one plus one is two

I was in a great amount of pain, and had been for most of the day.  Eventually, I had no choice but to tell my mom that I probably needed to get checked out.  It was embarrassing, but I knew it was the right thing to do.  The rest of that afternoon and evening was a whirlwind of tests, diagnosis, surgery, and recovery.

Somehow news spread…  It was a small town, these things are bound to happen, and before I had been discharged late that night, some friends had come to the hospital to make sure I was alright.  It was the only genuine concern and sympathy I received outside my immediate family.  After that night, everything else was painful teasing and taunting.

The bullies were relentless and merciless.

It was the equivalent of a polyp, that had inflamed, and would normally have resolved itself given enough time, but, unfortunately for me, some of the tests indicated that perhaps blood was not flowing properly.  The doctor was concerned enough that he decided surgery was necessary to ensure everything was working properly.  He guessed everything was fine, but wanted to make sure.

Everything was working fine and, while they had me open, the doctor just went ahead and removed the polyp.  They sewed me back together.  Problem solved.

If I had just been able to withstand the pain for another day, I wouldn’t have needed surgery because there was no issue with blood flow, there was nothing that warranted the operation, and the polyp would have eventually deflated on its own.  If I hadn’t had surgery then there would have been no impetus for what turned into some of the most painful years of my life.

Of all the horrible nicknames that came from that one day, early in high school, the worst was probably “one nut.”

Perhaps a less shy child, because that’s what we all truly were at that age, would have dropped his boxers and proved to all those calling him names that he still had both of his testicles, thank you very much.  But, that same child probably would have been suspended, if not worse.  And, besides being shy, I feared those kinds of punishments more than I loathed the names, because I felt that would have disappointed my parents.

Perhaps a tougher kid, a bigger kid, would have opted to fight, rather than turning their back and walking away from the bullies, choking back tears of shame and rage.  They would have demanded a stop to the teasing with their fists.  But, I was small and weak.  I didn’t get my height until my senior year, and I’ve always been built like a toothpick.  I was too afraid to start a fight and then lose.  And, again, I didn’t want to get suspended, I didn’t want to disappoint my parents.

I was wrong in that, of course.  My parents would have supported me and understood my need to stand up for myself.  They would have helped me deal with any ramifications of such behavior.  It would have been fine.  This knowledge now  often leads me to wonder how different my life would have been if only I had done something to stand up to those bullies, to put a stop to those awful names…

It’s a fine line to ponder, though.  I love my life now.  The Queen.  The Little Prince.  The person I am.  I wouldn’t want to jeopardize any of that.  I wouldn’t want to change anything from my past that would make this great part of my life disappear.

But, I desperately want to save fourteen year old me from all the pain he endured too.

Would you change anything from your past despite the risk it would mean to the current you?


11 thoughts on “one plus one is two

  1. This brought back memories of bullies and being small and helpless. Most children don’t know that fighting back, even with words, is a choice.They don’t know they can ask for help because the kids who are picked on aren’t the tattles or bullies who use adults to their advantage to bully others even more.

    I ignored them. Not really, I thought they were going to kill me. They threw rocks. They yelled mean things. They told lies about me. That said, In my mind I always thought “one day I will show them all.” I did that. I’m now happy and successful. Revenge? Justice? Maybe. It feels good. By the time I was in High School it has stopped and the bullies were nobodies.

    I wonder sometimes about changing the past too but it all leads up to now.
    Now is a good place. Now is where I’m happy. Now is where I should be.

    It is good to hear you’re in a good place too. Your words inspire so many.

    We can use our own experiences to be better more aware parents and to help others. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh. Bullies are the worst. I definitely encountered my share. The thing is, even if you could take back the surgery,they’d probably still find a reason to pick on you, because that’s what they do. Screw them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It made me so sad to read ur story. My Son, has inherited problems with his eurthra/penis. He was teased and bullied. Now, he has become a bully, drug and alcohol abuser. Perhaps to cover up the pain that he felt and continues to endure. He needs Christ. Led him to Him when he was 8. He forgot. Must be all the methamphetamine, cocaine and marajuana. I still love him, care about his future or lack of one, and will welcome him with open arms when he knocks on my door, asking for help. Don’t worry. U r still a beautiful, good man. No more disfigured/flawed than a single one of human kind. And who defines what is “normal” anyway. Last time I checked, we are all made in God’s image…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I wish this weren’t true, but I’d like to change my entire past. Just rewrite my whole story. See where that would have taken me.
    Hopefully, I would still have arrived here – reading your post. But the route would have been less – whatever. Many things.

    I hate that you were bullied. I know it was a long time ago, but I still hate it. I’d like to find each and every one of those bullies now and stomp them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If my 14 year old self met your 14 year old self, I would have been nice to you. Friendship might have developed. The toxic part would have been if you accepted my offer, I would have wondered why?

    I was not physically bullied. People tried with their words, and although they cut, what my best friend did to me at 9 basically killed me inside. My retort to their feeble attempts was “you aren’t telling me anything that I don’t know, so say what you want.”. I did have the talk with my dad. He told me to defend myself. Defend was the operative word. He told me to never start what I couldn’t finish. Never did.

    Our experiences form us. To go back and change anything might make it worse on another level. That said, if we are entities before we exist, I would have told my parents on the night they created me, “please don’t.”

    I am happy you are in a good place now, with the Queen and Little Prince.


  6. I think of that often…what I might change I mean… 🙂 I haven’t had an easy life. Unlike you, the one time I did stand up for myself and got into a fight I was punished… my parents did not support me…well my stepfather wanted to…but he lived in the shadow of my mother and he wasn’t my father…a fact I am certain she didn’t let him forget. Anyway..standing up is a good thing, but not always what happens. I don’t think I would change anything that might risk me not having my sweet Cheri. There has always been more to you than people knew. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I honestly think the biggest problem with bullies and bullying is the terminology used. If we called them abusers who abuse their peers, then perhaps people would take it more seriously.

    I too was bullied all through school – I was long and skinny and wore my uniform correctly, had glasses, a ridiculous fringe (that my mother wouldn’t let me grow out) and was definitely on the geek/dork side of things, back before it was cool to be a geek. No matter what I did, they just kept on. It only got better when we turned 16 and could choose to stay on at school or go to college or get a job. The worst of the bullies left school, and then everyone was too busy with A-levels to care what anyone else looked like.

    Kids can be way too cruel for way too many reasons.


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