Thursday, December 30, 2010

All Tied Up and No Place To Go

When I was ten years old I was picked on a lot for some reason. Oh wait...I remember. I was skinny, wore glasses and cried at the drop of a hat. A bully's dream target. On a really cold winter day I was hitting the tether ball with a friend at recess. Actually I should say I was trying to hit the tether ball. Physical coordination and I were not on speaking terms.

A couple of tough guys who were in the fifth grade decided they wanted the tether ball and my girlfriend told them they couldn't have it.

Tough Guys:  Get outta here. We're gonna play now.

Best Friend: (in a confident manner foreign to this writer at that age)   Can't have it!

KC: muffled giggle (thrilled with such bravery)

Now keep in mind I wasn't that one who said they couldn't have it. I simply giggled.  But to these boys, who I realized later had insecurities much larger than their bravado, the giggling was the ultimate insult. That and the fact that they knew they couldn't out-spur the wonderful and brave Linda, they instead turned their attention to the kid that cried.  At that exact moment I thought I had been saved from their anger by the ringing of the bell. Linda must have thought so too, because she dashed off into the building. The boys did as well, but not before they grabbed the tether ball rope and tied me to the pole. One of them looked over his shoulder and yelled. "What are you gonna do now?"
Within a two minute span of time I had gone from a giggle to being abandoned, tied to a cold pole while everyone else ran inside. I think they missed seeing me because I was so skinny the pole hid me from view. And so I did what I did best....I cried.  I recall being scared that no one would know I was missing until I was a frozen, blonde lump on the pole.

But HE knew. No not teacher, Mr. Setter. He was my hero. Not just that day, but everyday. He seemed to know I was tender-hearted (as my Dad called it) and he went out of his way to be extra nice. Sometimes girls like me can be invisible to teachers, but he knew I had not come in from recess and he went looking for me. So not only did he untie the ropes that held me to an immovable object, but he held my hand, wiped my tears and majorly kicked some fifth grade butt. Definitely my hero.

I thought about that story today as I looked back over a pretty tough year. And it occurred to me that Mr. Setter (Mr. Go Get Her) and that whole incident was not unlike what happened to me AGAIN these past few months.  The Great Distractor tied me up and turned me every which way but loose. He grabbed a rope that said Health and one that said Prosperity and entangled them with a hundred knots...leaving me to struggle in vain against them. One minute the pole was ice cold and my tongue stuck to it when I complained and the next it was red hot and miserable. And in my ear every morning he would whisper over and over..."What are you gonna do now?"

And I did what I do best....I cried. I cried in my coffee, I cried in my bedroom....but most importantly I cried while giving Him praise.

And HE heard me...the God of my childhood, the Rescuer of my Right Now. He knew I hadn't come home. He knew that I was missing. He knew exactly where I was.  And He arrived with a big fat knife with the word Redemption written on it and he cut those ropes into little bitty pieces and kicked some Great Deceiver butt. I'm not out of the woods, but He is holding my hand and He knows where He is leading me.  And when I think of what He has planned for me in this new year, in this new life....I can't help but giggle.


  1. Oh KC-I knew there was a reason we were friends--we must have recognized those skinny, glasses wearing little girls inside each of us, when we met back in Santa Fe!! Love your story!!

  2. amazing post! I love this. And yes, those events of they can cling to us today! Im so glad you had a rescuer, then and now.

  3. Such a wonderful post. So many of us had glasses, were skinny and bullied but I for one was never tied up. Yeah for Mr. Setter.
    And BIG Yeah for you for bouncing back then and now. Have a Great New Year.
    Huggles, Rita

  4. Well-written and moving post, KC. Hey...I was that kid too - skinny, awkward, with glasses and to top it off, my mom always cut my hair and made my clothes (which I can appreciate now, but certainly didn't then). Is your teacher still living?

  5. Such a sad, but redemptive, recollection. Bullying has been around a lot longer than most people recognize. Be grateful that it IS now recognized.

  6. I'm not sure if he is still alive. I am looking for him. I'll keep you posted! xxoo

  7. Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. I was a skinny kid too, but it was big girls who picked on me. Not skinny anymore, though. I think you were a beautiful little girl.

  8. I always feel so bad when I read these stories. As a child, I was a dreadful bully - though never to girls! If my mother or father had even an inkling of some of the things I said, I would have been in such trouble.

    I'm glad to know that you've come out of that trial a better person.

  9. A big AMEN to this story. I cannot wait for the collage class in February. I am certain there will be so much to learn from you, as you have learned so much and are so willing to share it.

  10. your life stories (all tied together, one big Story) on The Trinity and the Trailer Park are solid, KC. I hope you're going to continue? When can we see the next installment?! xo - Davi

  11. As a youngster, I was never tied up (literally), but quite often, figuratively. Tongue-tied, very shy, but I loved my books and I loved to make lists and write, too. I wrote books - about animals. As a young teen, THAT's when I was tied up - literally - by three fellow high school boys, one who professed to have a crush on me - they tied me up at the ankles and hung me from a tree in his backyard. All the while, my "best" friend stood by laughing. Not brave enough, I guess, to tell them NOT to do it. I was humiliated, and it's stuck with me all these years. (and by the way, the one who liked me - he is the father of my oldest daughter, so you see, in a way, we're still tied together by my Kristina). ALL TIED UP. it's up to us to untie those knots. And we're doing it! xo - Davi