Happy Fathers Day!

It was a pretty nice day, today. I got to spend it with my family, and that’s a good thing. Cassie only kicked me in the nuts once! You could tell it was going to be a special day.

Alex built a DVD cabinet, one of the Sauder wood kits, while I supervised/show me/tell me. Turned out very nice, he’s proud of it. He likes hammer time.

We also spent some time in World of Warcraft, and his Death Knight dinged 85. Woot!

In anticipation, I had the 397 BoE bracers for him, Lierthes had given him a present for when he turned 85 which turned out to be the 397 boots, and I had also crafted the entire PvP Vicious Pyrium Plate set.

You know where this is going. :)

Silarkias helped heal him and my Druid through Crucible of Carnage to get him the 333 two handed sword, and then Cassie got on her Enhancement Shaman to join us for his first ever heroic… Heroic End Time.

I’m sorry, but I fricken fracken HATE all the lower level 85 instances, normal and heroic. They make my fuzzbutt hurt with irritation.

I tried to take ‘Fuzzbutt” as a character name once, it was already taken. Sigh. So was “Fuzznuts”. Just saying.

I still love me the three heroic Twilights. I  run them for fun, any role, to get Valor. In fact, I prefer to heal or tank those for fast Justice Point gains whenever I want something you can get from the Justice vendor. Turning in Justice for Honor to get the PvP mounts is my latest thang. I’m not kidding, I run the three most recent heroics all the time, and I’m still not tired of them.

I do prefer Hour of Twilight, though. No real reason, except maybe that a good tank helps casters on the second boss by being predictable in waddling out of the smoke cloud, so the casters don’t get silenced if they know to stand behind your big butt.

Anyway, Alex equipped his new gear, hit iLevel 365, Cassie logged into her Shaman, I queued as tank, and we went into his first heroic ever.

Since Alex is sitting in the same room as I am, I was able to coach him on the mechanics easily. We had Azure first, followed by Ruby.

I was happy to see that he was not being carried. In his first heroic instance, he was pulling over 12k DPS, and he did not pull aggro, did not stand in front of the mobs while fighting, did not pull the wrong group, did not stand in the fire (even the purple fire in Ruby), did not stand behind the ghoul in Ruby but went all out on the correct target and moved into the safe zone after (unlike the Mage, that I had to Battle Rez the first time, and who died again the second time. Sigh.), he did a great job blowing cooldowns on the Bronze Dragonflight, yadda.

In other words, he did better as DPS than quite a few Death Knights I’ve run into before in LFG. He didn’t even pop Army of the Dead on boss pulls! Shit, that puts him in the top 10% in my book.

He got lucky, too. He got the plate Helm drop off Bronze, a very nice upgrade. That plus the Gloves as a quest reward, and gemming everything out, and our lad from the underground was doing right well. I was looking forward to seeing how he would do in his second heroic after getting so many upgrades right out the gate.

And so we queued again, and got the second heroic in the series, and that was cool, because that meant he’d get more quest rewards. And heck, 5 heroics by Monday night and he’ll have enough Valor for the relic!

Oh yeah, his second ever heroic instance, with his mother and father right there along with him. Grand times for a Father Day.

This is literally what greeted us within two seconds of zoning in;

Sigh.

You know, I can’t easily remember the last time someone was a jackass in chat for absolutely no reason. Even the trolls that try to wipe you, I just don’t see outright… well, be jackasses like this. For one thing, they usually troll by being afk or by pulling the wrong thing in utter silence, so it’s harder to /ignore them.

Here we are, second one he’s ever been in, so far a special night all around, he’s just jazzed and excited and happy and he’s passing on everything he can’t use and kicking ass despite PvP gear, and playing really well. He’s playing at adult levels of proficiency,  which is all anyone can ask for.

But it’s a group activity, isn’t it? And we didn’t control all five slots.

I had us leave the group immediately, and incurred the thirty minute deserter debuff.

