Boys to Men: Spencer

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    • 00:15

      SPEAKER 1: Kids get made fun of so much nowadays.You could just be walking down the hallway.People just start laughing, have no reason-- justby the way you walk.

    • 00:23

      SPEAKER 2: I used to get a lot of cracks,and jokes, and stuff about my weight.But now it's like you working out to fit their standards.You're trying to think in your head, no.I'm going to be myself.I'm going to be myself.But then on other hand, you're thinking,they still have jokes.

    • 00:37

      SPEAKER 3: One of my friends Mike,he's really pretty skinny.But he's like, I'm going to the gym.And he's trying to get me to do that.And frankly, I told him no, because Iwouldn't want to do that for myself.I'd be doing that just to satisfyother people to get them to shut up.

    • 00:49

      SPEAKER 4: If you're sitting in a classroom,especially if the teacher's boring,you have all this energy inside you,and you have no idea what to do with it.And you just can't concentrate.So that's why I think a lot of guysare just given these drugs [INAUDIBLE].

    • 01:01

      SPEAKER 3: I know a few kids in my gradewho are on Prozac or Ritalin.And they're all guys.I don't know any girls who are on anything like that.You don't see girls going out on shooting rampagesin their schools.It's only guys who have lots of anger.So that's why they give them all these drugs, to tryand calm them down, and make them normal again.

    • 01:47

      SPEAKER 3 [continued]: [MUSIC PLAYING ]

    • 02:26

      SPENCER: When sometimes I get made fun of,my temper can go straight up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.And knowing that I wouldn't want to or I wouldn't do it,I could probably meet in the shower with some kidand maybe even kill him.When I'm in school, I usually pray that nobody picks on me

    • 02:50

      SPENCER [continued]: or beats the crap out of me.[LAUGHING]

    • 02:58

      CHARLES: Ah!Ow.Oh.

    • 03:02

      SPENCER: That definitely hurt.

    • 03:02

      CHARLES: You're toast.

    • 03:04

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): The violenceand the language-- wrestling taught me a lot.

    • 03:09

      CHARLES: [INAUDIBLE].No biting, no biting.

    • 03:11

      SPENCER: I'm not.

    • 03:12

      CHARLES: Ah.

    • 03:12

      SPENCER: Ah.

    • 03:14

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): I like Mick Foley.He also fights in a weird way.He'll shove the sock down somebody's throat.

    • 03:21

      CHARLES: Ah, you're squeezing my titty.[LAUGHING]Ow.Ah.How do you like that?

    • 03:27

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): He's been through a lot of pain.And that's why I like him a lot, because I'vebeen through a lot of pain.

    • 03:33

      CHARLES: Ah!Ah!Ha.Ha.

    • 03:37

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): I also like shooting movies, like Die Hard.

    • 03:41

      CHARLES: I'll let you up man.Ah, yeah.Yeah, eat that.[STRUGGLING]

    • 03:51

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): The more peopleI feel like I beat the crap out of, the more I get eitherone, respected, or two, feared.When you get feared, nobody will piss you off that much.

    • 04:14

      SPEAKER 6: All right, Spence.This is the first step.Piece of cake.You nervous?

    • 04:22

      SPENCER: No.Dad, you shouldn't be about this [INAUDIBLE].

    • 04:26

      SPEAKER 6: Oh, I'm nervous.

    • 04:30

      SPENCER: The epilepsy-- it's hard to deal with in school,because I got picked on a lot, because I'm not evenan average runner or like somebody else would be.I'm just a kid that's not that athletic.I go to adapted phys ed-- phys ed for people that suck,like me.

    • 04:49

      SPEAKER 6: This is one time we want you to have a seizure.You know what I mean?And then you're out of here.Just give me all the things that cause seizures.What things cause seizures?

    • 05:03

      SPENCER: Alcohol.

    • 05:05

      SPEAKER 6: You can't drink alcohol.They don't want you to go to major [INAUDIBLE].You may as well get daggers.Is that nervousness?Or just you like [INAUDIBLE] pain?Don't start over them.You'll be in another ward for abused children.

    • 05:32

      BONNIE: When we were in the waiting room,he was expressing a lot of anger to me.He was saying, if they don't get me in a room,I'm going to walk out of here, and being really pissy.I looked at him, did my usual mom thing--please, Spence, nothing good's going to come of this.And fortunately, that's when Denise started to bring us up.

    • 05:54

      DENISE: You can go upstairs now, OK?

    • 05:56

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): Sometimes, if I'mbored, I piss people off.

    • 05:59


    • 06:00

      BONNIE: Yeah, but you didn't stay overnight.It was same day.

