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How my Childhood Bully Created Yesner Law (or Why I Do What I Do)

Growing up, I dealt with books and homework, tests, and band practice. Mostly, I dealt with a bully. He was not just any bully – he was my bully and he tormented me non-stop for 9 years over a 12-year period of my life. Some of the tamer things that he would do: wrap me in packing tape (at that time, I had a full head of hair), hit me, sit on me, and kick me.  He also insulted me and put me down publicly every chance he could.

In fact, one day I remember walking home from school, I only lived two blocks from high school. My bully thought it would be funny to drive his car up onto the sidewalk and chase me for a few houses. What seemed to him to be a prank, felt to me like he was trying to run me over. As soon as I saw the car skid from the street onto the sidewalk, I started to run.  Although I only ran for a few moments, it felt like I ran for miles. I remember being so afraid, when I turned to look back to see where he was, I fell! I remember crawling as fast as I could towards the nearest tree thinking, “He won’t run me over if it means damaging his car, and if he does run me down, at least he’ll hit the tree too and there will be proof for my parents showing them how I died. At the very last minute, as I tried to catch my breath, he swerved and went back onto the main road, barely missing me and the tree, and leaving skid marks in the grass.  I could hear him laughing in the distance as he continued to drive to school. It took me about 15 minutes to catch my breath, make sure he was out of view, and get to school. I was so scared, I didn’t even realize my clothes were dirty and I was bleeding from the cuts and scrapes of falling and then grabbing onto that tree.

I had to deal with this bully for two years of Junior High School (seventh and eighth grades) and High School (tenth and eleventh grades). Because he was one school year ahead of me, I received a small break from his antics in 9th and 12th grade. I remember walking into auditions for the drumline for the Florida State University Marching Chiefs, and he was there too! To this day, I believe the only reason I made the drumline is because he decided to skip marching band his freshman year of college, so we were on equal footing auditioning for the drumline, he as a sophomore and me as a freshman.

Aside from those two grades, the only other time I received any relief was our family vacations to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. I was so excited. I loved the feeling of being away on vacation, where anything could happen, free from the stress of everyday life, school, projects, books and homework, and especially being away from my bully. I felt the pressures of my life literally lift off my shoulders! I loved that bullies (and mine in particular) were nowhere to be found, not even mosquitos were allowed on grounds at Disney. Today, I get that same excitement going on vacation with my kids and seeing Disney World through my sons’ eyes.

I finally overcame my bully.  He was a drummer like me and we eventually, during college, became friends!

What I realize today is that I help my clients get control of the financial bullies in their lives so they can feel those stresses and burdens literally float off of their shoulders, because they know that everything is going to be okay.  I love when my clients feel that same excitement of waking up in the morning, as if every day was the first day of vacation for them too.

For more information about me and the firm, please subscribe to the Crushing Debt Podcast, on iTunesStitcher, and GooglePlay. If you prefer, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options at 727-261-0224 or email me directly at

Shawn M. Yesner, Esq., is the host of the Crushing Debt Podcast and founder of Yesner Law, P.L., a Tampa-based boutique real estate and consumer law firm that helps clients eliminate the financial bullies in their lives. We assist clients with asset protection, the sale and purchase of real property, Chapter 7 liquidation, Chapter 13 reorganization, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, debt settlement, landlord/tenant issues, short sales, and loan modifications in Tampa, Westchase, Odessa, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Largo, St. Petersburg, and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

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