He’s gone off and trained and enchanted his sword with Fallen Crusader, he’s sitting here beside me right now, saying, “Wow, I don’t have to worry about experience any more, do I? I can do whatever I want. I feel so free.” He’s exploring Twilight Highlands, he finds the Maw of Madness fascinating. I can’t wait to unleash him on Lovecraft when he turns 16.

He went and bought the Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade as a reward to himself for dinging 85. He could of got it earlier, but he saved it for now. He noted that he has no more abilities left to learn. He’s at max level. No more skills to get ‘someday’.

It’s just starting to sink in that he’s max level. And he’s doing so well.

He doesn’t pay attention to the chat text. I long ago turned off all trade and general chat on his characters, and I activated the profanity filter, and it doesn’t matter much anyway because he generally doesn’t ever look at the chat box. I’m there beside him to talk to, he doesn’t have to get his info from the box, so he doesn’t watch it like I do. He never sees people in guild saying ‘grats’, so I usually have to point it out to him, and even reply for him sometimes.

So it’s not like this was a traumatizing event. There is a profanity filter for a reason, and this was the reason. There are other tools in the game to report a player for inappropriate language, and Cassie and I both did so.

It can also be argued that nine years old is too young for a multiplayer MMO, even when supervised at all times, for precisely this reason. But then, that’s why I play with him and watch what’s going on. I wouldn’t leave him to play all alone in game any more than I would leave his ass out on the street. Not that I don’t trust any of you, but I don’t trust any of you. I trust Cassie, I trust me, and that’s it. Oh, yeah, and my mother-in-law. Hmmm. I’d trust my brother-in-law, too. Yeah, I think that’s about it. Leaving him alone and unattended? Oh yeah, you’re real funny. Excuse me while I go clean my guns. Watch where you step in the yard. Oh, no, no reason.

Ooh, somebody let loose with bigoted hate speech in an instance for no reason. Nope, you’re not going to find any outrage on my part, I’ve been playing this game for a long time, I know what kind of people play it.

The answer is, ALL kinds of people play it. All kinds of people, meaning every kind of person there is. Nice people and asshats, intelligent people and idiots, polite people and vulgar, respectful people and selfish trolls. Morons and the wise. All kinds.

The world plays World of Warcraft. You’d think that the modern media outlets would pick up on that at some point.

And that would be my point here. His second outing in a heroic, and he has a perfect chance to encounter in a controlled environment exactly the kind of asshat he will have to learn to deal with in the real world.

But here, he has all the power. Never forget that.

In the game, you have all the power. I know that there have been some truly terrible stories of abuse and stalking between players in the game, but there is a very real difference between a relationship that falls apart after emails and real names and Real ID and addresses have been exchanged, and some jackass you ran into in a random instance.

In the game, if a total stranger approaches you and is rude, you can put them on ignore, and they are gone forever. You can also report their behavior for investigation, and if they physically annoy you in game by standing on your mobs and such, you can hearth, take flight points, log into a different character, a different server… you have the choice. You have the power to walk away and there isn’t a damn thing they can do about it.

You may be annoyed that they are trying to hassle you when you’re not willing to log off that character at that precise time, but then, that’s your choice. To choose to ignore the idiot because you are more interested in what you’re doing right then.

Not that they can follow you against your will in a raid or instance, or Battleground. They can’t force you to pay attention to them, as real life bullies can and will do.

Obviously, I like the fact that you can get proof of in-game behaviors so easily. Screenshot, and guess what, it DID happen!

Like the screenshot earlier. Explain that away, bigot.

There is a reason why all our WoW accounts have the Elephant addon.

I had Cassie and Alex drop that group, even though it cost us a thirty minute deserter penalty, because that was my choice. I never run with bigots, ever. Ever. Thirty minutes? I’ll gladly pay that price to never see you again. I have a strict “no runs with asshats” policy, and I stick to it.

And I made sure Alex understood, that was not running away. We could have all put Marsie on ignore and got what we wanted. But, that would have given Marsie the run they wanted. By leaving group, we gave them the inconvenience of finding another tank and two DPS. Maybe it only took 2 minutes for that to happen, but it was a consequence. And of course, I didn’t have to carry them or wonder what other asshat thing they would pull in a group while Alex is learning the right things to do.