    • 06:03

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): I don't express my anger to my dadthat much, because dad's either not aroundor busy on the phone too much.Or when I do, he'd probably be very pissed off.

    • 06:16

      SPENCER: [INAUDIBLE] come here.

    • 06:18

      SPEAKER 6: Mom is not the one that made you come.You wanted surgery, didn't you?

    • 06:23

      SPENCER: Yeah, but I said I I didn't have to do it.

    • 06:25

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): No.Let me explain to you why you're doing this, OK?We're hopeful that this surgery will eliminate your seizures.But we don't know for sure if that's what's going to happen.And we know that, right?Right?

    • 06:39

      SPENCER: Yeah, I'm not retarded.

    • 06:40

      SPEAKER 6: I didn't say you're retarded.The information they get from this testtoday will help deal with any seizuresyou might have left over, if it's not successful.Do you understand that?

    • 06:52

      SPENCER: Yes.

    • 06:53

      SPEAKER 6: And you've got to put a little more effortinto tolerating all this stuff.

    • 06:60

      SPEAKER 8: Do you smell something?Do you feel something?Do you know what's going to happen?

    • 07:04

      SPENCER: Sometimes.

    • 07:05

      SPEAKER 8: Sometimes?So tell me, what happens?

    • 07:08

      SPENCER: I just feel like crap.

    • 07:10

      SPEAKER 8: You feel what?

    • 07:11

      SPENCER: I feel crappy--

    • 07:12

      SPEAKER 8: Just feel crappy?

    • 07:12

      SPENCER: --and nauseous and--

    • 07:13

      SPEAKER 8: You feel crappy, nauseous?

    • 07:14

      SPENCER: Yeah.

    • 07:15

      SPEAKER 8: How often?Every day?

    • 07:16

      SPENCER: No.Like every other week, or twice or three times a month.

    • 07:59

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): When I'm pissed that I feel lonely,I'll just take a nap.Sometimes, I wish I'll never wake upI'm just afraid of dying.I don't care about that whole spiritual, heaven and hellstuff.

    • 08:20

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER) [continued]: I would kill myself, no matter what.But some ways, I just turn back, just know I won't.

    • 08:36

      BONNIE: He's got a psychologist he could be talking to.He's got a psychiatrist he could be talking to.He's got a million friends, family members.He said he really wanted to see Rabbi Cohen.

    • 08:45

      RABBI DANIEL COHEN: Anybody who'dbe going through what you're going through would be anxious.If you can have the courage to be able to go forwardwith this, there's nothing that you can't achieve,if you put your mind to it.Never have a seizure.That's not the fantasy.

    • 09:00

      SPENCER: Hopefully the most, have a seizure once a month.If it just gets better, maybe I'dbe able to drive when I'm older and be more independent.

    • 09:14

      RABBI DANIEL COHEN: Whatever changes occur from the surgery,it's going to be something that you'regoing to need to talk about with people.And unless you talk about those changesand how you're feeling about them--

    • 09:23

      SPENCER: So whatever happens to mehappens to my whole, entire family.It's like a chain reaction.

    • 09:38

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): He sad a prayer.Spencer, have good health, be strong,go in with a great sense of humor,come out with a great sense of humor.And be much healthier and better.He's cool.

    • 10:12

      SPEAKER 10: Nice, deep breath, in and out.

    • 10:14

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): Hopefully, I'llbe able to attend school more often, because 50% of my schoollife is getting picked on.Bullies that piss me off next year,I won't have anything mostly to be afraid of.Because if they hit me this time,I won't go into a seizure, and I'll be able to hit them back.And I'll be willing to take the consequences.

    • 10:36

      SPEAKER 10: Any bleeding tendency or bruising?More than most people?That's [INAUDIBLE].What happened there?

    • 10:43

      SPENCER: Intravenous.

    • 10:44

      SPEAKER 10: Oh, OK.

    • 10:45

      SPEAKER 6: You ready?You ready for good things?

    • 10:48

      SPEAKER 10: You ready?

    • 10:49

      SPENCER: Yes.

    • 10:50

      SAMANTHA: [INAUDIBLE] Spence.Very, very, very, very, very proud of you.

    • 10:54

      SPEAKER 10: All right.Let's do it.Yeah.

    • 10:56

      SPENCER: Yes.

    • 10:58

      SPEAKER 6: This is great stuff, Spencer.

    • 10:60

      SPEAKER 10: [INAUDIBLE] next time.He's a lefty.

