The cruel joy of condemnation

michelle-rodriguez-girlfightRound up, round up

gather round, gather round

it is time to judge the dysfunctional

even the mad ones do

if we have succeeded where you have not

we’ll throw the pitch and tar

round up, round up,

gather round, gather round

easier to chuck stones even as we inhabit

our own hypocracy and glass houses

damn those considered weaker than us

for we can tred water and you cannot

(and they wonder why the depressed often die)

taking their lives as you would

walk off an edge just to stop

the scold

the approbation

the cruel joy of condemnation


I have long wanted to understand

the thrill of hurting another because you CAN

it passes me by, seems nothing more than

squashing a fly because of your size

what cowardice in that !

thinking of the playground

how we grow but remain treading mechanics of cruelty

those kids who would spot the weakest

single them from the pack and throw rocks

did not know the damage they caused

every year hence, disturbing growth

perhaps it is wrong of me to wish

to return and throttle their skinny necks

how is cruelty resolved by violence?

yet the passive do rise within themselves

seeking retribution


that’s what it took when an ugly boy with red hair and freckles

and a thick Irish accent decided I was his prey

I tried to be patient for a time

when I saw on his face the sick gratification of a smile

at hurt inflicted

there was no reason or ignoring could fix it

I swung my arm as hard as I could

just like the day I tried out for rounders

and hit a curve ball

his jaw made a whacking sound and a click

something unnatural about it

burning pain shot down my arm and into my mouth

as if I had swallowed his aggression just for a moment

his face swelled and grew red before his cry

I noticed how good it felt to stand above him

looking down avenging myself

screaming at the top of my lungs

don’t ever touch me again or I will destroy you

he never did

and right or wrong

that day taught me whether I wanted it or not

sometimes rule books and morals miss

the playground solution to evil


if you’ve tried everything else

hit them with all you’ve got

don’t bow your head and say

thank you boss I like it when you make me feel so awful

ever since if nothing else I can say

nobody will walk on me or hold me down

it might not be much but it’s something more

than the fear of being bullied, that sickness

in the morning as you wake

terror in your day ahead

sometimes there is no good outcome

much as we try to use our intellect

the savage side of us can protect against

those who like hurting for no reason


how can you fight absurdity with sense?

we are given fists, and I do not regret

the blood on mine

antithetical to almost everything I believe

when we are pushed to the edge

we react in kind

like with like

fire with fire

an eye for an eye

may leave the whole world blind

yes and still

come for me and I will



(A lot of people may disagree with this. But in the real world ‘reasoning’ with a bully doesn’t always work. Having tried everything and not having further recourse, with nobody to stand up for me, I stood up for myself. Was it morally or ethically any better than the bully? Yes, because it wasn’t what I wanted to start or finish but it had to end. This ended it. I have never regretted it. If it happened exactly the same again I’d do exactly the same again. What they don’t teach you in the karma and psychology books is the street rules, and what actually happens in real life. Even kids can be sadists, even kids can want to destroy a person for NO reason. Learning to stop that, is key to survival. I survived because I fought back. Condemn it, but in the same scenario, what would you have done?).



36 thoughts on “The cruel joy of condemnation

  1. Oh Candice, I was just on the way to bed and read this, so I won’t say much right now, except that I applaud you. I am impressed at what you did. And I feel sad that you feel you have to justify your actions. Kids can be very cruel. You were a child! And you hopefully made that bully rethink how he would treat other kids as well. But you were a child, and here you are still feeling guilty? I would say more but I need to go ❤ Peace kind person.

  2. I’m glad you did it. His jaw healed I’m sure. Words are harder to heal. I was bullied by this girl for months in middle school. My mom talked to everyone and nothing changed. Finally told my good friend(we’d grown apart a bit) and she marched right up, threatened to kick her ass, and that was that. No more bullying. I wish I had the fortitude to fight that battle myself but I’m so happy for a friend to have my back. Sometimes it takes an ass kicking to set bullies straight. ❤

  3. Wow it means a lot for you to say this. Thank you. Bullying is always thought of as weakness, which is true, but it is the bully who is weak. When you don’t fight back you may resolve it, but if that doesn’t work I have given up believing the passive-approach is always the best approach. Sometimes a kid needs to learn the hard way. Maybe even adults do! As you say, words are FAR harder to heal than a swift punch to the jaw. I have truly never regretted it. So many experience like you, every ‘sensible’ thing being done, it doesn’t work, so finally you have to resort to something the self-help books would condemn! I’m glad your friend (who is TRULY a good friend for doing that) did that for you, bullying can steal your soul and girls are as guilty as boys. You may not have been able to defend yourself but I suspect you would defend someone else in a heartbeat.

