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There are times in our lives when things may become difficult for us, and for those that we care about. it sucks, but it happens. And sometimes, the situation is extremely unbalanced or unfair. When these situations arise…we may find ourselves having to fight back. Bullies always choose easy targets, and if they think you’re one of them…they’ll never ever ever leave you alone. Hurting you is like fuel to them, and they’ll get as much fuel from you as they possibly can until you put a stop to it.

However, what about when it comes to other people? When you see them struggling, when they’re bullied or ridiculed, when they’re being abused or taken advantage of? Are you willing to step in and help them out? now, this could mean an actual, physical, confrontation…or it could just mean a verbal thrashing, or unfair treatment at work or in school by an authority figure. When the time comes…will you step in and stand up for someone else in a time of need? Standing up for ourselves can be challenging enough, and it takes self confidence and courage to do so…but when it comes to your family or your friends or maybe just a stranger on the street…when you see an injustice being done to them, will you be the hero and rush in to help?

It doesn’t make you a bad person to say no. Sometimes, it’s just none of your business. Sometimes you don’t know all of the details, and may need to figure things out before you rush in all hot headed and angry, trying to solve the problem. Sometimes, the real heroes move in after the offense to help with the effort to repair the damage done. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But…in the moment…would you jump in to defend and protect your friends from harm or unfair treatment? Let us know!

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“Whew. This one’s kind of hard.

I used to be the guy that always jumped in when I saw something wrong happening. Whether it was bullying or dishonesty. Nowadays, I’m no longer invincible and choose my battles more carefully. Some I’ve been aware of for months and still have not come across the best way to help.

When I see a kid being picked on, I summon my inner Batman voice and hope the bullies don’t laugh. Most the time it just takes an adult’s attention, and the dickheads scatter. Unfortunately, that kind of help is only temporary, so I hope those kids being bullied have a good friend to fall back on after the damage is done. I’m not the guy for that kind of support.

I wish I could come up with a better answer than “it depends,” though. The truth of the matter is, I don’t know how I’ll react anymore. I’ll just have to stick with: I hope I can help.” – TurtleBoy

“I have done in the past, when I’ve noticed it happening. I’m not often in a situation where I encounter such things anymore.

One girl at school was bullied an awful lot. The kids called her “smelly Kerry”. I stood up for her and because of my size (I was always tall and broad for my age) they left her alone, at least when she was around me. Unfortunately, from then on, she was always trying to get me to go out with her, and I wasn’t into her that way.” – Mike

“I was bullied as a kid.

I was the fat “posh” boy that was crap at sports etc and as not been around that many people outside of school was kinda awkward.

There were times I wish I could of stood up to the bullies for me and those that were my friends or just generally be able to put a stop to them.

Fortunately it did change. I got allot tougher both emotionally and physically and on occasion was able to stop someone from being bullied.

Now hehe it seems people don’t dare cross me. A) I’ve gotten myself physically fit again (7 days a week down the gym.. god i miss it right now) which according to some of my friends gives me a look of someone not to mess with hehe.

But with Hindsight if I knew then what I know now about why bullies do it and now how to handle it, even as a tubby kid I’d of been much better off…. You know they really should make it so you know everything at birth and very gracefully start to lose it as you get old…” – Dom

“So, I don’t readily defend myself, although there was this one time in ninth grade. I made the switch from private Catholic to public school for high school, and was relentlessly bullied by this one boy. Come December, about a week after my 15th birthday, he hit me, so I hit back. We were both suspended, and the next week he kept calling me gay for about two hours. (The school thought it was a good idea to put us in three consecutive classes🙄) Finally, I turned around and said, “Are you only calling me gay because you want me?” He went green, whole class laughed at him, and he was never a problem again.

Now, in eleventh grade, I was sitting outside with my group of friends for lunch on the patio, and this one group of nasty ass kids were tricking and cajoling another boy to say some really, inappropriate things. Let me describe him, call him E. I’ve known him since before pre-K, ok, I’ve known him practically my whole life up to this point. He has some mental issues, and will probably never be able to live on his own or grow past being 12 mentally and emotionally. Sweetest damn person you’ll ever meet.

I fucking exploded. I blacked out. I know I didn’t fight them, but I did sure as hell yell. This group was making E say sexual acts, that he didn’t understand, towards others in the area, and once it got to me, I lost it. One kid at my table actually got behind me to back me up. I had never gotten that angry before, and I haven’t since.” – Sol24

When I was a kid, I was usually the one being bullied. Shorter than most, shaggy brown hair, glasses, skinny… I was an easy target. I got bullied at school often and got into plenty of fights I had no chance to win. Add to that, most of my pre-teen years I got bullied by a drunk father who was easy to set off, even if you thought you knew what he wanted. Now, I had no hope of standing up to the old man until I was older (and yes, once my teeth were as sharp as his, I paid him back as often as I could) but at school I got loud if someone I liked was being picked on. The first incident of this I can remember was in the 4th grade. That day I got to school and found two 6th graders shoving my best friend around and even knocked him down and had him crying. I didn’t even think, I just ran over and threw my backpack at one and shoved the other as hard as I possibly could, startling the kid and knocking him down. I was seeing red and to this day can’t even remember what I said before helping my friend get back on his feet and walking him inside to see the nurse. They were both stunned and didn’t respond. Granted, I got my ass handed to me after school that day and again at home when my father heard I got into another fight and lost but, I protected someone I cared about and I was proud of myself for that one small action. So you would think things like that made me tougher and smarter eventually. Hah!

