Bullying has hit an all time high thanks to the technology we all crave. It follows us home; we are subjected to the cruelties of the online world where doing something as simple as stating one’s own opinion can launch a fire storm of epic proportions. We see movements every day against bullying, raising awareness and starting campaigns. None of us ever want to admit that we’re bullies, especially now. But I’m going to be brave and admit that I am a bully.
When I was little, there was a girl. She was the same age as me. We liked all the same things. We were best friends. When she fell, I’d laugh at her, sometimes further shove her down with insults and embarrassing comments. When she’d cry, I’d tell her she was stupid for crying. When she was angry I’d taunt her, then make her feel guilty for standing up for herself. No matter how badly I treated her, she wanted desperately for my love and affections, so we remained best friends.
As we grew older, the bullying grew with us, and became much worse. Soon I was cutting this sweet little girl, and forcing her to live in my own personal hell with me. Every time she tried to show me light, I broke it until it was dark as well. Each time she tried to make new friends, I embarrassed her and made her cry. The name calling from the other kids was only made worse by me as I echoed it and remained a constant reminder of it. I called her stupid and ugly, told her she’d never find love and she’d always be alone. I remember telling her one night “at least you have a vagina. Men will always want to fuck you, even if they don’t love you.” We were thirteen.
Speaking of thirteen, the girl started cutting herself and I made fun of her scars. Finally one day I convinced her that her life meant nothing. She tried to kill herself. She managed to live, however, but spent nine days locked in a hell that was supposed to be a rehabilitation ward. Did my bullying stop there? No. In fact, it got worse. I began to treat her as though she were diseased. I told her everyone was watching her. Judging her. Wishing she’d died. She believed me. When another student shoved her down and said she was “just too stupid to die”, she nearly broke again. None of the teachers wanted to help her because she didn’t fit the ideal girl type. I made her believe they were right.
Every failure, every harsh word, I’ve thrown at her and kept reminding her until finally the sweet and innocent girl began to break. I made her feel like she was worth absolutely nothing. Settling would be her best option, because otherwise she’d always be alone. Relationships failed. Friendships fell apart. Distance grew further and further between people who were always supposed to love one another. And it was all her fault, or so I made her believe.
You see, I am a bully. I am the worst kind of bully you can imagine. I am my own self critic. The girl I’ve tortured since childhood was myself…..
We see campaigns launching all the time to try and end bullying. But what of our own self abuse? What of the constant negativity? We’re told to just look in the mirror and lie to ourselves, try to convince ourselves that we are good, and beautiful, and if we keep telling ourselves this, we’ll eventually begin to believe it. The problem is every time I look in the mirror, I see my scars. I see the haunted eyes of a scared little girl who wants love, affection, and acceptance. I see the torn heart of a girl who is still tearing herself apart even though all she has left is scar tissue. I see the darkened mind of a woman who tries to keep herself inspired, who tries to hold onto, and see, the beauty and good the world has to offer…only to witness it crumble around her.
I see a girl who thinks ending it all would be the better option.
For some reason, she holds on to hope. She clings to the positive and eats up any of the good that comes her way, which often times only turns bad because she obsesses and loses her identity to try and make more of a good thing happen…which only further makes her miserable.
I see a girl who lashes out at those around her because she didn’t know how to deal with the crumbling world around her, and she feels as though she’s drowning. Suffocating.
The problem with bullying is so much of it is internal, the only way to truly fix the problem is to fix ourselves first.
This post has no conclusion. It doesn’t end on a happy note, or an inspirational story to prove that you, too, can grow past this because the simple fact is, it’s a fight I’m still fighting. I want to help, I want to inspire. But I cannot lie. I will not lie to you. However. There is one thing I can most assuredly say, with absolute honesty.
You are not alone.
Know your limits. Know your boundaries. Know when you’ve had enough.. And know when it is time to swallow your pride and admit you need help or cannot do this on your own.
You. Are. Not. Alone.