thrown (and been thrown) into the water on several occasions.

Not to minimize its effect on you, just making an observation.


mmm
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:42 AM
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Wow, that’s amazing — to have a pre-internet, pre-ubiquitous-videocamera-phone childhood memory brought to life in that way. I’m sorry you were regularly bullied, and sorrier still no one did anything about it. I suffered two similar month-long episodes, but nothing like the five years you endured, plus I was somewhat older. Good to hear you’ve been able to deal with this as best one could hope.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:48 AM
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I don't think I would have thought anything of it if you hadn't said this was against your will. But watching it with that in mind, you can actually see your thighs tense up as you try to dig your heels into the ground and whoever the blonde kid is, with the white t-shirt, he's trying to help you. You can see him trying to hold your arm and pull you back up the bank and a few times actually trying to fight off some of the other kids.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:15 AM
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I don't think I would have thought anything of it if you hadn't said this was against your will. But watching it with that in mind, you can actually see your thighs tense up as you try to dig your heels into the ground and whoever the blonde kid is, with the white t-shirt, he's trying to help you. You can see him trying to hold your arm and pull you back up the bank and a few times actually trying to fight off some of the other kids.
Yeah. That was Glenn, it's his Dad who is filming it all, so the camera is mostly focused on him. I didn't realise at first while watching, but you're absolutely right, he is defending me as best he can.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:05 AM
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At least you made the bastards work for it. I'm sorry that happened to you.


Good for Glenn!
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:55 AM
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Wow. Putting home movies on YouTube. What is the world coming to?

I've seen enough to know I've seen too much.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Yeah. That was Glenn, it's his Dad who is filming it all, so the camera is mostly focused on him. I didn't realise at first while watching, but you're absolutely right, he is defending me as best he can.
When you hunt them down one by one and make them pay, Glenn gets a pass.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:30 AM
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"Bizarre" is right. That looks like a scene from The Wonder Years that may have been left on the cutting room floor.

Bittersweet, I bet. Cool to see your childhood self in motion, but less so seeing THAT moment in time.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:54 AM
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Did the other kids make fun of the name "GuanoLad?"
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:15 PM
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As someone who was bullied unmercifully in the 7th grade, I can sympathize. It does leave lifelong scars, and even today I would happily kill the two fuckers who were my primary tormentors. I was lucky though; as that school year dragged into its final miserable months, another boy who was an actual bad-ass stepped up in my defense and beat the crap out of one of them, telling him to pass the word that I was off limits. The good that came out of that is that I've always tried to stand up for the underdogs and the defenseless.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:08 PM
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When you hunt them down one by one and make them pay, Glenn gets a pass.
Glenn's dad doesn't, though. Why didn't he as an adult step in??

Guano, for a developmental psychology assignment last week, I had to apply some concepts from the textbook to my own childhood and it brought up memories of my bully. I only had one, but she was a nasty one. Like you, I survived it and for the most part, I don't think about it. But when I do it sticks with me for quite a while. Other people in my class said the same thing. It's pretty traumatic and obviously leaves a mark.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:27 PM
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Here's a thought: Now that we do live in the era of ubiquitous pocket movie cameras, this sort of thing is going to become a common experience for the youth of today, as they grow up.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:43 PM
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Just watched it again. Yeah, Glenn was pretty awesome.


mmm
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Helena330 View Post
Glenn's dad doesn't, though. Why didn't he as an adult step in??
Context, I think. This is the 70s, and kids throwing other kids into rivers is rough-housing and playing. To them this wasn't a traumatic event, it was kids being kids. Even my cries of protest, as I'm sure there were, are just typical squeals that kids make when they play.

When I think back to the kind of kid I was, I am somewhat ashamed of some of the perfectly normal safe things I refused to do for petty reasons, and I sympathise with the other kids frustration at my nonsense. But though this event in particular is minor, it led to ongoing bullying that got seriously bad at times, so I can't really forgive them entirely.

People still get annoyed at me today for some of my idiosyncrasies.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:48 AM
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Glenn's dad doesn't, though. Why didn't he as an adult step in??
Glenn's dad was an early videographer; he did not interact, he documented. Casey Neistat exists because of the foundation laid by Glenn's dad.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:21 AM
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GuanoLad, that video was disturbing. As a father of young children myself, my instinct was to run in there and tell those brats to leave you the hell alone.

That's truly messed up that the adults allowed them to treat you like that. Harmless fun is one thing, I've been thrown into water myself. But that was not harmless fun. That was clear and obvious meanness. It was not an issue of having fun for them, it was an issue of having power over another.

Those kids showed no empathy towards you. That's a natural tendency for children to not know when to stop. That's why adults need to step in. I blame the adults in your life for completely dropping the ball.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:40 AM
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Interesting dynamics there. Reminds me of growing up in the 50-60s with a group of kids like that.
I wonder what one of your tormentors said to "Glenn" when he pulled him off?
Also, note the female on the right doing all the heavy lifting? She the leader of that pack?

Times have changed.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:46 PM
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I blame the adults in your life for completely dropping the ball.
At the time, I blamed them too.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:30 PM
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Interesting dynamics there. Reminds me of growing up in the 50-60s with a group of kids like that.
I wonder what one of your tormentors said to "Glenn" when he pulled him off?
Also, note the female on the right doing all the heavy lifting? She the leader of that pack?

Times have changed.
IME there are just as many girl bullies as boys till roughly our late 20s.

In the 80s, the leader of the kids who bullied or hit me every school day from 3rd grade till 7th (when I got my torso-covering scoliosis brace) was a girl; she went on to be a full-grown felon who beat up an elderly neighbor w/ the help of her boyfriend. (This was after several months of escalating taunts and bullying behavior toward him that started as soon as they moved in next to him.) Her younger sister and three other neighborhood girls were the bulk of her pack, plus a couple other boys if they were bored enough at our bus stop (which was on the lawn of one boys' house so his mom could make sure no one hurt him).

I hope one thing has changed since then; I recall the dads in that neighborhood (including mine) encouraging kids to fight. I suppose they thought it'd toughen them up or some shit.
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