That is the lesson I hope Alex will learn from me, as he gets older. Don’t ever be a victim, don’t ever accept abuse, don’t ever give another power over you unless you choose to. And whenever possible, stick their hate right up their ass.

Living well and being happy is the best revenge. Let them twist on their hate, fuck ‘em.

There are always options, and in the real world, the consequences are often a lot more severe than a thirty minute deserter debuff.

Standing up to bullies, in the game or in real life, can come with a cost, but in my opinion it’s a cost worth paying. I know that’s not the politically correct view, but then again, I joined the US Marines, not the Peace Corps. If he chooses to turn the other cheek, good for him. I will wholeheartedly support him. If he chooses to stand his ground and to hell with bullies, I’m right there with him as well.

You don’t usually expect your video games to come with a moral lesson, do you?

But the lesson for the day is, if there are people to be found anywhere, then there will be offensive, immature little asshats. I don’t care if it’s Lego Universe or WoW, the playground or the classroom, people will be people, and the asshats will make their presence felt.

Best to learn how to deal with it and rise above it, than to hide or pretend it can’t ever happen. If you start hiding now, when will you ever decide to stop?

43 Responses to “The Cub Report – And Then Reality Came A Calling”
  1. Perdissa says:

    Hmm… I’ve been away for a while, but why didn’t you simply vote kick his sorry ass from your group? All it takes is 3 votes right?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      It’s my understanding that in order to vote kick, it isn’t enough to control three spots, you have to also have at least one person not from your group when you signed in for the instance also vote kick.

      • Rades says:

        Not that what you did was wrong or anything – far from it! – but next time you might want to try the vote kick. If it’s you three + idiot + random stranger, chances are at least somewhat decent that the stranger will be just as annoyed about it as you, and cooperate and boot that clown out of there! Then you get the satisfaction of a) not suffering any sort of hindrance, and b) knowing that the moron you just kicked is raging and frothing and enjoying a nice long (in this case) DPS re-queue.

        And if it doesn’t work, well, you can always leave then. I do always take great delight when I am able to give LFG idiots their just desserts, though. ;)

      • Xenogriff says:

        If you queue with 2 others, you will need the 4th to click yes as well

        I would’ve tried for the vote kick first – let that idiot sit through another 15 mins of queue time – if the kick had failed then you could’ve dropped group. at least you tried before having the 30 min debuff

  2. Rades says:

    Oh also! Has Alex seen the dailies in Twilight Highlands where you shoot a grappling hook at fliers overhead and drag them down? That seems like it might be a fun one. Or (if you quested through Uldum) the cannon-shooting / pygmy-hammering dailies.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      We did the Pygmy hammering daily, but didn’t quite clear far enough for the cannon in Uldum. And I actually don’t know what grappling hook one you’re talking about, now I’m wondering if I never cleared Twilight 100% on anyone. huh.

      And I promise, next time I’ll try to boot first. I’m just used to being solo tanking.

    • Glyneth says:

      Rades, I believe that is a horde-only daily!!

      • Rades says:

        What, really? I assumed the Alliance would have an equivalent…never mind then, Bear! (it’s a daily where Horde players use a grappling hook in their inventory while selecting flying dwarves overhead, and it pulls them down.)

        • Don says:

          I’ve done the quest on alliance. As a skinner I never wanted to turn the hook in. Loads of dragonscale, almost as good as farming the dazed drakes in deepholm. I wish I could recall how I got to it because I’ve tried to pick it up on my other 2 Alliance 85s and haven’t been able to pick up the chain.

  3. tweell says:

    Yep.

    Blue post from Bashiok:
    If three or more players group queue with each other it will require an additional vote for them to kick anyone they did not group queue with.

    Also, I’ve rarely met a nice, friendly (in party chat) loot ninja. Jackasses may or may not be loot ninjas, but loot ninjas are almost always jackasses.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Thanks for the clarification, i thought I’d remembered that from somewhere. I’m surprised I actually had that right. It could have gone either way. :)

  4. duh@duh.com says:

    You could and should also use the “report” feature when encountering people like that.

