When did you lose your innocence? (Serious)

When I was 11 I grew up in an inner city in New Jersey and I encountered some older kids who wanted to see my bike as I was riding down the side walk. The biggest kid grabbed my wrists really hard and said he wanted to try my bike out. I said no, and he ripped me off my bike and punched me in the stomach and threw me to the ground. When I was on the ground two of the other kids came up to hit me. One punched me in the back of my head and the other kicked me in the stomach. They all took off and the one who threw me off my bike stole my bike and I never saw it again.

My innocence was finally dissolved by the next event that happened like a month later. I was a bored kid with not many friends and I would just walk the local streets down to the convenient store to buy some candy and stuff. On my way back I took a break and enjoyed my snacks, while standing around I noticed a bunch of stickers with a bunch of tagging written on them. I naively peeled off a few and thought nothing of it. Apparently some of the local kids who were in a gang and one of them saw me do it. On my way back home they caught up to me and surrounded me and started giving me shit about destroying their graffiti. Two kids grabbed my arms while their leader began punching me a couple other kids punched me too and then their leader wailed on my face. They threw me to the ground and took off laughing and warned me to never do that again.

After that I was no longer naïve to these things and my hatred for people began to grow. Through some more similar experiences I began to see things differently and I was tired of being a target. A year later we moved to the the Midwest. Immediately being the new out of town kid drew attention from the bullies. Being in a new place that I hated already made me angry. I think my inner anger towards everything helped me deflect these bullies, so much so they would tease me about being the Columbine kid (columbine just happened). I guess in a way it saved me from any other ass beatings. I learned not to take shit from anyone and my anger and hatred actually protected me. Some kids were scared of me because I would snap often in a tirade of anger. Eventually they just left me alone and I grew up a loner.

I never wanted to hurt anyone I just wanted to exist but kids are fucking cruel and they don't realize the things you do to others help create the adults they become. I was never bullied again and to this day people think I am just some angry dude not to mess with. The fact is I have no desire to harm anybody and I just want to be left alone. My resting asshole face and the way I look helps ward off those who want to hurt me. They just see some big, angry, metalhead, tattooed guy. Which I'm fine with most of the time.

/r/AskReddit Thread