When I was young, newly arrived in this country..
My parents tried using our relatives address..
So I could go to a better school in a better district..
But I didn't know this and one day..
The school secretary asked me for our address..
She tried to correct me but I insisted she was wrong..
Embarrassed, my parents took me home..
And I was moved to a school in our rougher neighborhood..
The next day a tough kid, smaller than me..
Saw how I was weak and struck.
I was in shock - why did he attack? What had I done?
Nothing, of course.
Bullies attack the weak.
They're just playing out the natural order of things.
Later, that night my parents blamed me..
"Disgraceful.. letting someone smaller pick on you!"
So, I numbed my feelings..
When I saw the kid again, I tried to run..
But it didn't matter, of course..
He caught me, and continued to harass me..
Because I was weak and different.
And he was strong and more like everyone else.
Years later, a girl shared her tearful story of being..
I understood what she felt.. but I showed nothing..
Because now I was strong enough..
..or maybe I just felt nothing.