  5. Thelandira says:

    The “grappling hook” quest in Twilight is far down the list of quests that can be done there. If memory serves me correct, it’s right after you complete the chain of quests from Vermillion Redoubt area (end of chain is a few quests where you get to ride drakes and help fight against Deathwing and his buddies). The quest is called Blackout (http://www.wowhead.com/quest=28173). It is a fun quest, even more so on a druid because it’s just funny as ever seeing a bear/cat riding on a drake clawing the crappola out of it…lol. I just finished the quest achievement for Twilight Highlands a few days ago and out of the 120 quests needed I would go so far as to guess that Blackout is between numbers 110 & 115…plus or minus a few.

    Oh, and as far as that Marsie person goes, I would have done pretty much the same. Vote to kick first and if it failed drop group. That was totally uncalled for. I probably would have even gone as far as creating a toon on their server and notifying their guild master (or an officer) to describe the unwarranted behavior.

    • solitha says:

      Not the same grappling hook quest, they’re talking about a Horde daily. Alliance doesn’t get anything quite that much fun.

      BBB, thanks for the heads-up, I’ll be adding this person to my Asshat list (read, ignore) so I don’t help them progress either. I wish Blizz would make the ignore list easier to use though.

  6. I firmly believe that Naming and Shaming people is the best way to make them clean up their act and to remind them that this is a larger stage they’re playing on than just their computer. Keep it up Mr Bear.

  7. Matty says:

    Oh, Bear.

    My tumblings and spinnings on the 24/7 virtual ‘playground’ we and our children are exposed to is going to be the stuff of a doctoral thesis someday.

    But in the meantime, before I become Dr. Matty–

    Well, two things – send me an email if you ever want to do family runs that do not have potty-mouthed punks, (although a nice Portuguese warrior did teach me some choice words yesterday), and perhaps we can work on Blizzard for the deserter thing. It’s a ridiculous and out-dated rule, and doesn’t work in their current constructs of LFD and LFR, in my opinion. Thirty minutes is far too long. I understand why the penalty is in place, but both desertion and kicking is used, or disabused, far too often.

    And perhaps show him A Christmas Story and imagine Scott Farkus with his yellow eyes, I swear, he had yellow eyes! Getting pounded in the snow…

    I wish this was going to be an unusual occurence, but alas, it is summer vacation, there are legions of young, ignorant squires out there trash-talking each other with no guidance from their elders. None. The girls (sorry, but this is true) are busy trash-talking each other on Facebook.

    Grrr….

  8. Matty says:

    PS Cheek turning does not work with bullies–your instincts are right on the money.

  9. Jack says:

    The only time I ever agree to kick someone from the group is (1) if they disconnect for longer than a minute and (2) if they’re a jerk. In case (1) I’m never quite sure exactly how long to wait for a reconnect. Mostly someone else initiates it first and I just vote “yes”. However, in case (2) I don’t beat around the bush. I mean, I tell them to stop being a jerk first. Sometimes that works. Mostly they tell me to f-off, I initiate the kick and type “dude is a jerk” into the reason box. I’ve only seen it fail to pass once.

    I think it says something pretty positive about people in general that in all the time since the option has been available, only once have I been in a group with people who blocked kicking a jerk.

  10. Kriyet says:

    “You don’t usually expect your video games to come with a moral lesson, do you?”

    To be honest, my dear bear, they ALL come with moral lessons. When a lone asshat destroys the fun of a group of other people, and they silently take it – that’s a moral lesson. Or when another asshat spouts hate speech, and everyone is silent and just gets the run done – that’s a moral lesson too.

    I like yours better. And I hope Alex learns those ones and perpetuates them to lead by example when he’s old enough to solo, in this game or any other, and then in the big one IRL.

    Cheers,
    K/K

  11. Zwingli says:

    Good stuff, BBB.

