Wednesday, 19 November 2014

This is what happens.

This is what happens. Like a boomerang. Like a funhouse mirror screwing up the truth and reflecting back the result. Like flubber.

Bully a child and create an adult with poisoned memories and a huge chip on her shoulder. A chip that says 'you won't do this again. No one will do this again. Do not dare.'

This is what happens.

It doesn't go. It reverberates. It has planted its seed and that seed is decay. That seed is hurt and that seed turns into anger and action and reaction. It turns to peaks and troughs and heights and crashing and burning and sorrow that tears holes in the spirit, filled back in with cold steel. It doesn't go. Lather, rinse, repeat. For forty three years. Bubbles, bubbles all around.

But you adjust. And you function. Yet still you burn. Quietly, you burn.

It is discomfort and ill at ease. It is promise all too often turned into a nightmare. It is 'what have I done NOW' turned into 'I haven't done anything so you can go piss up a rope.'

I was bullied severely as a kid, and I don't take any shit from anyone anymore.
This is what happens.

Right result? Not quite. But here we are.

And the bullies have long forgotten yet this is what they have done. What they have caused. Schoolyard bullshit still poisoning one innocent life after another, for all this time. When it should have been long gone, it has been suppressed and retained and this is what happens. Despite all the work to be rid of it. No amount of scrubbing will wash it off, no soap will dissolve it. I could not boil myself free of it.

Get over it?
If only I could.

But, see here - I want my childhood back. I want it to include childhood. How can you resolve what you cannot return to correct?

We enter this world alone, screaming. A kiss, the stroke of a forehead, a cuddle, a warm blanket. Wrapped up in mother's arms, life won't upset you little one, I've got you, I've got you. There there.

And there.

There is life. There is Life. And with it there is jealousy. And cruelty. And dissonance. And God forbid you have some positive interaction with an authority figure, may as well tattoo a target on your forehead.

And four decades of life later, see what happens. You go from 'wouldn't say boo to a goose' straight across the other side.

To passive-agressive?
Assertive?
Don't take it personally?

Sorry, but 'fraid so - it's all personal. It is my LIFE. It is all personal.

Once upon a time there was a little kid trying to make her way. She went to school, she wanted to learn. She wanted to make some friends and find a way to be happy.

There was winter. And a thaw. There was a slush puddle and a pack of bullies, like wolves, preying on the quiet shy little kid who was just trying to make her way. The quiet kid who ended up covered in slush. Crying her way home, like most days, crying her way home. One more day like all the rest, where home was still so very far away even though it was so close. Thank God home was close. Thank God there was a bedroom with a door to close and music and quiet and no one telling me how shit I was before they were my 'friend' on the next day.

Thank God it ended and thank God I know very well I am not shit. Thank God that school closed. And the next one, and the one after. Like that boomerang, like a pinball, bouncing and ducking and diving til the bullies got lost on the other side of town in the shuffle and everyone suddenly became 'acquaintance'. So much for trust but what the hell, I survived and here I am to write it all down. I know who I can rely on and they know well who they are. Thank God.

Still, the memories burn more than three decades later. But now an adult. Now an adult with a voice. Now an adult with words. An adult with a son at great risk of the same treatment. The more fearful I become for him, the louder those words. Do not try to suppress me now. Do not try to censor. Do not dare.

I speak for my son til he can speak for himself.
I speak for the child I was and the childhood I lost.
I speak for those who are afraid to speak.
I speak for those who cannot speak.

End bullying.
Watch for it. Call the bullies on their behavior. End it.

All of it.

Because this is what happens, and life is too short to hold memories that burn so deeply.

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Anti-bullying week 2014

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