When i was a small kid, growing up (yes i realize the majority of my stories start or are rooted in the past or, worse, in my childhood, but i'm a sucker for narrative flashbacks) i had my share of bullies at school. It had to happen, i was a meek, scrawny kid. I would've punched me too. And it kinda taught me how to behave in a social order where some people were clearly out there with the purpose to make your life miserable.
It was weird in some context, since the actions of a buylly are very random anbd methodical. So i had to face the fact that every day, with no exception, i would've had to sytand up for myself and even if i did that, they wouldnt have stopped the buyllying but instead increase the dosage, until we were all out of school. And if they ever picked me outside of school they wouldve hit me anyway. But that taught me how to fight people and how to eventually learn how to be cruel to others that were weaker than me. Yeah i know, that sounds awful but thats how i grew up and i have no excuse or shame for it.
I had to deal with worse stuff when i went to my grandmother's house at summer. Besides the adult abusers all kids there had and that a parentless one like me had in double size, there were thye animal like relationship i had with my cousins.
The main villains of that part of my story were two kids, adopted by an uncle who couldnt have any kids, born in Guatemala. The two were completely different, both in physical appearance and sprit. They were not really brothers. But honestly that never bothered me. Thats why i always say that racism doesnt even exist in my head. I grew up with those two very non-white looking kids and to me they were part of my family.
The racism always came from our parents, including their own. Where we interacted easily, every single one of the older people in the family never missed an opportunity to state how they werent "really our parents", "diffferent" or downriugjhtt "Savages". Yes, that's right.
They were perfectly normal kids. One was smaller and more subtle in his attacks, the other was a Tyson look-a-like that could break a bone wih a single punch. They loved to crash stuff, do dangerous stunts and play war games. That is still perfectly normal to me. But my grandmother loved to tell them to their face "you're like this because you come froma country of war toirn savages, viuolence it's in your blood. You're not normal, like us".
They never got over that. So their anger came out in the playing. I had an indestructable toy truck that i managed to put through hell for years, until they threw it from a roof. They climbed trees and threw rocks at me. So i learned to climb the tree and started throwing rocks at our smaller cousins. I got beat up a lot. I had fun.
My father once commented "of course they knew how to climb trees, they're closer to monekys than we are".
As we met as adults, things were changed badly. I happened to work for their adoptive father, a man who loved to sabotage women on the workplace, to "put them in their place" and used illegal immigrants as workers so he could undepay them. Thats where i learnmed i lot about myself and dealing with assholes. He seemed to treat his sons good though. Maybe cause Giovanni, the tyson look-a-like, even more as an adult, once punched him in the stern, HARD and taught him he should behave.
Bith him and his brother, Enrico, were trying hard to fit, but they had to work extra. Giovanni worked 20 hours a day to become a professional nurse and he still had to face people pushing him around. Enrico, who looked like he just stepped out from "Apocalypto", but without the muscles, traveled the world doing a lot of short jobs but never really succeding.
I was full of hopes and a a year ahead from my biggest suicide attempt.
Differnt ages, different bullies.