May 8, 2014
Bullied and Invisible.
I want you to imagine what it would be like if one day you walked out of your front door and you were completely invisible. Nobody looked at you, nobody acknowledged your presence. When you try and make eye contact with people, they look away. Now imagine that happening for 13 years of your childhood. Waking up every day to go to school knowing you are going to get made fun of knowing you are going to get bullied and no one is going to do anything about it. You see the ugly truth of the human condition. That ugly truth is we are not all equal and never will be. There are losers in this world and you are one of them. Your self-esteem drops, which makes it even worse. Doesn’t even matter how hard you try. It will never be good enough. So you withdraw. You just suffer in silence. The ones that want to help cannot and the ones that can want nothing to do with it. People just shrug and say “kids can be cruel.” Which is their way of saying they do not really care. Schools say they have policies in place to deal with this. Let’s stop right there … if that were true why is this still happening everywhere?
Years later, bullying still hurts. No one should have to endure bullying. I have no real good memories of that time in my life I prefer to not to think about it. You can only go so long getting knocked down before you decide that it might be best to stay down. If you were lucky they ignored you. If you weren’t so lucky, you got bullied. Every day. Until you learned to keep to yourself. Don’t talk to people, it only invites trouble into your life. It sucks a lot of the few friends I did have back then I have lost connection with mainly because I want to be as far from that area as possible and it’s not their fault and can’t be blamed for my choices. I was angry and I still hate that place to this day. Suffice it to say, somehow I held on. But a huge part of me has been forever damaged by it. This isn’t something you ever recover from, you only bury it and keep piling more dirt over it, hoping to level out the massive bump, but it’s always there. You move on the best you can one foot in front of the other. By the time I made it to college I was so angry with the world I had to force myself to leave my dorm room other than just going to class come back and locking myself away.
I am glad I did force myself out, I found others not that different from me and the healing began. I was lucky, not everyone is able to escape from the holes we dig and no one is going to help you out of that hole you have to help yourself out. It is hard work and takes a lot of time to get out of the habit of running away. Receding to your safe place. It is still hard for me to open up to new people I meet. I hate being out in the public around people I do not know. To this day I still think everyone is judging me and they might be judging me. So what their opinion matters not. I am who I am and that is who I will always be.
All people deserve to be happy, and all children deserve to grow up in an environment where they feel safe and free. Schools need to have clear policies in place to stop bullying. Communities need to make it very clear that bullying won’t be tolerated, and bullies — and their parents — need to be held accountable for their actions. I leave you with this video of a poem written that hits so hard to home I can’t help but cry every time I hear. You can make a difference….