    I’ve dropped group often enough. I just don’t want to waste the time trying to correct their behavior; even with a “would you quit that please?” kind of moment. I can always go craft , look for mats, or do something w/ the 30 minutes of downtime.

    Z

  12. Riegnman says:

    Moral lessons aside, I’m just glad that someone is teaching DKs how to play. :) Sounds like you’ve got him doing all the right stuffs. Thank you.

    I’m fortunate as well that all of my kids wanted to play WoW with their old man. I was able to help them learn the social skills necessary for the group dynamic in WoW. You’re doing the right thing by being by Alex’s side, Bear. I can’t stand when people use video games as babysitters. It’s no wonder that there are so many asshats in WoW. You can’t just throw a kid into ANYTHING and expect it to turn out right. They need the experience that comes with someone that has been there before or at least been in a similar situation some time in the past. If not, they get self-concious and, when that happens, most of them go one of two ways. Either they then shrink into themselves and become introverted or they become so much of an asshat as a defense mechanism to cope with the inability to understand the situation fully. Nobody likes to be wrong, right? That’s kinda general, I know, but I’m just trying to paint it with a broad brush.
    You are doing the right thing to help him become all that he can be. You’re on point and he’ll appreciate it later. (probably after his teenage years are over ’cause they don’t appreciate much during those years. LOL)

  13. Tesh says:

    The only bully I had to deal with was in 8th grade. I stood up to his attitude, he challenged me to a fight after school… which I accepted. I didn’t bother showing up since I had better things to do, though. Never got crap from him again. I guess his heart wasn’t really in it, or maybe he really did sense just how little I was impressed by him (or he thought I was a weakling not worth *his* time, whatever… I’ve no pride to wound). It’s curious sometimes how little it really takes to get rid of idiots. It won’t always work, but it’s interesting how pushing back can cause a lot of jerks to fold pretty fast.

  14. Calbry says:

    Great story. Fantastic to see a everyone playing together and handling the Inevitable Random Jerks quite nicely. Sounds like your son’s got quite the mad skillz :)

    My son and daughter both grew up a good portion of their childhood during the WoW years. I can remember creating characters with each of them on my lap and just exploring the starter zones, killing rats/nightsabers/spiders/etc. together. My son is now a teenager and balances great grades, a busy social life, a couple level 85s (hunter and dk), and much better raid gear than me :) My daughter is younger, a dancer and gymnast, but still wants to collect all the non-combat pets.

    WoW’s actually a little quiet these days here with the end of expansion doldrums. He’s working his way through D3 Hell mode, and she’s making her own website about a creature she invented. But I got a kick out of them playing together on Xbox Minecraft the other night — helping each other build really elaborate towers and bridges and mines. Guess the family that plays together…

  15. Herr Drache says:

    Oh how I despise bullies. I’ve been on the receiving end throughout “all of school” – mostly because at 6’2″ you’re guilty by size :(

    So yeah, I have a very low tolerance level for bullies, arrogant people, and stupid people – I mean, usually 2 out of 3 go hand-in-hand. I’ve quit a group as a healer, and even as a DPS. I do have to admit, I usually do type a remark prior to leaving, and that remark may be a little on the scathing side – but I try to avoid simple four-letter words. >:)

    It’s like trade chat – there comes a point where leaving the city and questing is much more fun. Plus, you get nerd-points ;)

  16. JK says:

    Love your updates. Love your bear cub reports. Love the fact that you aren’t using machinery of any kind (TV or Computer) as a babysitter. Love that you are teaching him the right way to game. Basically <3 popping in here occcasionally and reading your posts, even though I stopped paying for WoW. Keep up the good work BBB!

  17. Michele K. says:

    Looks like someone else from the jackass’ realm reads your blog and has called out the jackass on the realm forums:

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5836095477

    Just thought you’d find that interesting. LOVE the cub reports, please keep up the good work. :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      That’s actually pretty unfortunate. That really wasn’t the point, and I’m sure he doesn’t represent the server any more than I would represent the one I’m on.