    • 11:05

      SAMANTHA: I think what kind of manSpencer will be has a lot to do with the outcome of today.If God willing, Spencer is seizure free,it will change his life completely.

    • 11:19

      SPEAKER 10: Let's make sure we have access to [INAUDIBLE].Got to be [INAUDIBLE].That's just purely an aesthetic issue.

    • 11:45

      SETH: My hope for Spencer is after his surgery,that he will become slim in athleticsso he can defend himself.Because I really hate the fact that these kids are givinghim shit.

    • 11:58

      SPEAKER 6: What if this doesn't work?Where do I go from here?You start running out of options, and your mind races.I'm uptight about that.

    • 12:19

      SPEAKER 6 [continued]: The legacy that you leave in this world are your children.The other stuff is all bullshit.That's really what you leave to this world.

    • 12:35

      SPEAKER 10: We're finishing up.We're just putting these things in hereto help make sure that there won't be any bleeding.Not to go back to regular mallets.

    • 12:56

      SPEAKER 10 [continued]: Hi.They're still finishing up down there.If he has seizures in the first month,really wouldn't matter too much to us.It's not unusual, and doesn't meanthat he won't be fine and without seizures later on.

    • 13:06

      BONNIE: We've been telling him that it's close to a yearbefore we're going to call him seizure free.

    • 13:11

      SPEAKER 10: Right.After six months, we start to get pretty optimistic.And after a year, very.And after two years is when we know.I expect he'll be fine, OK?

    • 13:20

      SPEAKER 6: Thank you.Thank you very much.

    • 13:23

      SPEAKER 10: Bye bye.

    • 13:27

      SAMANTHA: It's good.It's good.It's good.

    • 13:36

      BONNIE: He sounded so optimistic.My [INAUDIBLE].

    • 13:52

      SAMANTHA: [INAUDIBLE].We did good today.We did a lot of hard work in this waiting room.

    • 13:56

      SPEAKER 6: I know.

    • 14:15

      BONNIE: Do you want anything Spence?A drink or anything?

    • 14:19

      SPEAKER 6: All right, Spencer. [INAUDIBLE].

    • 14:24

      BONNIE: He can't wait to take off with dad.

    • 14:26

      SPEAKER 6: Were you scared at all?The truth.And when it got time for it, you wereless uptight or more uptight?

    • 14:35

      SPENCER: Probably more.I'm just so happy to be home.I don't know what to do next.

    • 14:42

      BONNIE: Can I know it?

    • 14:43

      SPENCER: I don't care.

    • 14:44

      BONNIE: OK.Lift it up Spence.

    • 14:47

      SPENCER: See, this is the best thing for mom.She's like, OK.Give me $5 to look at the poor kid's scar.

    • 14:53

      BONNIE: Isn't it amazingly great?

    • 14:56

      SPEAKER 12: Amazingly great.It does look like some ancient ritual was performed on him.

    • 15:02

      SPEAKER 6: You take out that brain,you can really move faster.That's like dead weight.

    • 15:06

      BONNIE: Even when he wasn't [INAUDIBLE].

    • 15:09

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): I'm so sick about this seizure crap--talking to relatives or talking to friends.Most of the time, I feel like I'ma robot repeating the same shit over and over again.

    • 15:24

      SPEAKER 12: Mentally, I think he's pumped.

    • 15:26

      SPEAKER 6: We're looking for him to have independenceso he could at least go and make his own mistakes.

    • 15:34

      BONNIE: Spencer?

    • 15:35

      SPENCER: Uh-huh?

    • 15:35

      BONNIE: Don't even think about walking around or comingdownstairs without me knowing about it.Oh, thank you very much.

    • 15:43

      SPEAKER 12: To not be different, for a change for him,would be such a wonderful thing.

    • 15:48

      SPEAKER 6: And it's independence for us too.

    • 15:51

      BONNIE: Honey?Don't be sitting up quickly and getting out of bedand going from room to room without letting me know.OK?OK?

    • 16:02

      SPENCER: [GRUMBLING]Don't worry.Be happy.They gave me 30 bucks to coconuts.

    • 16:17

      SPEAKER 13: That's cool.Buy me a movie.

    • 16:20

      SPENCER: OK.

    • 16:21

      SPEAKER 13: No, you don't have to.

    • 16:22

      BONNIE: When the July 9th seizure happened,I felt like my world was going to end.I really did.It was the absolute worst thing that could have happened.I shared it with Alan, of course.But I didn't tell anybody else.Make a wish.Make a real wish.

    • 16:42


    • 16:43

      BONNIE: He really didn't feel that way.He had surgery on the 30th.This is the ninth.We're not even talking about two weeks.So we had a goddamn seizure.And that's one of the reasons that we'vebeen able to stay together so successfully.

