An Rùn-Dìomhair

Rùn-dìomhair; rùn dìomhair, pearsanta?


A bheil rud sam bith a bhios nas cunnartaiche na rudeigin a tha air a chumail am falach eadar duine agus a bhean; eadar caraidean; eadar dùthchannan; is mar sin air adhart?  Ach feumaidh faoisid bhuamsa a bhith anns an sgeulachd ghoirid seo a thathar a’ sgrìobhadh dha farpais nan sgeulachdan goirid aig Urras Leabhraichean na h-Alba air a’ bhliadhna seo.


Cha bhi sin furasta.  Is tric a bhios daoine ag innse dhomh gum bi mi a’ toirt cus fiosrachaidh dhaibh. Cha bhi iadsan a’ smaoineachadh gur e duine falchaidh a th’ annamsa idir.  Ach, leis an fhìrinn innse, ‘s cinnteach gu bheil rudan dìomhair nam bheatha-sa; agus tha deagh adhbharan ann airson sin. Nach eil stuth aig a h-uile duine nach urrainn dhaibh fhoillseachadh gun a bhith a’ cur pian no nàire air daoine eile.  Chan urrainn dhomh sin a dhèanamh; ach dè eile a bhios ann?


Nuair a thilg am ministear a-mach à Sgoil-Shàbaide mi a chionn ‘s gun do dh’fhalaich mi fon bhòrd ‘s leum mi a-mach air na nigheanan beaga? Chan eil gu leòr ann an sin; ‘s co-dhiù cha robh mi ach deich bliadhna a dh’aois aig an àm.


Am far-ainm? An dearbh rud. Bu chòir dhomh cnuasachadh air carson a thug sin buaidh cho mòr orm nuair a bha mi òg.  Chaidh m’ ainmeachadh às dèidh mo dhà sheanair; ach b’ ann an-còmhnaidh a bhiodh mo mhàthair ag ràdh gum bu chòir dhan a h-uile duine “Rick” a chantainn rium.  Tha mòran ainmean eile air a bhith air an cur orm bhon uair sin,  gun a bhith a’ toirt na h-aon bhuaidhe orm agus cha bu chòir dhomh a bhith air dragh a ghabhail nuair a bha daoine a’ cleachdadh pàirt den ainm a bha sgrìobhte air mo theisteanas-breith.  ‘S dòcha gum b’ e an comhardadh tuairisgeulach na lùib a bha a’ cur cais orm?


Nuair a chunnaic na sgoilearan eile mar a bha mi a’ dèiligeadh ris, ‘s cinnteach gun do thòisich iad ga chleachadh mar sheòrsa de bhurraidheachd.  Ann an dòigh, bha sin neònach, a chionn ‘s gun do sheas mi an aghaidh barrachd air aon bhurraidh, fiù ’s far nach b’ ann ormsa a bha iad ag obair.  Aon turas, sheas mi eadar balach mòr agus balach na bu lugha; ach, b’ e rud corporra a bha sin, ‘s b’ ann air m’ inntinn a bha am far-ainm agam ag obair.


‘S dòcha gum biodh e cuideachail aig an àm seo nam bithinn ag ràdh rudeigin mu mo dheidhinn fhìn. Ged nach biodh e ro dhoirbh dhomh obair-sgoile ionnsachadh agus sgilean-spòrs’ a thogail, cha bhithinn cho cofhurtail ann a bhith a’ dèanamh chàirdeasan ri daoine is ann a bhith gan cumail.  


Chluichinn mòran spòrs agus, ann am buidhnean den t-seòrsa sin, bha mi ceart gu leòr.  Cuideachd, fhuair mi cuid de chuiridhean a dhol gu àiteachan còmhla ri balaich eile; ach, b’ ann glè ainneamh a bhithinn-sa faisg air an teis-mheadhan de bhuidheann sam bith.  Cha b’ ann dhòmhsa a b’ urrainn caraid sam bith a chumail dlùth orm fad ùine mhòir agus bu mhise a-mhàin a bu choireach ris a’ sin.


Ged a bha mi uaigneach nam nàdar, cha b’ ann tric a bhithinn aonaranach; ach, nuair a bhithinn ann am buidheann, uaireannan bhithinn a’ faireachdainn cianail iomallach.  Bhiodh eagal orm nach biodh daoine eile a’ gabhail rium no gum biodh iad a’ magadh orm.  Airson an adhbhar sin, ‘s dòcha nach robh e na iongnadh gum bu mhise targaid na burraidheachd den t-seòrsa seo?


Bu toigh leum cuimhne a bhith agam air mar a thòisich i  ---  tha e neònach gur ann boireann a tha am facal “burraidheachd”!  ---  ach chan ann agamsa. Ach, às dèidh greise, nam bithinn anns an raon-chluiche leam fhìn, bhiodh feadhainn ag èigheach an fhar-ainme agam agus bu tric a bhiodh iad na b’ òige na bha mise.  ‘S dòcha gun cuir e iongnadh oirbh, ach b’ ann glè ainneamh a bhiodh clann mòran na bu shine na mìse a’ cur dragh orm idir.


