The Bullied and the Beast

Friends,

I want to start this off by saying I’m choosing to take a rather untraditional route with this piece. I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for months trying to write about my views on the effects of bullying in today’s society and I’ve ended up with fragments on a hundred pages. I really can’t figure out why it’s been so difficult for me to put all my thoughts in one place, especially when I’m talking about something that impassions me tremendously.

I’ve pulled up statistics, I’ve tried to structure a creative outline, strategize, mind map, brainstorm, you name it, and for some damn reason, it’s been all to no avail. Nothing.

So here’s my plan… and please bare with me. Instead of writing about bullying, I’m going to write to bullying, as if bullying was an actual entity. Life’s short, friends. And it seems to get shorter and shorter everyday. So, might as well call a spade a spade, right to it’s face.

In an effort to make sure this doesn’t come across as a personal tell-all, my goal is to make this universally relatable. Some of this is based on my own experiences, some written as if from another person/character. This being the case, I’m going to write it from a pseudo-name. Let’s call her Chloe.

Right then. Here goes…

To Whom it May Concern;

I hope this letter finds you well and you have a nice, cozy place to sit while you read it. I hope your feet are propped up and your tea scalding hot.

Unfortunately for me, I haven’t had the same luxuries while writing it. Rather, I have knelt uncomfortably for far too long, bracing for impact, heart beating in my ears. It makes me feel like a coward at times, although I guess I should expect nothing less coming from your direction. And courage in it’s liquid form leaves only puddles when you’ve got no glass to hold it in.

It’s definitely challenging to recall all the times you’ve made me feel as though I’m nothing… the times where I’ve felt seduced, manipulated, and deceived all at once. I’ve compromised myself a multitude of times allowing you the room to spit lies in my direction, rendering me utterly silent and seemingly powerless. And the sad part is that I believed you for so long.

You showed your ugly face to me pretty early on and managed to disguise yourself all throughout my life. I grew up in a house of bullies that, in one way or another, seemed intent on letting me know I wasn’t enough. To say it was an unorthodox upbringing is an understatement at best. (The number of “uns” in that last sentence is a testament to the fact I often felt beneath those around me and inherently “under” appreciated).

I never felt intelligent, never felt witty. Never felt loved unconditionally. Instead, I was circumstantial. I was criticized and shown that the naivety of childhood was not an option for me. Suck it up and smile. Shut up and take it. So time and time again, I’d wrench my neck to scan my back for shrapnel and stitch myself back up to withstand the jabs from my family. I became a scapegoat, a vessel.

You showed your ugly face to me pretty early on and managed to disguise yourself all throughout my life.

I never felt beautiful and distinctly remember your taunts about my figure. I was a slowly developing girl fumbling into puberty and, might I add, dragging in comparison to some of the other girls who’d saunter past me spitefully. The seeds of shame you scattered among the roots of my innocence ran much deeper than I dared to show. Yet true to story, I smiled. I smiled in an effort to deflect any more unwarranted attention being launched in my direction. So yeah, you had me at hello.

Remember the beginning of high school and the “puppy love” that came along with it? Well as you very well know, the moments of my being humiliated privately and publicly were frequent and cut deep. Literally. I’m still reminded when I roll up my sleeves. But you relied on my resilience, not my dignity and you often won those battles. So yeah, Demon, I fell. More often than I’d care to admit. Until now.

I’ll get to the point. All these years later, I want to take this opportunity to thank you.

Yes, you heard correctly.

Thank you.

Thank you for showing me that I’m a target. Because if you’ve been this intent on holding me close, continually trying to make my life hell, then clearly I’m valuable. I must be worth something and I suppose that makes me a threat. So, I’ll just go ahead and say it out loud. We’re done here. You’ve had your fun. I’m sure you’ve accomplished much of what you set out to do. But you see, I’ve no longer the time nor the tolerance to give way to your filth in my mind, my heart, my spirit, or my home. Paying homage to the legendary declaration from Sarah to the Goblin King in the Labyrinth…

“You have no power over me”.

I will, however, issue fair warning. As the table turns, I won’t sit quietly. I will find others intent on ridding themselves of you as well. You will be exposed and your fires will be extinguished. Regardless of age, color, race, gender identity/non identity, sexual preference, political views or spiritual association, we still stand UNITED, even if only on this one notion…

YOU ARE NO LONGER WELCOME.

Oh, but don’t worry, I took the liberty to send a friend your way. I’m sure you’ll hear a knock any minute. You’ll know them once you see them but just in case you’ve no time to ask, the name’s Significance. Might want to go ahead and grab your shoes and coat though because when they arrive, they come with an eviction notice. And it’s cold as a bitch out there.

Time’s Up 🙂

Sincerely,
~Chloe

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