A comment I left on a friend’s post on Facebook. I want to share it here too.
I don’t think you’re a bully, I think you’re hardheaded, which isn’t necessarily a bad quality. There are times when I think you are a little mean, but there are many more times when you’re as sweet as can be.
You kicked me once when I did something stupid at a rally MSD was having in 93 and I deserved it. If I had known better at the time, I would’ve kicked me too. Because what I did made us all look bad. I think you were probably the only person at MSD who would have whupped my ass, but your agression seemed reasonable to me.
From the beginning, my impression of you was that you are someone I should not fuck with. The way you carried yourself suggested you were strong-willed and you didn’t take shit from anyone. That impression still stands, though I have not seen you in person in twenty years.
I have heard about the kids from the all-deaf families being assholes to the kids from the non-deaf families. I think it was C. C. Winkler who first warned me about this. But no one really fucked with me at MSD, which is interesting, because I wasn’t good at ASL.
Maybe I was scary to them. Or maybe what kids at MSD felt was bullying didn’t really have an effect on me, because I came out of Zemmer Junior High School and Lapeer West High School where I got shit on a lot. MSD was a relief from all that.
Come to think of it, though I got a lot of shit at Zemmer and West, no one ever really brought a serious fight to me in my whole life. Instead they liked to provoke me and usually they succeeded. And I would get in trouble for hitting them.
Kids called me stuff. “Retard” and “Faggot” were probably the most hurtful things they called me. In art class in 8th grade, there was a group who would drool on my table right next to my arm, and then they would pull my arm into the slobber. I would get up and punch them. Then the principal is yelling at me. Kids spit on me on the bus.. All kinds of shit. Every time I stood up to them, I got in trouble.
At the same time I was getting shit on, there were kids who I was an asshole to, at every school I’d ever been to, including MSD. I was somewhat of a bully too, and sometimes I think I still am. I think the key is recognizing when you’re being an asshole and admitting to it, and trying not to be one.