It's been a while since I've written a One Good Thing I've Done/One Bad Thing I've Done post, mainly because I've been having trouble thinking of a bad thing that are not so bad that I would be ashamed to write about them. Here's this:
One Good Thing I've Done, Which Could Also Be Considered A Bad Thing, If You're Anti "Violence As A Means To An End"...Which I'm Not In Certain Situations.
We were well into the soccer season when out of the blue, the teasing started. I had little knowledge of her. She was on a different team and went to a different Jr. High, but our teams would play each others once in a while, and we would have practice at the same soccer field once or twice a week. I can't think of anything I did do warrant becoming the subject of her taunting, but I was, none-the-less. Most of the teasing was about my looks, which I was still self conscience about back then, and her taunting was cruel, and meant for everyone to hear.
I don't remember the majority of what she would say to me, but I do remember being embarrassed, and it putting a large dent in my already fragile self esteem. That was really my major problem through much of my childhood; letting what people say get under my skin. Back then, in 7th grade, I was working towards correcting that, and on becoming a more confident person. This was a setback I hadn't expected.
I think the last straw was after practice one evening, as we were all headed to the parking lot to be picked up by our respective adults, when she started up with her teasing from across the field. Everyone could hear it, and I felt my cheeks flush. I looked up to realize that her mother was walking with her, and when her mother saw me, she gave me a smile in the "kids will be kids!" vain. I was livid, and at that moment I decided to do something about it.
That Saturday our team played hers. We won, and despite the fact that she was yelling horrible things at me throughout the game, I had high spirits. I tripped her twice on purpose, while she was running across the field after the ball (I was good at tripping people and making it look like an accident) and then it came time to do the obligatory "good game" high fives once the game ended (where each team stands in a line and high fives each other as the walk by, saying "good game" to each player they pass).
As I was about to pass her, she moved her hand away in an obvious attempt to show me that she didn't want to high five me. I reeled back my fist, and punched her in the shoulder...hard. Very hard. I took all that anger and sadness and those horrible feelings of worthlessness that she had been causing me all season, and delivered it right back to her, in the form of that punch. It felt amazing. Her face dropped, and I yelled some choice obscenities in her face before storming off to join my teammates, who were all ecstatic that I had stood up to her, having witnessed her teasing all season.
I remember her crying, and her mother holding her in her lap as she bawled. My self esteem and confidence grew exponentially that day. I've only punched one other person since then and I'm definitely not a fighter, but I don't regret doing that one bit. She left me alone from then on.