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Confidence Is Key

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I can’t breathe.  Z is using me like a couch pillow.  He thinks I am nothing just because I am nice to everyone. This has been happening for almost 2 years.  Everyday going home feeling like a bug someone had just smashed into the ground, crushed as if didn’t matter to anyone.  No one would do anything about it either. My parents had even witnessed what happened and were telling the supervisors every single day that I was being bullied, but nothing happened.  He is the son of the owner of the daycare and now in this moment there is nothing I can do.  

“How does that feel, butt kisser?  Now you know the true consequences for being nice.”  Z sneers.

“Z get off!! I can’t breathe! Please!”  I cry
“Why should I?  You’ll never retaliate, you’re too nice.”

“She may be too nice, but I’m not.”  My best friend Kylie yells to Z.  “Mrs. M!!! Come quick!! Z is sitting on Hailey and she can’t breathe!!”  She yells so loud that even the owner came in and saw. 

“Get off of her now!!”  Mrs. M yells with the owner right behind her. “Why were you sitting on her!!”
“Son, get over here, NOW!” The owner commands, “Apologize, Now!!”
“I’m sorry.” Z mumbles.
“You’re sorry for what?” The owner asks.
“I’m sorry for sitting on you.”  Z says angrily.
“I accept your apology.”  I respond.


A few hours later Mrs. M pulls over my parents when they come to pick me up.

“Mr. and Mrs. Negley, Z sat on Hailey to a point that she couldn’t breathe today.  The situation has been handled but we still wanted to let you know.” Mrs. M declares.

“Does this mean that Z will finally be punished?”  My dad questions.

“As I said sir, the situation has been handled.” Mrs. M says.  My parents turn to look at each other and have the same tired but angry expression in their eyes.

“Come on Hailey, it’s time to go home.”  My mom announces. On the way home my parents are talking in hushed tones.  I can’t hear what they are saying, but when we get home, they sit me down for a family talk.

“So Hailey, We have decided that we are going to sign you up for a thing called Tae Kwon Do.  It is a martial art that teaches you self-defense, confidence and so much more.  We are doing this because Z has started to be physical with his attacks and you need to be able to defend yourself in case he attacks again.” My dad explains.

“Ok, when do I start?” I ask.

“Tomorrow.” My dad answers.

“Ok, maybe then I will feel safe after school.” I say hopefully.

“I hope so, or else we are moving you to a new after school place.” My mom responds.  The next day rolls by fast.  I can’t wait until my first class at the martial arts place.  Maybe then I can escape Z’s wrath. 

“Ready to go, Hailey?” My mom yells up the stairs.

“Yep, coming.”  I yell back.  As we are driving to the place, I am super giddy.  I can’t stop jumping in my chair because I am so excited and nervous.  We pull into the parking lot of my new courage factory, and I finally take a deep breath. 

“Please take off your shoes.” the nice man declares, “we don’t want the mats to get dirty.” I take off my shoes in response.  “My name is Justin, but please call me J.  I will be your instructor. I am a third degree black belt and I love teaching little ones like you.  Are you ready to get started?”

“Yes.” I respond quietly.

“Before we start, you have to know how to respond properly. Always end your response with sir, so instead of saying “yes”, say “yes, sir”. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir”

“Much better. Now, whenever you enter the Do Jahng, the place where I teach you TKD, you must bow to the flags to show respect to your country and South Korea. Bowing in general is like shaking someone’s hand.  It’s a symbol of respect.”  J explains as we are walking towards the Do Jahng. When we reach the Do Jahng, I bow when I enter.  For the next hour, Instructor J teaches me how to bow, kick, punch, and many other things. By the end, I am tired but have so much more confidence than before.

“Hailey, I have understand that someone is giving you trouble at you after school place.”  He says.  I nod in response, tears welling in my eyes.    “I want you to know that confidence is key when standing up for something.   So whatever happens, know that as long as you don’t give into what he is doing, it will get better.” 

A week later, my parents sat me down for a family meeting.

“Hailey, even with the progress you have been making at the martial arts place, we have decided to change your after school facility.” My mom says.  “We are tired of what Z has been doing to you and want to move facilities so that you don’t have to deal with him anymore.” My dad says.

“Ok.   I agree with you. I’m so tired of it too.” I respond.

A few years later, Z visited my school.  He came into my class to visit with my teacher.  I was scared because I knew who he was.   He looked straight at me and didn’t know who I was because of the confidence I was displaying.  

Since the first class, Tae Kwon Do has made a huge impact in my life.  I feel way more confident and have a stronger will to stand up for what I believe in.  Now that I am a third degree black belt, I not only stand up of myself, but I teach kids how to stand up for themselves so that they don’t have to endure what I went through with Z.  What I went through was bad but now that I have the skills to defend myself, I am no longer scared of him, and I forgive him for what he did to me.

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