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#426213 - 02/23/13 12:49 AM dodge-ball
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3513
Loc: somewhere in Africa
someone mentioned childhood memories of playing dodge-ball in a discussion on another forum - how devastating an experience it had been for him. there was an adult event he was going to that was going to include that game and he was having a hard time with the idea and didn't know how to handle it. that brought up an old bad memory of mine that i hadn't thought of in a long time.

when i was 12(?) in scouts - we ended one meeting with a huge game of dodge-ball that they called "war" - played with basketballs. i was targeted - after having already been bullied in so many other ways - including s3xually. it seemed like every guy there launched an attack on me simultaneously. i was one of the younger boys. i ended up with a lot of bruises, a broken nose and a concussion. the step-dad had to come and pick me up instead of me riding my bike home. he was embarrassed and ashamed of me and mad at me - for being a wimp and a victim and an underdog. the experience broke more than just my nose.

i guess my perspective is different from others'. it seemed like most guys felt that the thing to do was go and play to prove that he could win over his fears. i say it is OK not to participate in something that is that likely to trigger you. as an adult i have the right to opt out. i have the choice and the power and freedom to make that decision. i feel like i am strong enough NOT to be pressured or intimidated into doing something that could re-traumatize me. i have nothing to prove. i just say NO. i'll sit this one out. anyone for scrabble?

am i just a hopeless wuss?
Lee


Edited by traveler (02/24/13 05:59 AM)
Edit Reason: cx
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#426214 - 02/23/13 12:55 AM xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [Re: traveler]
wearytraveler Offline


Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 49
Loc: Left Site- no longer member
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Edited by wearytraveler (01/17/14 05:46 PM)
_________________________
I have left this site and am no longer a member to those who I met while here I wish you well I no longer reside in my own past but have moved on and facing what is now and what is ahead. My past no longer defines me, and it does not effect the course of who I am and my future.

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#426223 - 02/23/13 04:15 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Lee.

Whenever I see american programs protraying dodge ball, it looks like basically an excuse for violence to me. I suppose like boxing or martial arts it's okay if people get the choice, but from what I've seen kids in American gyms don't get the choice and looking at this from the perspective of someone who lives in a country where that so called game isn't played that seems incredibly wrong to me, heck, even getting changed for P.e. as a kid was bad enough never mind participating in something like that. heck, throughout the middle ages over hear the pillery, aka sticking someone in the stocks and chucking stones or clods of earth at them as a humiliation was a rather barbaric punishment for miner offenses on a par with flogging.

If someone wants to play, fine, but nobody should be forced to, or still worse, feel forced to, and I indeed applaud your own choice for going against all the stupid sterriotypes and saying no to this.

If anything that shows you can look after yourself far more than the ability to be hit with a ball.

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#426228 - 02/23/13 06:16 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3621
Loc: South-East Europe
Originally Posted By: traveler
when i was 12(?) in scouts - we ended one meeting with a huge game of dodge-ball that they called "war" - played with basketballs. i was targeted - after having already been bullied in so many other ways - including s3xually. it seemed like every guy there launched an attack on me simultaneously. i was one of the younger boys. i ended up with a lot of bruises, a broken nose and a concussion. the step-dad had to come and pick me up instead of me riding my bike home. he was embarrassed and ashamed of me and mad at me - for being a wimp and a victim and an underdog. the experience broke more than just my nose.
Lee


This moved me so much Lee, it is hurtful beyond imagination and I'm terrible sad frown
You know I used to spend a lot of my free time in playing with kids outside, we played dodge ball and many other games. We were never under surveillance of adults and rarely there were some problems.

In all our games we cared for each other and especially for smaller ones and those who were left alone. We all hated seeing someone isolated from others and we hated if older and stronger boys would make fun of some weaker boys.
I'll never accept such behavior that you described as normal. What worries me is if kids were so spoiled, prone and encouraged to be violent I just can guess in what personalities they have grown later. It is more than sad.

I'll add that your step-dad doesn't deserve to be called dad at all, I've just read about some hurtful inhuman narcissistic person who was evil and cold toward his sensitive and very intelligent step-son...

(((Lee)))
_________________________
My story

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#426235 - 02/23/13 08:17 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 918
Loc: New York
Lee,

My dad was a middle school dean in the '60s - '70s and describes similar scenes; dodgeball "games" where a designated victim would be knocked down and then the boys would gang up to throw their volleyballs straight down full force at his head at point blank range... laughing at tears... real Lord of the Flies stuff. Bad as I was tortured / bullied in gym, it was never THAT bad - I have to suspect some things were just banned from schools through the decades right along with naked swimming classes.

