UPDATE: This is one response. Please don't take it as a decleration of what happens to all people in all places, or even most people in most places. It's freestlye memoir. Not science.
It's worth spending some time with Terry Gross's piece on the new Mike Tyson doc. I appreciate the fact that Gross didn't just hand the megaphone to James Toback, the director. Instead she also talked to journalist Elmer Smith who was able to balance out Toback's partiality. This was particularly important for the discussion of Tyson's rape case and the events leading up to his infamous bite.
There's a lot of time spent discussing the fact that Tyson was bullied as a child, and how he learned to master that fear. It led me to want to read more journalism on the psychological effects of bullying. I don't mean the "Ban Bullying!" placard waving kind, but some investigation of the long-term effects. I don't think I ever recovered from getting my ass kicked--a few times--in middle school by the local hard-rocks. But I'm not sure I want to recover either.
That experience, along with the common availability of guns in the neighborhood, made me intimately acquainted with fear. It sucks to experience that at 12--but you also learn the limits of fear. I got my head kicked in once--literally--by some Park Heights kids. Nothing I've seen since then has been more scary then laying on the ground looking up at those dudes. Nothing has been more surreal than having a doctor staple my head shut after getting smacked across the head with a steel trash-can.