The Bergen Catholic Story
Damage. I’m damaged and have been damaged. You don’t just get damaged and move on. It’s baggage and ghosts and shit that follows you. Wherever you go you take yourself with you. That stuff comes. You leave it and leave it and leave it and every now and then a smell or a song or a voice or something reminds you and it’s ugly or sad again – that’s damage. That’s the pit, the abyss the hole the empty black spot. Lots of damage. Do not NOT damage my kids on MY watch. I’m damaged enough thank you very much.
My fucking happy/sad Bergen Catholic High School times. Well I had a fucking good time for a long time as a parent at that school. Volunteering my ass off. Taking photos for the football team, the lacrosse team, working the food sales booth at football games and lacrosse games, fundraiser, team dinners – I’m your biggest fan. Bergen Catholic. Circle of Trust – Inner Circle – Prayer Circle – whatever you call it just don’t call the police.
Bully. Funny how I am the bully at a boy’s catholic high school. Funny how I am the bully, and I am chastised for defending my family. Not funny. A few years too early for the America’s official anti-bully crusade, I am left on this island of manly men to scream “what the fuck” by myself.
Holy Bergen Catholic – oh how I enjoyed my volunteer work there and some of the excellent teachers and staff – oh how I loathe some of the people that I have encountered there and the lack of humanity, spirituality, decency and honesty. I pledge allegiance until you fuck me.
My son’s grades fell over 20 points but did his guidance counselor, with whom he had a college prep class, and who knew about the incident, tell me his grades were falling – NO! Did the school call me to tell me that my son might be ostracized by the asshole’s friends especially those still on the lacrosse team? No! My son was miserable and I did not know why – the bad seed was gone. It took a lot of watching – watching at practice, watching him walk to the practice field alone, listening to him or not listening – he would be quiet – and watching his grades slip. I would ask him who he would eat lunch with. He told me the group he ate with asked to him sit at another table. This is fallout. Fallout. Apparently, apparently!!!! This is what can be expected to happen Mrs. Treubig – except no one gave me or my son a heads up. Whip saw. I called the school – and they chastise ME! Well, I’m not so innocent but don’t fuck with me don’t fuck with me don’t fuck with ME! These nasty ass motherfucking kids who think they are all that because they are boys raging with testosterone who are going to an all-boy catholic school with parents driving fancy cars don’t know shit about a girl who grew up poor and will kick their fucking nasty asses even if I am more than twice their age. Ok ok ok. I can’t do that but I was so pissed off. Why why why are people so fucking mean!?!?!?!?!?
For years I was the photographer for the teams – free FREE photos to all the kids, their parents – end of the year CDs of the season to the kids, end of the year posters of action shots for the kids – FREE – and some smartass kid decides to tease and bully my kid on the field calling him names that I WILL NOT repeat here for the sake my great kid. After 3 days at tryouts with this kid taunting and teasing and calling my son names on the field in front of the other juniors, my son tells him to cut it on and whacks his lacrosse stick out his hand. The kid tells him he’s going to be sorry. In the locker room – there’s no adult – no coach, no assistant coach, no trainer – and the kid – the asshole – comes up from behind while my son is untying his shoes and coldcocks my son in the face – my son who has already had a concussion and a brain bruise – this fucking kid punches him twice in the face while my son is sitting looking down, two other boys pulled him off my son and then the asshole runs out. One of the boys just finished EMT training and helped my son and called the Dean of Underclassmen, who made the mistake of calling me since the nurse had already gone because I called my husband who said get there and call the police while you are on the way. I got there at the same time as the police. The nasty looks I got from the former friendly faces of the Bergen Catholic staff would peel paint. The police took pictures of my son who was so shaken up and upset. I was so worried about his physical, mental, emotional being. I was a basket case. What was the school going to do?
WTF. The next day they were non-committal. We have to check the facts. But there were witnesses. You see – I later find out – the asshole’s Dad is on the Board at Hackensack University Hospital. I later find out that no one wants to talk to me anymore because I got asshole expelled and his Dad might be in the mafia. WTF? My son’s only concern is that he doesn’t want to go back to school if asshole is there. So the school says asshole is out for the week but won’t promise to expel him yet. They are in review. They take an entire week to decide to expel him. But it’s not over. Then there’s the fallout. They don’t tell us about the fallout. The fallout when a kid leaves and his friends are pissed. Now my son has more shit and now I’m really fucking pissed and freaked out – its junior year – time to get ready for college – time to enjoy your fucking life.
So the assholes friends on the team start where asshole left off and start teasing my son. They tell him he can’t sit at a certain lunch table. He can’t walk with them to lacrosse practice. There’s no room on the junior’s bus; he has to ride with the younger kids. More shit. Don’t fuck with me. I go to a scrimmage. I take photos. I post the photos for the parents. One of the kids tags my photos on Facebook and tags my kid and writes all this nasty stuff about my kid with my photo on Facebook. Now I’ve had it. I know the nametag of the person who vandalized my photo. I go to practice the next day. After practice I ask one of the players, who is “Moneybaggs”, and he points to a kid – I look at the kid and point at him and wave him over to me – he comes over – I tell him – listen, you don’t know me but I’m Kathleen Treubig, you vandalized my photo – he interrupts – no, no I didn’t – I interrupt – yes, you did Moneybagg’s – and you don’t know me from a hole in the wall, I’m nothing like my son, I’m the nastiest motherfucker you’ll ever meet, I’m not nice and easy going like my son, and I can’t fight with you because you’re not 18 but you bring your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister or anyone you want and I’ll beat the shit out of them or stop this shit with my kid and stop vandalizing my photos, stop breaking up the team – this is a team – or I will go to the New York Times and tell them that there was no one in the locker room when my son was attacked, and I will do my best to disassemble Bergen Catholic if that’s what you want or do you want to make the best of the season – now cut the shit – he says I don’t appreciate you threatening me – I can’t fucking believe this kid – I lay down all this shit and he has the nerve to come back with something – this is the new fucking generation. The fucking nerve of him. I tell him I’m not threatening you – I say this with a big smile – we are just talking. I walk away. I drive back to the school since this is an off premises practice. I drive my son’s pick-up truck right up to the exit door of the practice room – 5 feet from the door – the kids practically have to walk into the truck to walk out – I am standing with my black leather biker coat on, black boots and black pants tucked into my boots with my foot up high on the tire waiting for my son – I’m making eye contact with every mother fucker who comes out – yep – I’m here – this is my face – deal with it.