Carson a bhiodh iad ga dhèanamh?  Tha dùil agam gum b’ e rud spòrsail a bh’ ann dhaibhsan ach bhiodh ùidh na bu mhotha agamsa ann a bhith a’ faighinn a-mach cò às a thàinig am far-ainm agus dè a bha air a chùlaibh.


Bhiodh e fìor a ràdh gu bheil a’ chiad phàirt ceart, gu litireil co-dhiu ; ach tha mi cinnteach nach ann bhon a’ sin a thàinig e.  Is ciall eile dha agus tha dùil agam gum b’ e sin an tùs na bu chreideasaiche.  Ach carson a bhiodh iad a’ cur sin ormsa?  A chionn ‘s gum bite a’ dèanamh comhardadh; no mar thoradh air rudeigin a rinn mise?  Chan eil càil a dh’fhios a’m!


Ann an aon dòigh, chan e rud cudromach a bh’ ann; ach, còrr is  leth-cheud bliadhna on a dh’fhag mi an sgoil, tha e fhathast ag obair air m’ inntinn.  Cha bhi am far-ainm fhèin a’ cur dragh sam bith orm san latha an-diugh, ach is tric a bhios mi a’ smaoineachadh air fhathast.  Carson?


An-dè, leugh mi pìos le Mata Todd mu dheidhinn a’ chroin a bhithear a’ dèanamh le burraidheachd thòcail, gu h-àraidh air co-sheòrsaich òga.  Cho dona ‘s cho maireannach a b’ urrainn dha a bhith; agus rinn sin ciall dhòmhsa.  ‘S dòcha gur e sin as coireach, gu ìre, gu bheil misneachd a dhìth orm, a chionn ‘s nach b’ urrainn dhomh a-riamh a bhith cinnteach mu dè cho math ‘s a bhithinn air rud sam bith a dhèanamh no mu na beachdan a bhiodh aig daoine eile mu mo dheidhinn, ged nach b’ ann ri co-sheòrsachd a bha an gnothach a’ buntainn.


 ‘S cinnteach, co-dhiù, gum biodh mo bheatha gu tur eadar-dhealaichte gun ghuth air  “Big Head Fred” !!!


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The Personal Secret


By Fearchar


 


A secret, a personal secret?


Is there anything more dangerous than things kept hidden between men and women, friends, countries, etc? But there has to be a confession from me in a short story for this year’s Scottish Book Trust’s competition.


That won’t be easy. As usual people say to me I’m too free with my information. They don’t think I’m at all a secretive person. But to tell the truth it’s certain there are secrets in my life and there are good reasons for that. Doesn’t everyone have stuff they cannot disclose without causing pain or shame to other people. I can’t do that but what else is there.


When the minister threw me out of Sunday School because I hid under the table and jumped out at the young girls? There’s not enough in that and anyway I was only ten at the time.


The nickname? The very thing. I ought to reflect on why that had such an impact on me when I was young. I was named after my two grandfathers but my mother always said that people should call me Rick. I’ve been called many names since without the same impact and people using part of the name on my birth certificate should not have worried me. Perhaps it was the rhyming description in it that wound me up?


It’s certain that when other pupils saw my reaction to it they started to use it as a sort of bullying. In a way that was strange because I stood up to more than one bully even when it wasn’t me they were bullying. I went between a big boy and a smaller boy but that was physical and the nickname worked on my mind.


Perhaps it would be helpful at this point if I told you something about myself. Although it wasn’t too difficult for me to learn school work and sports skills I wasn’t so comfortable making and keeping friends. I played many sports and in groups like that I was alright. I also got some invites to go places with other boys but I was seldom at the centre of any group. I couldn’t keep any close friend for long and it was entirely my own fault. 


Although I was solitary I wasn’t often lonely but when I was in a group I would sometimes feel terribly isolated. I would be scared that the others didn’t want me or that they were mocking me. For that reason, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that I would be the target of this type of bullying.


I would like to remember how it started (it’s strange the word bullying is feminine in Gaelic) but I can’t. But after a while, if I was in the playground myself, there would a few shouting the nickname at me; often they were younger than myself. It might surprise you but rarely did kids much older than me bother me at all.


Why did they do it? I expect it was fun for them but I would be more interested in where did the nickname come from and what was behind it.


It would be fair to say that the first part was anatomically correct but I’m sure that’s not where it came from. There is another meaning to it and I expect that that provides a more credible answer. But why did they use it in my case. Because it created a rhyme or because of something I did? I haven’t a clue!


In one way, there’s nothing to it; but, more than fifty years since leaving school, it is still working on my mind. The nickname itself doesn’t worry me today, but I still think of it frequently. Why?


I read a piece by Matthew Todd yesterday about the damage done by emotional bullying, especially to young, gay people. How bad and how lasting it could be; and it made sense to me. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I lack confidence. Because I could never be sure of how good I was at anything, nor of the opinion of others about me, although it wasn’t about homosexuality.


Anyway, it’s certain my life would be completely different without “Big Head Fred!!!”


Keywords: 
gaelic, secret, bullying, memories, sexuality, childhood, school