Bully #3 came into my awareness in my junior year at the beginning of winter. I was trying to cut across a snow-covered baseball field since the campus is large and I was already running late for a class.
This guy saw me trying the shortcut and ran over to talk to me about something. I didn't understand him and I tried to be polite with him by using the usual "I don't understand you. I am deaf" tactic.
He kept talking to me and he was using his mouth in such a way that was not conductive to lipreading; barely moving the lips and speaking too rapidly. I tried again but that didn't seem to get through to him. I shrugged and turned to leave. I happened to look back and I saw him bend down to scoop up some snow.
I ducked before he could hit me with the snowball and I laughed at his clumsy effort as I walked away. I thought I wouldn't see him again since I had never seen him before. Not so. The next day in a hallway, someone leaned into my peripheral vision and did the mocking mouth movement. When I slowed down to look at that person, I recognized him from yesterday and I realized that I had never noticed him.
Each and every time he saw me, he would mock me. I was already well-known at the school, despite its size with 2,000 students and I hated that because it meant that I had to endure the looks and the whispers (like I can hear them!) as I walked by. My self-confidence was nowhere to be found so I really hated being "outed" like that and that guy was doing that every time he saw me.
He never touched me. He never waved his arms. Never did anything to me except let his friends KNOW who I am. Every dang time. Then...a new semester came around...
That meant new classes. Wouldn't you know it? He happened to be in the same physical education class with me. I had always looked forward to P.E. every semester because I got to play sports and I got to show everyone that being deaf didn't necessarily mean you'd be terrible at sports and I loved knowing that I wouldn't be the last one picked for teams. Loved that...and there he was.
I had this friend who sat next or near me in alphabetical order. Never forgot his name. He was already a stud - he was a drummer and he worked hard on his body and his long flowing hair so he would look hot. Rock music was the rage in the 80's...and he saw this guy mocking me in P.E.
In a flash, he stood up and walked over to him and said "Stop! Don't do that anymore!" and came back to his position and resumed his conversation with me.
Just like that.
The guy was left speechless, and so was I. Never had anyone stand up for me like that. Especially not the guy who could have any girl he wanted without having to work for it.
I was never ever bothered by anyone after that. Coupled with the fact that my sister had finally become one of the most popular girls in her sophomore year (remember, she was one year behind me), nobody wanted to mess with the hot drummer's friend or the popular girl's deaf brother.
3 days ago