    • 16:58

      SPEAKER 6: And we're sitting on the couchthere, with our arms around each other.He says, you know daddy?You're really my hero.And the feeling you get, it's betterthan driving that convertible.

    • 17:18

      BONNIE: You know, he gets--

    • 17:21

      SPEAKER 6: The irony of it is, through this recent experiencehe's going through, he's like my hero.That's the weird thing.

    • 17:38

      SPENCER: I guess I'm the one that has seizures still.And they're the ones that don't.That's why they're so afraid.Like they don't know how it feels.So every time I have one, they get scared.I'm used to it, and I don't much care anymore.

    • 17:59

      BONNIE: Our trip, as of now, is scheduledfor the 12th of August for one week at the Maryland shore.Ocean water is fine.It's going to be fine.And do you want them to try taking out the stich--

    • 18:11

      SPENCER: That would be nice, if you don't mind, please.

    • 18:13

      SPEAKER 14: Don't mind.He's been out to eat, and to the movies alone with a friend.I was very tempted to wait in the lobby.You know me.But if his seizures came from sleep before,the likelihood is it's going to come from sleep anyway.So I might as well let him go be a kid.But it's still hard.

    • 18:45


    • 18:46

      GIRLS: Ugh.

    • 19:19

      BONNIE: We've been going to Maryland since he's five.And he's had seizures since he's three.There are times he just wants to take a walk.And so we got walkie talkies.

    • 19:31

      SPENCER: This is big boy.We went to the arcade for a little bit.I got 160 tickets.

    • 19:41

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): OK, we're here.

    • 19:43

      SPENCER: Goodbye.Leave me alone please.I think it's like 58 days without a seizure.Son of a bitches-- school starts tomorrow.

    • 20:05

      SPENCER [continued]: All the picking on, then the fuck faces, and the teachers.I'd like to announce a few names,but I might get suspended again.They'll call me fat ass, tub of shit.And they'll try and punch me in the faceand knock me to the ground.All because I'm slower.

    • 20:26

      CHARLES: Spencer does play a part in it.He has a bad mouth.And Spencer lets it go.

    • 20:32

      SETH: As much as I like to defend him,because I'm a big guy, I'm still only one kid.And I tell him to tell his parents.He doesn't.

    • 20:41

      SPENCER: Even though I don't want to show it,sometimes I'm so upset that I cry when I come home.During the Columbine thing, I took a lighter,and I tried to light the bathroom on fire.

    • 21:04

      BONNIE: Right around the time school started,he started getting really depressed and very angry.

    • 21:10

      SPEAKER 15: Why did you cut?

    • 21:11

      SPENCER: What?

    • 21:12

      SPEAKER 15: What's the cut for?

    • 21:14

      SPENCER: Actually, to tell you the truth.I was very disappointed and depressed.And I just wanted to get the hell out of school.

    • 21:20

      JOSEPH CARROLL: So you left?Did you just go home?

    • 21:23

      SPENCER: I didn't actually leave.I was just standing outside.

    • 21:26

      JOSEPH CARROLL: You come to me legitimately.You tell me if something's bothering you,you won't get a cut.Because I'll cover you then.Because you come to a counselor, and thenI can deal with the situation.

    • 21:35

      SPENCER: OK.

    • 21:35

      JOSEPH CARROLL: This is the safe room in the building.You can come in here and you say, man, I'mhaving a bad day, that's fine.I'll cover you.I'd rather have you there than outside the building whereyou're in jeopardy or something else.

    • 21:45

      SPENCER: OK.

    • 21:45

      JOSEPH CARROLL: You're going to see me after lunch?

    • 21:47

      SPENCER: Yeah, tomorrow.

    • 21:48

      JOSEPH CARROLL: Pleasure.

    • 21:50

      BONNIE: When we said that we shouldtalk about antidepressants, Spencer freaked.So we really did let it ride for a while.He was always a B student.He'd always come in with what was expected of him.But he stopped doing his homeworkand stopped paying attention to what was going on.

    • 22:13

      BONNIE [continued]: So he's failing.

    • 22:16

      SPEAKER 6: He's a young man.He's got to become responsible for himself.And that's what I keep telling Bonnie.And maybe it's fine for him to fail.

    • 22:24

      BONNIE: Even if he gets a couple of failing grades,there's still two more semesters to the year.If he's on track and he starts doing his work, he'll pass.

    • 22:33

      SPEAKER 6: I think he's going to fail.Because I don't think he cares.