So I get a call. Mrs. Treubig. Did you speak with another student from the school? Now I’m fucking nervous because I’m worried about fucking things up for my kid. Yes. Yes. I told him to stop vandalizing my photos. I’m called in for a meeting. Well, I’m prepared for this S.O.B. who did not NOT call me to let me know my sons grades would drop when the asshole left school – this time I go in to meet Mr. Short Principal in a size 0 black suit with 5” patent pumps and perfect makeup. My first words – do I need my lawyer present? Oh this makes me happy Asshole #2 aka Mr. Short Principal. Just remember Asshole #2 you didn’t have anyone in the locker room! Yada yada yada – please stay off the field, please don’t talk to students……BAM – Mr. Asshole #2 I think I need to protect myself – I’m going to resign from chairing the dinner next month, I’m going to resign from taking the remaining photos, I’m going to resign from this evening’s event also (red face on Mr. Asshole #2!), I’m going to resign from all future duties so that nothing can be construed as inappropriate – of course you understand this is only to protect myself – asshole.
Fallout continued on my end. Bergen Catholic would have their two cents. This time they contacted the Oradell Police Department. Mr. Asshole #2 informed them that I had contacted students through Facebook and made a threat. I get a phone call from a detective asking me to come to the police department. I comply. Mr. Detective is very nice in the “I’m the cop, I’m friendly, go ahead and tell me everything….I’m writing it down and might use it against you later but don’t worry about that now”. Of course me being me, starts speaking without thinking defensively that I am talking to a cop. I do, however, have the presence of mind to remember clearly that I never threatened anyone and only had a conversation asking someone not to vandalize my photos. Mr. Detective listens to the full story and events involving my son. He is sympathetic and grateful for the inroad to Bergen Catholic, it being such a closed-door inner circle environment. Mr. Detective knows that many sins take place at Bergen Catholic that the school slips under the rug and handles itself that should actually be handled by the law. Mr. Detective asks me to lay low. Chris had accompanied me to the meeting with Mr. Detective. During my retelling of the events, I got myself worked up into frenzy again and had become quite animated. I told Mr. Detective that if it weren’t illegal I’d like to beat the shit out of those kids and other graphic details that would have been better off left unsaid but my emotional state got the best of me. It was for this reason that in concluding our interview that Mr. Detective asked Chris “is she going to be alright?” This was not a question as to whether or not I was going to lose my mind, if I was so upset was I going to have a breakdown – no, Mr. Detective was worried about me being a loose cannon. “Yes, yes, yes” Chris assured him, I’ll keep an eye on her, she’s just upset right now, she’s fine.” Although Chris knew there were no guarantees. In fact, I was loose cannon. Well, I wasn’t the only one.
I just had to stir shit up didn’t I? Still steaming and feeling a need for recourse, I send my other older son who is at Rutgers University a message on Facebook asking him if he has seen the picture that was vandalized and the nasty messages that these kids wrote. Now my older son was a legend at Bergen Catholic during his tenure there; he made a presence for himself from the day he started. My older son, had played lacrosse for all 4 years at Bergen Catholic and played varsity level; he was always a starter, always the A Team, always the coach’s boy. My older son is an alpha male and he did not react well to seeing what had been done to his brother. Now I had really stirred the pot. Son #1 posted a note on Facebook that he intended to go hunting early this year – and he and his brother, Alex, both hunt and own guns. Son #1 Facebook message went on to say that he was going to hunt rabbits especially the kind like “xx” and he used initials of the kids who had been harassing Alex.
Bingo! Rutgers Police Department shows up in Son #1’s dorm room. Does he have any weapons? Does he have a gun? Wtf. Oh Kathleen, why do you have to create such chaos, now you’ve brought him into the mix. Rutgers PD leave his room and report that he is safe and not a danger to himself or others. This report is shared with the Oradell Police Department. I receive a call from Mr. Detective at the Oradell Police Department the next day. Mrs. Treubig, do you own any weapons? Well, yes … I personally, own a shotgun and my husband has two handguns and I have my son’s rifle in the house. Mr. Detective asks me if I would be willing to voluntarily bring the firearms into the Oradell Police Department and let them store them for a few weeks until things settle down. I comply. I feel like Bonnie from Bonnie & Clyde bringing a small cache of firearms into the police department. Surreal.
After several weeks, the commotion dies down. All, all … every single asshole quit the lacrosse team. They were not missed. The team went on to semi-finals that year and Alex played the entire season. Alex’s grades shot right back up. We got our guns back. Fuck them.