      • Michele K. says:

        I totally agree. I just thought it was interesting to watch the (albeit small) backlash there. Obviously every server has jerks and nice people and everything in between. Kudos to you on how you handled it though; I’d have done the same. :)

  18. This is awesome.

    Although usually I try to actually talk the other guy out of being an idiot, sometimes you just have to kick or leave. I’ve had this experience before, and pretty much everyone has. Thanks for putting it into words!

  19. Kauket says:

    Mr Bear, I enjoy your blogs, and the cub reports are a special delight. I’m not a frequent commenter here, but then this is the only WoW blog where I’ve ever been moved to comment more than once. At any rate, the dialogue is lopsided: I know you a lot better than you know me, so I’m about to be very presumptuous.

    You’re asking me to take a moral away from this story. Okay, let me ask you a question in return. You wrote about a real life situation that was greatly distressing to you: http://thebigbearbutt.com/2011/10/23/im-not-right-in-my-head/ Have you left that church, formed a committee to support gay marriage, or at the very least spoken to your pastor? The cub’s exposed to hate speech and bullying from a position of authority there in the real world, where chat channels cannot be disabled and people cannot be put on /ignore.

    If you haven’t taken any action, then I’m afraid that the moral I’m taking away here is that it’s great to stand up to bullies only when there’re no consequences or personal cost.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      We have not attended church services since that time, and there are other things I actively do as well. Does that answer your question?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I would like to add that the challenging tone and assumption I did nothing pisses me off. Benefit of the doubt much?

      • Kauket says:

        Fair enough. The cost of presumption is a just rebuke. I apologize for my challenging tone.

        I’m delighted to hear that you’ve taken action and that my impression of you as a person of integrity has been upheld. I’ll be glad to take away the moral that cynicism isn’t always right and I should try to extend a bit more trust.

  20. Nina says:

    Hm. 9 unenchanted items, 7 empty sockets as of this writing. Doesn’t care enough to put minimal effort into his gear. I’d have carried him if he hadn’t said a word, but I would make the same decision if he said the same thing to me. At least I hope I would.

  21. Niklas says:

    Found your page a few weeks ago while bored at work, must say its one of my favorites. Currently backtracking posts finding goodies along the way.

    Three cheers from far away (namely Sweden).

  22. Aza says:

    Hey there,

    Firstly, great post.

    Long time reader, and have often read of your adventures with your son with somewhat envious eyes, I have a son who has just turned 9 and showing an interest in my online gaming when I play, and indeed has his own hunter on my account. Would you give any advice on integrating a young one into your play, or just keep them on the leash and let them live the alternative life we all enjoy?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Well, I know that I think my son is mainly interested in playing WoW because it is something that I do, and therefore can become another thing we do together. If I show an interest in anything, so does he, which is natural. He enjoys aspects of the game on his own irrespective of whether I’m on, but for the most part he wants to do the same stuff, and that includes raiding.

      That is why I’ve been as patient as possible, coaching him on how to play in groups, being the tank so I can make sure we’re at the same pace, that sort of thing. It’s a long road to max level, and god bless Blizzard for LFR, because the honest truth is most raid teams won’t give someone nine years old a shot, but in the role of DPS, yes, I hate to break it to you, but a nine year old can do just fine.

      I think it might crush a few egos that are adamant that DPS is very, very hard work, but most DPS players don’t fully utilize their utility. They focus on straight DPS maximizing abilities, or in other words, stuff to make thier logs look better.

      We did two more totally random Heroic Twilights again tonight, an End Time followed by a Hour of Twilight.

      Alex consistently performs at the 12k level. Not so great, until you take into account he has an iLevel 333 two handed sword.

      In the first run, End Time, we had a Shadow Priest as DPS. The Shadow Priest had never been in the instance before, ever, and pulled, I wish I was kidding, 4k DPS. I truly think the player was trying their best, but I believe it was that mythical player who does not know what addons are, does not read MMO Champion, doesn’t know what an Elitist Jerks spec is, and in short only knows what they have figured out in the game. 4k DPS, and I was very, very patient, reminding to recover mana, recommending they stay out of melee range all the time on Murozond, and at the least don’t stand on top of me and bring the glowing circles of pain on top of the tank, etc. When faced with that, a 12k DPS player who does every single thing right, assiduously follows skull targets and kills fountains of light is a prize.