And no, you're not a wuss; you are a man and that means you don't have to indulge in trivial behaviors you don't want to. Hell, I have no respect whatsoever for sports and think school gym should just be exercise / calisthenics / weightlifting, with competitive singling-out activities purely voluntary.

My childhood memories of serial, near-ritualized bullying at that time dwarfed the impact of what my contemporary memories of CSA were; stories like yours really bring out that pain. I'm sorry you were targeted and sorrier no one helped; I wish I could have known you then, I would have helped.


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#426236 - 02/23/13 08:39 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3513
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thanks, guys.

it felt like my head exploded. everything went white and then dark and i couldn't hear anything for a while and then it was like it was a long way off and echo-y and i was staring up at the ceiling.

my glasses were broken.

step-dad said - "why didn't you duck?"

they sent me back a couple of weeks later.
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#426239 - 02/23/13 09:28 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 814
Loc: michigan
traveler man,
as I read your story it hurt my soul. I am so sorry that happened to you I had a dodge ball experience too.the whole class including the teacher was all in till the last ones out. I ran,and ran dodging till the only one left was teacher and me. I couldn't catch it she was throwing to hard and when she finally hit me in the face so hard it knocked me over, I got up to walk over to sit on the bench exhausted with my head as you described it. and she said no,no, a hit in the face is disqualified,THAT DIDN'T COUNT! so I took of running again and she blasts me in the back. that was 4th grade and I still choose to run
I feel you pain,
Jeff
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#426245 - 02/23/13 11:10 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
Marc1267 Offline


Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 10
Lee, I was bullied through most of middle school. It finally stopped when I went to a totally different H.S. where I met new friends and no one in my old school went to my H.S. so it was a chance to start over but the memories are still vivid some 33 plus years later. I remember one miserable/humiliating experience, it was in 7th grade and we were going on a trip to Rocky Point Amusement Park in R.I. Now, my school was in Boston so it was about an hour and 15 minute ride each way. The ride down wasn't so bad and I hung out with another of the so called "unpopular kids" and actually had a decent time. The ride back was hell, I was one of the last ones on the bus and had to take a seat towards the back and an inside seat towards the window (forced to take that seat) and i had a bully next too me and in the 2 seats in front of me, and eventually another one moved into the seat behind me. They spent the majority of the ride giving me some dope slaps, calling me names and I was wearing a blue windbreaker and one boy decided to spit into my jacket pocket, the others laughed and all follow suit till my jacket pocket was full of their saliva. I was paralyzed with fear to do anything and not one person came to my defense, a few of the girls may have said leave him alone but I am not sure. To this day, I remember their names and have often thought about seeking justice, buy my justice would end up getting me in jail. I intend on dealing with these issues which lasted from about 4th grade until 8th grade along with the sexual abuse. Another time in 8th grade, I was forced to engage in a fight with another boy who was also considered a "pussy" or a wimp or a fag. He was bullied and sometimes even worse then me. We were forced to fight after school one day in the rectory across from the school. I had never been a fighter and thought I would beat this kid although neither one of us ever had a problem with each other so it was stupid that we were forced to do this fight. It was put to both of us that either "we fight each other" or we each get beat the hell out of by "them" which was about 5 or 6 boys or more. Well, I lost that fight, got a few punches in but he wound up knocking me down and won so after that I became the "bigger" pussy. Let me mind you this was a catholic school which everyone seems to think they turn out better kids. It bullshit. Their are punks, bullies, etc in every type of school. You are not alone Lee as you know. I just thought I would share a few of my bullied moments. I am more comfortable talking about them the CSA. I will probably start with these stories with my T.

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#426246 - 02/23/13 11:11 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
Marc1267 Offline


Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 10
I don also remember similar things like being targeted in dodge ball in the gym and of course always being the very last one picked for any type of sporting event.

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#426287 - 02/24/13 02:34 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3513
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i guess this really hit a nerve. sorry to those who were triggered by it.

at first it was some memory i hadn't thought of in a long time - like a dusty book on i shelf i hadn't opened in a while. i don't know if i'd really forgotten - or just hadn't looked at it. but it keeps unpeeling like layers of an onion.

i know i was out cold for a while. no idea how long - but apparently long enough for them to try to bring me around and then carry me into a locker room. (this happened at the school gym.) and enough time for step-dad to be called and drive there. when i came around he was already there and all these heads were leaning over me. i couldn't walk to the car.

it was the next day before i saw a doctor. no hospital in our little town. it wasn't worth a house call. i had 2 black eyes and my nose was like a huge potato. pretty messed up. mom couldn't bee too sympathetic because step-dad was always accusing her of coddling me. if what she did was coddling, i'd hate to see benign neglect.

i don't remember getting new glasses or what i did for the next few days. and i don't know if there is any more to come.

lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#426352 - 02/24/13 09:26 PM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3513
Loc: somewhere in Africa
yep - there is more - another layer of the onion:

Josh, DE, Pero, Matt, Jeff, Lee, Marc - it does help to hear that you understand and all of your stories also moved me deeply. a couple of comments that you'd have stood by me were enough to make me totally break down.

my "best friend" was a part of the attack. "best" is probly an exaggeration - he was pretty much the only friend i had. he was the one who filled in the blanks of my spotty knowledge about s3x. and he was the one who first saw my private parts, discovered my precocious physical/s3xual maturity, and outed me to the whole school and scout troop. i have him to thank for the persecution and scapegoating that followed. and then he joined my enemies. it may have been because i was social poison and it was dangerous to be associated with me. maybe he had to prove his solidarity with the rest of the pack so as not to become a victim and a target, too.

i don't know where this episode fits in the timeline - whether it was before or after he completely cut me off. i do remember that even though i felt betrayed and hurt by him, i didn't turn against him. i guess i was so pathetically desperate for companionship that i kept on sticking with him, even when he repeatedly delivered me into the hands of more bullies and abusers. after the first time in 5th grade at school, it happened again in the changing huts of a swimming lake with scouts, and again in the locker room of the Y at swimming lessons. he would announce to all of the guys what i had tried to hide and they would take it from there - staring, jeering, touching.... how stupid could i be - to keep on giving him another chance, to keep on going back to the same places and groups to get more of the same treatment?!!! he was the one who eventually ditched me for good - and whether the dodge-ball incident was the last straw or not - i don't know. i know i didn't feel angry at the time - just defeated and empty. most of these same attackers had also participated in the other episodes. again, i have a hard time separating the physical violence kind of abuse from the s3xual harassment/bullying kind of abuse.

there haven't been many friends since then.

you know what you find when you peel away the last layer of an onion - - ? nothing left...

i hope that this is the last layer.
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#426353 - 02/24/13 10:01 PM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
oriolesguy Offline


Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 108
Loc: Long Island, NY
Traveler....
OK.... It's tough for me to do this, but here goes.....
I know the kind of dodge ball incident you write about. I think they have been a pretty common thing through most schools. Everyone knows what dodge ball is, although that doesn't mean everyone liked it. You had to at least "pretend" that you liked it, even if you didn't, and even if you were getting the shit kicked out of you one way or another. Otherwise you would have been an outcast, something no one wanted to be.

I was the guy on the other side of the ball. I would have been the one throwing the ball at the kid who got isolated. I wouldn't have started it, but I certainly would have joined in. Athletics were my thing. I have to admit, however, that after I was raped at age 11, I didn't pick on the loner, because I felt I now was one. I was always good at athletics, but I became a lot more aloof and unwilling to beat up on anybody who was being made fun of. After that, all I wanted to do was play, although I became the dumb jock. I am sorry now for the way I was, and sorry that I had to grow up that way. I was pretty stupid.

I can see why you have trouble separating the physical violence from the sexual harassment. Remember that sexual assault/rape is not primarily an act of sex. It is an act of VIOLENCE. It took me a long time to get that. So you've lumped all the violence together, even though there are different facets to each one. And it also hurts when friends are perpetrators. Your friend was a bully, and you were used by him to get acceptance. He clearly didn't accept you for who you are, and that's what true friends do. And because you've had bad experiences with one individual doesn't mean that everyone is like that. Most people are good, and we have to remain open to friendships. If we don't, we miss out on a big, often rewarding element of life.

Hope this helps.

Oriolesguy

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...1634#Post261634


Edited by oriolesguy (02/24/13 10:09 PM)

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#426383 - 02/25/13 04:52 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3513
Loc: somewhere in Africa
one more time...
- but no promises that this is the end.

and one of the last things i wrote in the last post about dodge-ball - is - i think - very important - about going back to get abused again and again. that was something i really had no choice to change back then. but here i was blaming myself - judging my behavior back then according to my thinking and abilities now. i couldn't stop going to school. (i know i tried to tell mom that i was getting picked on but she just said ignore it and they will stop. that didn't work.) i couldn't quit scouts because it would have required a big discussion about WHY. i might have said i didn't want to go to scouts, (i really don't remember if i did or not) but even if i did it wouldn't have made any difference. it was supposed to be good for me, make me less wimpy, toughen me up, make a "real boy/man" of me. to quit would have taken the parents' permission. they held all the power. and they sent me back again and again... so i guess it wasn't really my fault after all. HEY - that sounds familiar!

