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    Mother Kym (part 2)

    Lots of kids are bullied. I sure as shit was. It was worse than a mind fuck. It was a heart and soul fuck. Not only did I not know, as a child, how to defend myself, verbally, physically, or emotionally, but once the event happened, bringing it to mom made it worse. So I just stopped bringing it. Being completely ill equipped to handle such a thing, the event would stay with me and rattle around inside of me, indefinitely. I would go to my head and try to work it out. That’s certainly one reason I can be in my head so much if I’m not being mindful. I learned to do that very young, and those neural pathways got forged in steel.

    With my EMDR therapist, we did an exercise where I recreate a specific, shitty, traumatic bullying experience. But I pick another woman to be my mom (my cousin Kym, the best mother I could possibly imagine), because my real mom wasn't able to give me what I needed. Then, I recreate the experience the way I would have wanted it to go down. 

    It looks like this: 

    I get physically bullied by an older kid at school and bring it home to Mother Kym. She consoles me. Wipes away my tears. Listens to me. Holds me. Loves me up. Makes me stop feeling bad about myself. She tells me what a wonderful little kid I am, and tells me she knows how awful this must feel. She gives me some ice cream and we start talking about something else, something I’m really interested in, like dinosaurs (I still find them endlessly fascinating). Then she calls the parents of the jerk-off that did this to me, and tells them, respectfully but in no uncertain terms, that their son is to leave me the hell alone.

    Then, she teaches me how to kick some ass.

    After four weeks of involving dad and other people to teach me what to do, I approach the bully in school. Since Mother Kym made the phone call, I’ve been on the receiving end of countless taunts from the bully and his cronies for involving her. But I’ve been able to withstand that, because Mother Kym and I have processed it, and I have some new resiliency regarding verbal abuse. I believe that kids have to fight their own battles. But the kid needs help. The kid has to be thought how to do that, by adults. It doesn’t happen by magic.

    The bully tells me he’s not gonna apologize, and starts taunting me again. I ask him once more. He laughs. Then, I do the last thing he expects; I smack him right in the kisser. Hard. In front of all his friends. I’ve been practicing this for a month, so I know how and where to land a punch. He goes down like a sack of bricks, holding his bloody nose and bloody mouth, yelping like a dog. I say to him, “Don’t ever fuck with me, or my friends, again.” Then I walk away. Scene (that’s a theatre term for “End”).

    I’m not a proponent of violence. However, I believe, in certain situations, you have to make a statement. A bold, loud as fuck statement; one that echoes long after it’s made. A statement that brings peace, self-assurance, and safety to the one who made it. This is that situation. This is that statement. In the world of elementary school, no one is likely to fuck with me again. I feel safe. Something I never actually felt, ever, as a kid.

    Therapeutically, combined with EMDR, this stuff works because it powerfully forges new neural pathways that I build on. I immediately felt better after the session. I often know how to appropriately stand up for myself as an adult. But that doesn’t heal the original wound until I create something new around that specific trauma from childhood. And as long as the original wound is still there, there’s still the possibility of maladaptive behavior associated with events that trigger it. For example, nowadays when my blood does get up, I can sometimes act inappropriately and blow my top. Or, sometimes I’ll freeze, because my central nervous system shuts down. Those responses are a result of trauma. And neither works. 

    The man I’m becoming is completely secure in his ability to act appropriately and take care of himself, and anybody he's with, if necessary, in any situation. It's also important I give fitting breadth to the word "appropriate"; because it's not completely objective. It's a space on a continuum, not an absolute point. Not recognizing that doesn't honor my own standards, values, and unconventional nature. If I'm present and in the flow of my own personal power, I'll choose behavior that serves the situation and myself. In an extreme example, as an adult, I know how to fight, but it won’t come to that, unless I'm physically threatened and have no other options. Because, otherwise, I can’t be bothered with your bullshit. I rise above it, because I am above it. I don’t care about you being a jackass or trying to pick a fight anymore then I care about a tiny spider crawling across my foot.

    And that’s all I got to say about that…….for now.


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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