  4. Dearest Friend (good night sweet girl) when you wake up … thank you for your kind words. I don’t feel badly as I never regretted it but I see how the PC approach fails many, and wanted to offer the ‘reality’ approach maybe! 😉 (thank you for reading my friend and I hope you slept well) xo

  5. That’s funny but yes. I have stood up for others. Almost got jumped by two women at the zoo for telling one to stop hitting her little child with a stick. To teach him not to throw rocks. Wtf!?! Anyway, yes. Sometimes it’s the only way. Ignoring only does so much. And yes she is a good friend to this day. Love her so much!

  6. I didn’t get around to checking out your blog until now (and now I have to go too lol – bits and pieces), I like it! sooo thanks for following my blog so that I found yours, jippiii

  7. Perfectly stated my friend, sometimes circumstances leave us no other option, and standing up for yourself and for what is right is never wrong. ღ

  8. Powerful, evocative and provocative work. You painted that memory beautifully and vividly and tied into some vast and nuanced. There is no one way that works in all situations and sometimes defending ourselves and taking a stance is what our psyche needs to survive.

  9. I believe there is a difference in standing up for yourself against a bully and being a bully. There are those of us who choose not to bully anyone and teach our children if we have them not to bully others either, but should all other means fail, I don’t think anyone should allow himself/herself to be bullied over and over again by ANYONE. And though it doesn’t always happen, sometimes a bully learns a very valuable lesson when the one he/she is bullying finally has enough and stands up for him/herself. Sadly, I believe the media, movies, electronic games, etc. and all those people who seem to think they have a right to be openly derisive at sporting events and/or elections or whatever and encouraging the ever increasing rise in childhood bullying. Yes, a human can be very capable and adept at bullying and in general mean-spiritedness, but a human is also very capable of deep love and amazing compassion kindnesses. 🙂 ❤

  10. Ah you are so right here. I especially agree with the point of the media giving us this belief that being awful is somehow okay or strong. I am glad I did not go to school in the US there is too much competitiveness because of sports. I really don’t think I would have thrived. I love this country but I don’t love the competitiveness at all and yet, it is one reason I fall short too. Mean spiritedness is one of the traits I most dislike in a person only because they are capable of hurting others so much and I simply cannot accept that. On the other hand you are right, many people are genuinely good folk. Sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves even with our fists, much as we really may wish we did not have to, to stop someone in their destruction of us, but ideally this should never occur, though when do ideals usually work?

  11. Yes that is true. I would wish I had chosen otherwise but sometimes there is only one choice realistically for where we are and what we can tolerate and not tolerate – right?

  12. Yes, we are a very competitive nation it seems but it has gotten above and beyond acceptable not at least to my way of thinking. And you’re right ideals don’t always work, but we have to do the best we can with what we have time and the ability to change. None of us can do it all but if each person attempts to make a difference and try to teach others to be more caring and compassionate, then that’s at least a step in the right direction. And most definitely we have to stand up for ourselves and what we believe at times so that the bullies and mean-spirited folk don’t completely. Here’s a story I love that keeps me focused on that concept:

    “Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

    One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

    As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

    He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

    The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

    “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

    To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

    Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

    At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
    “It made a difference for that one.”
    ― Loren Eiseley

  13. I love this, every bit! I did the same thing in an opposite way. I got hit on the jaw so hard by a bully that I hit the ground, but I knew I’d be doomed to being bullied forever if I didn’t get up & face the coward, so I stood up & faced the coward. My strength vs theirs, eye to eye, he walked away. I felt YOUR strength when you hit that bully. You did the right thing. You shined thru the darkness and that is a beautiful thing. YOU are BEAUTIFUL! xoxoxo

  14. You are most welcome.
    It’s a big topic isn’t it? And how fickle the PC approach can be. There are times to walk away and there are times to stand and fight imho. Putting pressure on children when adults fail them, is a tricky thing to navigate. I’m glad you don’t regret it! Life’s too short and too precious for that. (And thanks for your sleeping well wishes xo)

  15. So true. Especially what you say about putting pressure on children when adults fail them (well said) life is too short for regret overall unless it can teach us to be more than we are.

  16. You did the right thing! You faced them! This is a great story and experience! You broke the cycle of bullying. IT is very hard to do that, and takes a lot but you did. I know that could not have been easy. You are beautiful also my friend – and I’m so glad you are walking into the light you are never lost really, not as long as that light you carry shines. And it really does.

  17. I’m with you 100% but you already know that. I go out of my way to be nice to people but I will destroy anyone mean and spiteful without hesitation. Cersei sipping that wine… understood it because, hell, that was me. And I have no regrets.

  18. Thank you, truly. Your courage and honesty inspires me and helps me remember. You shine, Beauty, so much. You shine and I’m blessed to feel your light. xo

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