Orieolesguy - thanks for speaking up. i'm sorry that you had to find out by personal experience what it is like "on the other side of the ball." yeah - you get it too.

and you are right in what you said about s3x abuse being violent. even when it seems to be gentle or not as physically harmful, it does incredible violence to the soul and psyche.

you also nailed it about my so-called friend. he sold me out - pimped me - for the acceptance of the gang. just like my mom gave me up to the step-dad in exchange for the comfort and security of his upper-middle-class lifestyle.

i do agree in theory about the value of friendships. it seems like i just haven't met that many people that i'd consider safe enough or worth the effort or like they would even begin to understand where i'm coming from. with the exception of you all here on MS.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#426384 - 02/25/13 05:06 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
@lee, wow, this is ouch worthy for me. i totally recognize that bit about separating violence from abuse, it's pretty difficult, indeed in my case I can't even say one was perpetrated by boys and the other by girls for all the most extreme s/xual stuff happened with girls (though boys watched and had a laugh).

The bit that particularly hit me is what you said about your friend. I remember I had a similar so called friend, the one boy who got picked on almost as much as I did who one minute would be the only person in the entire school to speak to me, and the next would turn round and punch me unexpectedly in the stomach while getting changed for P.E, I even remember one of the other boys turning round to him and saying "good one mate!" after that, even though two days before that same boy had punched my so called friend in the head, poured soil all over his hair and called him a ginger bastard.

I will say it got to the point eventually that I became sick of this boys company entirely, and from when we used to hang around together a lot for the first couple of years it eventually got to the point that we said "hi" and that was it, even though he'd still readily join in whenever the class decided to play punch bag or s/xual humiliation with me. The fact that he was also willfully thick as a brick and would only talk about computer games and nothing else didn't help either. The last straw was when he called me fucking gay boring cunt after I tried to persuade him to read Lotr and he pretty much just gave up.

He even came around to my house once after I left that school, since a few years before he'd stayed the night, though fortunately my parents picked up that by that point I hated his guts and made me a good excuse to get rid of him, which was the last time I saw him.

Thinking about him now, I feel a distinct sense of anger, which is odd, since I don't feel the same anger with anyone else involved in my abuse at the time, maybe because unlike everyone else at one point I did! considder him a person unlike my abusers.

I really hope you can work through this, ---- since I very much know what it feels like.

Luke.


Edited by dark empathy (02/25/13 05:16 AM)

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#427251 - 03/06/13 02:03 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3513
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i saw my T today for the 1st time in 6 weeks. he had been away. we talked a lot about this dodgeball episode.

I told him everything and then told him i had read this whole thread to my wife and that it was just as difficult to do as revealing the CSA. he asked why. i said i think it is because i felt so absolutely destroyed by it. demolished, crushed, worthless, nothing. it was hard to confess that and risk being seen the same way as i saw myself and as the other boys saw me. at the same time, i knew she would pity me - and that is sometimes painful to accept as well. it seems like a confirmation of inadequacy and inferiority and uselessness.

She did feel sorry for me – she cried, too – not just while I told her but also later, thinking about it several times. The part that surprised me was that she was angry as well – at how I was treated by the other scouts – and the leaders – and my parents. I was used to it and had accepted it as “normal” and didn’t realize till recently that it was not acceptable.

the experience was not just a negation of my masculinity like the CSA - but also of my personhood. i felt like their hatred was trying to wipe me out - obliterate me from the face of the earth - like i didn't even have the right to exist. btw – a couple of days ago I read a news item about a 12-yr-old boy who was bullied. He was attacked on the playground, ended up with bruises, a broken nose and concussion – just like me – and several days later he died. it could have been a similar end for me.

My T said he’d like to make an observation. I said OK. He said as he was listening to my story, he was impressed by what a courageous boy I was – to go back to scouts after what they had done to me. And he said that many of the other things I have done in life have been courageous as well. He called me COURAGEOUS! I started crying. I didn’t feel courageous then or now. but it was very affirming and healing to hear that.

I can see courage in others far easier than in myself. If I was courageous – then that means that every boy here who grew up, enduring abuse – is also courageous – as is proven by the fact of his survival.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#427284 - 03/06/13 10:34 AM Re: dodge-ball [Re: traveler]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Lee,

I have read through the thread several times and like everyone else, it triggers memories for me as well. I hated- HATED- dodge ball! Or anything athletic, actually. I am so very sorry you were singled out for such abusive physical behavior from your classmates. And your step dad seemed to be totally clueless... "why didn't you duck?". To him I would only say, "Why weren't you the dad you were supposed to be?"...well, I won't start down that road.

I was the smallest kid in class, but I also would have stood with you. And I'll stand with you now. And I did grow to be a rather large guy!! Still can't fight, but can intimidate if needed...lol.... my background naturally brings forth phrases that may seem odd, but I now just go with it... so here it goes.... "Bless your heart, big guy. Bless your heart."

Remember how valuable you... you have touched me, us, in so many ways.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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