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  • rodgardner1908

Fight back!!!

Updated: May 22

This is probably the most difficult story I have ever written about in my life. Being mugged should never happen to anyone. It happened to me three times between the ages of 10 - 13 years old and it by far impacted my life for better and for worse.

I was a scrawny little spoiled child who lived in a nice building and came from a buck or two however no one ever had the right to violently hurt or violate me like that. To top it off. It happened three times!

The first time I was with my mom at a neighborhood park and I was on my bright, golden bicycle attempting to grab some water from the drinking fountain. A bunch of kids punched, kicked, and beat me pretty badly until I fell off my bike, crying and running while carrying my bike down the sidewalk to find my mother.

The second time I was on that same bicycle and by myself just trying to ride home to my apartment building. These two cowardly kids, slightly older than me were both riding on one bike, with one peddling while one was sitting behind him and he had that vicious left leg that protruded out like a left angle. I was so close to getting home and then bam, I was kicked forcefully off my bike into the maroon brick exterior wall of our building. Bloodied, confused, crying in pain, I was knocked off my bike and was down for the count of 10 seconds like a defeated boxer being knocked out of the fight. However, it was almost like a guardian angel was there for me because a neighbor from our building picked me up off the cement to ensure I was okay. He then ran after the two boys and pulled one off their bike and let's just say this neighbor of mine gave this young kid the devil. The other one rode away but interestingly enough I never saw these two kids again near our building or in my neighborhood.

The third and final time I was on my way to camp at Pottawattomie Park in Rogers Park in Chicago. I was riding my same golden bicycle and this time I was accompanied by my buddy, Chris H. We were riding our bikes together from my apartment building to camp and one mistake we made was we left very early in the morning. The second mistake we made was we turned left, facing west, and rode down a street I was not familiar with before. Chris and I rode together down this street talking about nothing too serious, with our liters of chocolate milk in one hand while we steered our bike with the other hand. Talk about cowardice! Two individuals, older than us had the audacity to stop us from riding to our destination of day camp. I am truly not upset with the young kid because he was a lemming of the other older boy. Unbeknownst to me at this time of the day, with my chocolate milk in hand, almost tipping over and losing every drop of that tasty breakfast I was looking forward to enjoying. I lived in Chicago as well and I lived one neighborhood away from him. What gave him the right to violate me and Chris like that! The other kid held Chris's bike in check to ensure he was not going to ride away. The older teenager held my bike in check and said something to the effect of, "We are taking your bikes right now!!" What a fun morning this had been so far. We were just trying to get to camp and play some 'hoops', dodgeball, and maybe some baseball.

Those who are reading this story please understand that I was really sick and tired of being violently hurt and beat up at this point in my life and I had to step up and do something courageous, finally. I was never a kid to get into a fist fight and I was never a child to talk back to my teachers at elementary school. But I was sick and tired of being bullied and knocked down for the count. I said to this older, coward of a young man in my high pitched voice, "You are not taking our bikes! I honestly think this older kid was slightly confused as he listened to me articulate these words of desperation. He paused and looked at his comrade and looked back at me and almost double-taked his head in disbelief. I can only imagine what he was thinking to himself at that moment...Who does this young kid think he is?!! I can easily steal these two bikes with one hand tied behind my back! But he didn't do that at least not that day and not to us. He did say which scared the crap out of me, "Alright! I am going to let you keep your bikes but if you ever come back again, you are going to lose more than your bikes!" I kid you not, as I write this now, I still tremble as I envision what he was showing both Chris and I. In his right pocket, he either had a long index finger or this young man had a gun. He let us go. Why?? I don’t know.

Yes I was bullied for sure on that horrifying day. Still to this day I beat myself up about one thing I did. What do I do when my buddy and I arrive safe and sound to our camp. I profusely make fun of him for breaking down and crying. How ironic. Here I am talking about putting an end to being bullied and I am bullying my dear friend, Chris to others at the camp. I walked away from that fateful day with my bike, my pride, and my life.

I have dealt with these traumatic events in my life the only way I know how to which is to listen to a plethora amount of music. I like every genre of music. It doesn't matter who I listen to. I play music loud because it acts as a distraction from my thoughts about past days like this that I have overcome. I realize a lot of us have dark days like this. I can't even imagine what those kids who hurt me were going through in their lives. Who knows if they were being bullied and/or being abused by others? Who knows how it was for each one of those individuals in their home and within their own family? I am very proud of myself for all of my accomplishments and feats I have undertaken in my life so far.

One additional thing which is cathartic for me it to dance throughout the day and evening. It is great exercise and it makes me feel happy. Also, it brings a smile to my wife's face and making her laugh and content is the best darn thing to ever happen to me!

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04 มี.ค.

These experiences seem incredibly difficult. My heart goes out to you for having to have gone through them. You are extremely resilient to process and share what happened. I admire you for being courageous and for wanting to help others.

16 มี.ค.

Thank you kindly, Sarah!

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