A note from Big Nugget:
I am grateful to share another post from my friend, Ricky Congo. To read his last contribution to my blog, click here. Comments and questions are welcomed. We want your thoughts too!
To learn about the “A friend of the Nuggets” project, click here.
Jasmin presented me the question above. I will tell you a story regarding a situation that occurred at a young age, how my mother reacted, and explain why I am the way that I am, which can be good or bad, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder really…
I will start by saying my mom is 5 foot 3, maybe 105 pounds soaking wet, and she was born in the Philippines. She is very blunt and lacks compassion at times, which is also good and bad. She works very hard and doesn’t really entertain nonsense.
At the age of 7 or 8, I had a gigantic head, was super skinny, had bucked teeth with a gap (which were also crooked somehow), and I parted my hair in the middle because that was popular…allegedly. I was basically asking to get my ass beat and my lunch money stolen.
There were elementary school cliques, but I was so damn young, I didn’t recognize what was what and who was with who, nor did I even care. I had a couple close friends who I still talk to today (on social media; fancy that lol). I didn’t necessarily care about being popular (I didn’t know what popular meant). I cared about not getting in trouble, doing my homework and being the dominant force that I was in 4-square. Basically, I didn’t want to do anything that would take me away from recess at school or video games at home.
I had no reason to believe anyone could dislike me. I was shy and harmless, I thought I got along with everyone, and I wasn’t intimidating at all. I was similar to how I am now. I stay in my lane. I don’t try too hard. I am myself and I’m okay with that. Until…
The day I was teased just like any other kid. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this was the first time, and it wasn’t just one kid teasing. I honestly don’t remember what was said to me, I don’t even remember who said it. I do remember that it was a bunch of kids from another class just obliterating my self-esteem and, at the time, my will to live. So I thought.
As I write this, I completely agree that it sounds extremely dramatic, but that’s how it felt. On top of that, my “close friends” (whom I keep in touch with via social media now) were in on the whole thing. When you’re a kid and you see that happen to someone, you do everything you can for it not to happen to you.
I was shocked that this happened to me. I didn’t know people could be so cruel. Because I was a kid, I didn’t understand that these were just kids and they didn’t really know what they were doing. There was nothing left for me to do except take the “L” that day, go home and cry. I didn’t want to go back to school or see those kids again. The already shy kid, spoke even less. My mom picked me up that day and this is where my life changed…
I got in the car, more quiet than I normally was… And because moms are wonderful beings that have a 6th sense for this shit, she asked, “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” I tried not to cry but I failed miserably. I was a boy trying to be tough, so I lied and said “Nothing, I’m fine” with damn waterfalls just pouring down my face like a tidal wave struck a volcano, filled the volcano with water, cooled down the lava and then overflowed all over my sad fucking face.
My mom patiently said, “Tell me what’s wrong,” knowing very well that something had happened to me at school and I was just being sensitive about it. Then, I broke down and told her why I was crying. You know how it is when you’re crying like that, you become one-third baby, one-third dying animal, and one-third undeveloped human. No one understands what the hell you’re saying because you’re being so dramatic, because you really need to sell the pain like in WWE.
When my mom finally translated my jibberish and realized that the kids at school had made fun of me, she broke out in the most obnoxious and boisterous laughter. I thought to myself, “Well, this is different”. My mom then started making fun of me as well and even said some of the same shit the kids had said about me. Fuck me, right? She then tells me to “toughen up”, it was about time I got some thicker skin.
At that point, what should I have done? I received no sympathy from the person that is supposed to provide it. I certainly did not want to tell my unemotional father. I stood in front of the mirror and thought, “Fuck, I have to go to school tomorrow. I can’t fight any of these kids because I will get my ass beat and take an even larger ‘L’!” I didn’t want to be the kid that got teased and couldn’t fight.
I thought about it all through dinner and while I did my homework. I watched Fresh Prince of Bel-Air before bed. I witnessed Will verbally trounce Uncle Phil and Carlton’s souls. Light bulb! I knew how I would get the little motherfuckers back!
The minute I stepped on the playground, these fools stepped to me like a pack of hyenas saying the same shit they had been saying the day before. Unimpressed, I started picking them off one by one. I went at them hard, it was like the “Dirty Dozens” on “In Living Color”. I was talking about mothers, sisters, dads, brothers, 2nd cousins, the whole 9. Some turned red, some cried, and some just walked away.
I had no idea what most of what I was saying meant, but kids never picked on me like that again. That was what was most important to me. I just wanted to go back to my nerdy life where I only worried about how to carry my massive head with my frail body. When people tease me like that now, I make sure to give it back 10 times worse, and they learn real quick never to do that again. I know it sounds childish, but I don’t care. I won’t throw the first barb, but if you light the fire, I am coming for you.
This world can be a very tough place and if you don’t have thick skin or quick wit, it’ll be hard to move on and focus on the next good thing coming to you. My mom probably didn’t know what kind of monster this would create, but it definitely prepared me for future failures and to fight back against whatever bully this life may bring.
I think the moral of the story is to stand up for yourself no matter how hard it is. Sometimes it’ll feel like you against everybody, but sometimes you’ll win and have inner peace.
In the end, life didn’t turn out too shabby. I grew into my big ass head, stand 6 feet tall, am a 210 pound finely tuned athletic machine (one of the biggest Filipino’s you’ve ever seen), and my teeth are so big that when they all grew in, they had no choice but to straighten out. Karma is true and God is good. I mean, now I’m handsome and witty, a deadly combination. The proof is in my many friends, or people that are just scared of me.