Last year I was on a bus with my roommate on our way home from downtown when some nasty drunk at the back of the bus started getting loud and after moving to the front of the bus closer to us started harassing a young girl (college age) and was just being obnoxious and frightening her. Leaning in to get in her face and saying rude and disgusting things. I watched for another stop and watched bigger guys than me just ignore what was happening. So I got angry, handed my roommate my bag and got up and got in between the young girl and him. He got all upset, and was yelling at me for interrupting their “conversation”. I calmly asked the girl if she wanted to speak with him and she quickly shook her head no, so I told him he could talk to me and I locked eyes with him. He ended out moving even further to the front of the bus and a couple stops later, the driver threw him off. Was it smart? God no. Did I even consider that fact in the moment? Nope. The messed up thing, a couple older women thanked me for doing something and the guys on the bus that did nothing pretended to not have been paying attention. I’m not tough, I’m not built, I’m not even intimidating in any way but I’ve been helpless and nothing, including physical pain, feels worse or scars more deeply. So, I often just can’t tolerate someone making another person feel that way without speaking up. Damn the consequences. – JeffsFort

“When it comes to me, personally…it’s no secret that I can be a glutton for punishment. I mean, I’m pretty much used to it, and have spent a majority of my life trying to let it roll off my back whenever possible. When I was younger? I used to fight a lot. Like…FIST fights! Hehehe, looking back on it, it’s hard to see myself as being so hot headed. But that mellowed out somewhere in the middle of high school. I might take some heat on my own back…but if you messed with one of my friends or someone in my family? You could expect a visit from me. And it was NOT going to be a friendly one. I would definitely stand up for someone else before I stood up for myself. It’s just a part of my DNA, I suppose.

By the time I was in high school, it wasn’t so much about being violent, as it was about completely embarrassing the people who were looking for attention. You want attention? I’m going to make sure that you get it. And it’s not the attention you want, trust me. I definitely have a temper, but it’s a very slow burn kind of temper. Like, it really takes a LOT to get me to a point where I’m ready to just unleash on somebody and give them both barrels. But if you guys ever see me losing my cool and ranting and raving like a lunatic, you better believe that the person I’m aiming my fury at has gone to GREAT lengths to get me to that point. I’m not super sensitive and I don’t fly off the handle for no reason. But…I have no problem asking somebody if they have a problem with me if I feel a certain degree of animosity coming from their end of the table. And I have no problem telling them to back the fuck off if they get out of line. Outside of that…leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone. There’s enough room in the world for both of us to coexist. No problem. Everybody wasn’t meant to be best friends, you know?

When it comes to other people that I care about, however…that will bother me more than anything. And I’d like to think that I’m much more mature about it now, but when it comes to arguments in the chatroom, or on the board, or at GayAuthors, or anywhere else…everybody will tell you that I’ll gladly ‘tap out’ and walk away to save my friends from having to deal with extra struggle and stress just because of me. I won’t do it. I’ll fight for them, tooth and nail…but if I’m the problem, I’ll simply remove myself from the equation. Nobody else should be forced to deal with my demons. That’s my job.

I think things are very different for me nowadays. It doesn’t really phase me anymore. And I won’t hesitate to stand up for my friends and family if they need it. I’ve stood up for my co-workers, for my classmates, for my cousins….it’s the right thing to do. I’d feel bad about myself later if I didn’t. And I’ve thrown tantrums to defend close friends of mine before, even though my friends were in the wrong. But, as soon as the conflict is over, I’ll tell them, “You were TOTALLY wrong for what you did! That’s fucked up!” LOL! But, in the MOMENT…I’ve got your back!

So, I don’t want to say that I come anywhere near having a hero complex, but I take it personally when people think that they can commit acts of abuse and cruelty right in front of me. I won’t stand for it. I’ve been on the other side of ‘helpless’ when I was growing up. And that’s forced me to sympathize with anybody else who’s going through something similar. Every single time. So….yeah. Captain Comsie to the rescue!” – Comicality

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If you guys ever want to add your two cents to any one of the ‘Q & A’ sessions for future issues of Imagine Magazine, we’d LOVE to hear your input and your personal stories on the forum! Feel free to attach your screen name, or do so anonymously! Drop by “The Shack Out Back” forum on the 1st of every month for a brand new topic of conversation! We look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂


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