      In the second run, we had a rogue who was on top of the charts with 20k, posted recount and cheered their DPS, and as soon as the first boss was dead and we had started the run with Thrall through the groups of adds, went afk saying “BBL, food is here” and left us to kill ALL the trash without them. Reappeared 4 seconds before the timer would have let me kick them, as the second boss dropped down.

      Two runs, two situations where I’m thinking, really, the key is to be patient, work with them, play with them, and explain why it helps the group to do things a certain way, and be prepared to explain why some people are just so damn bad.

  23. Scizor says:

    Bear, I have been reading your posts on and off for a very, very long time now, but have never felt the need to post before. However, I decided this is a topic worth commenting on. I agree with your philosophy on running with Assholes, and as my 8 year old son has just began playing WoW himself, it has reminded me of the precautions i have to take with him online. Sure, he never plays without me there, but I will have to explain to him what sort of behaviour he may find from people in this game. I thank you for an enlightening post again.

  24. PapaBear says:

    Kudos in your handling. I am a bit more confrontational and would have just let him pull stuff off of me and let him die a few times. But with the cub around, that really isnt an option.

    I am reminded of a time when I was driving to pick up breakfast for the family and my nieces and cousins were in the car. This was in a 3rd world country where the police are extremely corrupt. A police officer told me that he wanted to haul all of us (including my 4 year old niece) to the police station for questioning unless we would pay a fine(bribe) for driving with an international license. If I were alone, I would have said haul away and called up his superiors and gotten him fired, but because my niece was present, I couldn’t do that and I meekly paid the bribe.

  25. nugget says:

    “Don’t ever be a victim, don’t ever accept abuse, don’t ever give another power over you unless you choose to.”

    …and what if you’re 12, and scared, and your family is abusive, and you have no relatives who will take you in, no support, no nothing?

    You do what you can to survive, you make your plans, and then, when you’ve grown old enough to be employable, you put them into action and get the Hell out of there.

    But Bear…

    …where I’m from, that means being a victim for at least 6 more years.

    You wrote a great post, as always – but when I read that it made me a little sad inside. Sometimes life just … doesn’t give make the choices so simple.

    • Don Ferren says:

      No, don’t ever put up with that kind of abuse, even in that situation. There are foster families who would *LOVE* to take you in and show you that family members don’t hurt each other. I know this personally, because my wife and I are foster parents. It breaks our hearts to have children in our home that were abused, but we know that such a thing WILL NOT HAPPEN on our watch.

      Get in touch with the authorities, and your local Department of Children & Family Services (name my differ in different states) will investigate and get you out of that situation. They will also do their best to help your parents clean up their act. Sometimes, all it takes is a wake-up call from the authorities for the parents to learn to *not* treat their children this way. Sadly, though, sometimes they don’t change. Your local social workers will be on top of the situation, though.

      Get help ASAP!

  26. Riegnman says:

    @nugget. You tell someone. There are always options. It is just that sometimes we don’t take them for one reason or another. People are terrible to other people. Usually their families. My wife and I have fostered over 50 “treatment foster kids” over the last 13 years and I am here to tell you that there are those out there that will help a scared 12 year old. Unfortunately, the kids that we deal with are the ones that haven’t been helped in a timely manner because of whatever reason and we don’t see a lot of the successes that you see in regular foster care. If you are the scared 12 year old there are options. If you know the scared 12 year old, then you could be one of their options.

  27. nugget says:

    Aweh. Heh. I dunno. The culture here…

    But that’s over 15 years gone. =) And I’m migrating to Australia to boot!

    So I got out, after enduring 6 more years.

    As to the local authorities. I remember when we called the cops, they did absolutely nothing. Heh.

    Still, I hear it’s better in other places, and you guys are affirming that, and that’s good!

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