    • 22:44

      CHARLES: I think he wants to get in trouble.

    • 22:46

      SPENCER: Where you going?

    • 22:46

      CHARLES: I try and keep him out.He's the wild boy.

    • 22:48

      SPEAKER 15: All right, let's go.We belong somewhere.Let's go.

    • 22:55

      SPEAKER 6 (VOICEOVER): Having these seizures,there's been some positive thingsthat have come out of that too.Now, there's no excuse.There's no excuse.So there's a lot of pressure.

    • 23:12

      BONNIE: It was a Monday morning, after three days off.He spoke to his caseworker.He said something like, if I have to deal with, he said,I'm going to kill someone.His caseworker said, I think you'regoing to have to leave the school.That, in a way, was good, because it sped up us

    • 23:36

      BONNIE [continued]: getting to a shrink.The shrink said, he's too angry.He could be a danger to himself or to other people.But my breath was taken away.Did I think for one moment that hewas a danger to himself or to anyone else?I knew he wasn't.

    • 23:55

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER): I'm on 100 milligramsof Zoloft in the morning.I feel like one of those experimental people.Like oh, let's give this to him.Let's give that to him.How about you don't give me anything?How about you let me be myself?

    • 24:21

      SPENCER (VOICEOVER) [continued]: My theory is you can't trust anybody.You can tell them something, but you still can't trust it.

    • 24:30

      BONNIE: I don't know how to pronounce it.Where you going to want this?What is this stuff? [INAUDIBLE]?What's [INAUDIBLE]?

    • 24:38

      SPEAKER 6: This has been all consuming for me.The family life has been scattered.You would think we would all be enjoying life a lot more.That's the irony of the whole fucking thing.And it's just not the case.Because Bonnie has been spending a lot of time here.And in the past, she's always been at home.So we virtually don't spend any time together.

    • 25:06

      SPENCER: I've been around 179 days seizure free.I feel like I can be off the medication.[PHONE RINGING]

    • 25:13

      BONNIE: It may not, 'til I answer it.Jerry's.May I help you?Now it looks like he's not going to have any more seizures.And he's going to drive one day.It's a gift.I still feel that way.Allan, pick up Corey from Savoir-Fare.

    • 25:27

      SPENCER: Mom's all like, oh, we shouldbe celebrating for my operation.And oh, I would be celebrating.I'm happy.But every different medication you make me take,every different thing, I feel worse.So just let me be myself.

    • 25:46

      SPEAKER 6: I understood his angerbetter when he was having seizures.And I don't understand it quite as well anymore.

    • 25:57

      BONNIE: I wish that I could say it's just the age, or that Icould say it's the surgery, or that I could say,it's the school environment, or that Icould say it's my nurturing.But I can't say what it is.And it's making us miserable.

    • 26:17

      BONNIE [continued]: I know that it's going to pass.

    • 26:20

      SPEAKER 6: The best medicine may just be time.It just may be time.And I don't know, which is very painfulto be around and feel helpless.

    • 26:32

      SPENCER: What?

    • 26:33

      SPEAKER 6: We can use that.

    • 26:34

      SPENCER: These sketch pads, 14 by 17.

    • 26:37

      SPEAKER 6: Relax.

    • 26:39

      SPENCER: OK.

    • 26:40

      SPEAKER 6: Open these top-- get rid of the ladderand put them inside.

    • 26:52

      SPENCER: Fuck.Charles, put the ladder back.

    • 26:56

      CHARLES: He's a a good guy.He's one of the greatest guys I know.But I get tired of his attitude sometimes.Got a bad attitude about things.And the way he treat people, sometimes it's not right.He thinks it's somebody else's fault, when it's not.He'll learn it, one day.

    • 27:17

      SPENCER: The day I graduate, what I'm going to go,I'm going to get the hell out of there, come back next year,just hit all the teachers I hate.If I'm pissed off that much, especially at kids,I made a hit list once.

    • 27:40

      SPENCER [continued]: But forgot where I put it.

Boys to Men: Spencer

View Segments Segment :


Living with epilepsy and dealing with the pain of being bulled, Spencer often takes out his frustration on others. With hope of living a seizure free life, Spencer undergoes a successful surgery. But Spencer remains troubled; his parents don't understand why Spencer is still angry and depressed now that his seizures are gone.

Boys to Men: Spencer

Living with epilepsy and dealing with the pain of being bulled, Spencer often takes out his frustration on others. With hope of living a seizure free life, Spencer undergoes a successful surgery. But Spencer remains troubled; his parents don't understand why Spencer is still angry and depressed now that his seizures are gone.

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