My teen grandson and I were on our way to the gym in a mythical town. The kid decided he wanted to run the last mile or so, so I let him out. I detoured and turned along the railroad tracks. A group of teenagers were on the edge of the street. As I drove by, they started yelling things like “Loser! Don’t look at me!” interspersed with cursing well beyond their years. I was taken aback and confused at the unprovoked attack. I didn’t respond to them because there are rules against disciplining other people’s kids, plus mobs of teens can be deadly.
By the time I got out of my truck at the gym, I realized who the ringleader was. My grandson had been “going out with” the girl recently, and we’d made him stop communicating with her, which explained the hostility. Her status as alpha-female brought the other teens into the fray.
I called my grandson’s phone and warned him to not take the side street. He made it to the gym unscathed, but his phone rang over and over. The girl left numerous voicemails threatening him with violence. She reminded him she knew where he lived and told him bad things were going to happen to him. As of this writing, nothing bad has happened, so he’s a survivor.
I was furious at the threats, so we went to the local police. We learned that we couldn’t do much about it. A couple of days later, I heard from a friend of mine. The same girl had baited her son to an isolated location where another boy, at her command, beat him up. True to the modern method, the girl recorded the victimization of the unsuspecting boy. The video of the attack is disgusting. The attacking boy hit the victim in the back of the head, and continued hitting him as he tried to run away. You can hear the victim whimpering from pain and shock. You can hear the girl laughing as she records the crime.
I don’t know how the boy’s mother ended up with the video. I can only imagine her pain at seeing her son brutalized. I doubt the teens anticipated any repercussions, but the Mom notified the authorities of the crime. If they escape jail, I’ll be surprised.
This happens all too often. It happened when I was a kid. Almost half of a century ago in that same neighborhood, it was me being beaten up. I made the mistake of standing my ground. It made my attacker mad when I hit him back. He punished me with his fists, shredding the inside of my cheeks and cracking my jaw. Unlike the current survivor, nobody in my family noticed or cared that I had to live on milk and juice for weeks while I mended. Far too many kids have ended up bloodied and lonely survivors. Far too many kids take a trip on the dark side like those violent kids.
What those teens did to an innocent boy is despicable. It’s sad that they don’t know their own capacity for love and kindness. It’s horrible that the families of those teens don’t know or care that their kids are hurting people. Even though I hate what happened to the beaten boy, he’ll heal and survive. The attackers probably won’t heal because no one cares what they do. They probably won’t survive their own sins.
I looked at the social networking accounts of these teens in this mythical town. The violent male had posts asking why he is the way that he is. He references being in hell. His call for help won’t ever be answered.
As for the girl, she’s unsupervised and probably has always run wild. I imagine her manipulation of people is a desperate attempt to matter. I think the powerless crave power above all things. Maybe she feels she’s just a step from oblivion. By controlling and punishing others, she gets a brief inoculation against not mattering.
I’m separated from these unruly kids by a couple of generations, but I know they’ve been let down. Maybe their parents suffered the same childhood and their parents before them. How many of them suffer a broken jaw one day and then pass on that pain the next day? How many generations has this gone on?
I call on all survivors to find a way to keep boys from being beaten. I call on survivors to find a way to keep kids out of hell. I call on survivors to find a way to make kids matter without hurting others. I call on adults to notice hurting teens. I call on survivors to pull kids back from painful oblivion.
We that survive should be stopping this pain. In a mythical town.