There are these days where in absolutely everything goes wrong, and nothing seems remotely in your favor. Days when the people around you seem less than welcoming, you feel a sense of apathy in their eyes. You question yourself of your belonging and existence. Such days are filled with a melancholy so loyal that it never leaves your side. An entire year of my life was filled with such days.
I was bullied in school. Now bullying might be an experience everyone goes through and because everyone does, we have taken it lightly. We’ve unofficially made this a part and parcel of school life. We’ve been taught to believe that it makes you stronger as a person, makes you ‘ready for the world’. We’ve been taught to ‘ignore’ and move on with your life, to concentrate on other things. We’ve been made to believe that we won’t even remember it in a few years.
The truth is, you never forget it. You never forget the face of your bully, the way he/she made you feel. You never forget the helplessness you’ve been made to feel. You never forget it because it has managed to change you as a person. It has managed to take away a part of you that believed in the goodness that exists in everyone. It has managed to crack open the shell of optimism that you once felt at ‘home’ in.
My bullies were not the ‘we’ll take your lunch box’ types. They were a creative bunch. They had a set plan of action with a motive to make my life hell. It started with socially isolating me. They spread rumours about me which found their origin in the deep, foul depths of their minds. I lost my ‘friends’, lunch time was now alone time. Name-calling began, pranks and other gimmicks followed. My attendance dropped. My only friends were the onions under my armpit at night who gave me a reason to bunk school in the morning.
I couldn’t tell this to my parents who seemed to be busy with their financial troubles, family troubles, health troubles and every other kind of troubles in the world. I tried telling them a few times, I just couldn’t. My teachers were a busy bunch too. Any person who looked at me on a regular basis could’ve easily inferred my unhappiness but that was the problem, looking.
In a few months, things turned worse. There were days when I was chased around school by kids with stones in their hands. I got hit a couple of times, I ran to the washroom to cry to myself. Life wasn’t a bit exciting, it was punishing. To be made to feel like a street dog running for it’s life, that’s how bad it got.
You might think that this story has a heroic end where I overcame all of it and something that I did made the bullying stop. You’re wrong. The bullying stopped because my bullies got bored, they found someone else next year. And I, I remained the product of it all. The broken, hurt, helpless victim. I thought of killing myself a few times, I even called on to some of the suicide helplines, all of them were busy. The things that kept me going were some revengeful thoughts, and the fact that I did not want to be another of my parent’s troubles.
I was bullied in school but I am not the only one. Bullying still continues, and manages to make sweet innocent children, scornful hated people. If you’re reading it, ask your children, siblings and friends about their school. Ask them if everything is alright. Make them feel like they belong, make sure they aren’t undergoing any form of bullying. Otherwise, you might just end up making another me, and I am not a good thing to be.
P.S. If my bullies are reading this, I forgive you my friends. I wish you all that is good in life and a slow painful, lonely death. Thank me later.