There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Human beings are appalling and cruel and selfish and beautiful and flawed and complex and immature and I both hate and love that I love and value human beings so much. I can neither vilify or idolize, but I think the intensity of both my pain and love confuses others. Let me clarify this for you: When you are stalked — hunted as a wounded hare — a rabid dog at your heels and you hear their breath down your neck, you learn what a hungry, sick animal is capable of.
We may have our technological advances and our philosophical ideas, but we are still animals. We can be frightened, traumatized, sick, and weaponized too – and, moreover, as the human animal specifically, when frightened, traumatized, and/or sick, we have the unsurpassed ability to both consciously and subconsciously weaponize ourselves.
I am not liked nor loved by many people. Networking, making friends, even socializing at all, is very difficult for me to do. It has caused me grave upset and unrest, because for most of my life — if not all of it, because it is something I am just learning how to let go of — I have craved requited love and sacrifice from others. I am not a people person. I love people very much, although I do not like them. I by and large do not like interacting with them, because it is exhausting for me. I love to learn about them, share ideas, and I love moments of authentic communication, but it is seldom that I enjoy everyday interaction.
Especially in groups.
First, let me state:
I have never liked the term “bullying” when it comes to a student’s peers. It diminishes the effect of their abuse and harassment. There are definitely an infinite amount of “grades” (as in severities) when it comes to “bullying,” but many of these “grades” are enough to damage a person. I understand we are all responsible for our own actions, but even in CBT the general consensus is that you can control your thoughts and invariably take charge with your feelings, but feelings themselves are natural and often do what they want.
Let me begin simply by saying you are no longer welcome here.
Your abusers’ language and actions are motivated by a voracious hunger for control, lack of conscience and/or lack of empathy, and deep insecurity. Thus, with me having recognized this, your abusers’ behavior will no longer find my empathy, fear, or obedience. I am not yours to do with what you want. I am not yours to damage.
I am simply not yours.
The people whom you’ve saddled me with have all had problems; it’s true. No one would try to destroy someone else out of a healthful self-love. You’ve sent me ruins of trauma. You’ve sent me shells of people. You’ve sent me killers, rapists, pedophiles, torturers, and bone-breakers. You’ve sent them my way and promised me to them as a way out. But you must understand, traumas, you don’t have that right, and you don’t have my permission.
Let’s get some things straight.
The way I have reacted to you has not been free from guilt or scandal. I have hurt people myself. I have acted impulsively and have even tried to exact revenge–a laughable concept, by the way, since revenge still puts me under your control even though I am tied to it by my own responsibility. I’ve walked down that path and have jumped that bridge. You cannot kill me through me.
That being said, I have attempted suicide in your wake–many times. I have been hospitalized in wards and hospitals both medical and psychiatric in your wake. Many times. I have slit my wrists, overdosed, tried to drown, tried so suffocate, tried to choke myself to death because of how I’ve felt with you.
And consider this:
I am still alive.
There is a girl whose birthday is in a few days. She just found me on facebook, although I’ve only had a facebook under my real name for… less than a month? You remember her, traumas; I know you do. She groomed me well as a kid and early teen: isolating me, hounding me, controlling me, manipulating me, breaking me day in and day out for years. She may have been abused. I do not know. At this point, I do not care. She has had a hard life, I know, and at this point, I do not care. I cannot care. I must be indifferent, traumas, because you will understand this:
Nobody owns me.
I care about the people who could become like her, sure. If I had different neurochemistry and a different situation, I could easily be like her. We all could. But I don’t pity her, and I certainly do not owe her empathy. I do not wish her ill. I no longer wish for her to understand what she has done. She will never understand it, just like I’ve learned I will never understand her. But I don’t cater to or cower beneath these caustic crowds anymore. I don’t feed the snakes, as I’ve learned a lioness needs no pride but her own.
I have a birthday coming up soon, too.
My twenty-fourth is the first birthday I am excited for. One of hopefully many more.
So, goodbye, traumas.
You’ve granted me wisdom and understanding I sometimes wish I never had but am better for. I am still learning; I am always learning. You come back; I come back harder.
You aren’t going to win.
We all know the internet can be a hive of chaos. People are always at each other’s throats, throwing cheap insults back and forth, deriding and degrading and dismissing others and their feelings. We all should know by now that cyber-bullying is a real problem, not only at school level but generally speaking, as well. The internet provides not only a mask but a barrier, a wall: You can hurt someone without being caught, you can hurt someone without punished, you can hurt someone without seeing them cry.
I have to wonder if people saw the effects of what they do, if they would continue to do it. Looking at a still of someone crying or watching someone crying in a video against multiple attackers is different to most people than being in a room with only themselves and someone else, hurling insults at that someone else until they see them break down.
Would it be different?
Hurt people hurt people
I just read in a specific article that “trolls” are more likely to suffer from mental illness. I can see this as being true but extremely irresponsibly written. Many people think of mental illness rarer than it is or of it being different than it is. Up until 12 years old, I thought going into partial-hospitalization or full inpatient would mean seeing kids my age in the corner, rocking to and fro, and sobbing to themselves. Turns out, I’m the only one I’ve known who does that. Ever.
But I know I wasn’t alone in my gross stereotyping. When NAMI itself points out that 1 in 5 adults in the USA are expected to struggle with mental illness in any given year, you have to start rethinking it.
When I first heard that statistic, I fervently disagreed. I disagreed because so many consumers of mental healthcare are so fiercely misunderstood and ostracized, that I couldn’t wrap my head around it being so common.
But a lot of people go undiagnosed or without help.
And I could talk about this forever, but what I’m trying to get at right now, is that so many people are lacking in happiness in health. Everyone’s so angry. People are acting out with rage towards strangers. It’s not because they are mentally ill. It’s not that the mentally ill are somehow “worse” or more “evil” than “neurotypicals.” It’s that there is a ton of unresolved pain and malnutrition in the world, both of which literally lead to depressive symptoms. The problem is not the mentally ill or even mental illness. The problem is how we approach pain; how we deal with it; how we don’t–how so few people get help.
One of my counselors in partial told me when I was around thirteen or fourteen years old:
“Hurt people want to hurt people.”
See though, I don’t believe that. I myself am in a lot of pain and while I admit to vengeful impulses, I rarely ever actually want to hurt someone. It’s more a matter of “hurt people hurt people.” It’s often subconscious, e.g. someone having a bad day goes to a grocery store and flips out on the cashier because the cashier dropped something. Normally, they wouldn’t give the cashier a hard time. But they let themselves be influenced by this bad day.
Taking responsibility for your actions is always important. But when people refuse self awareness, it becomes more complicated to them, and they are likelier to hurt someone out of retaliation for something else.
The goal is to be assertive. You have the right to express your needs and express your feelings. But next time you have an impulse to lash out or say something hurtful, remember to ask yourself why and ask yourself what effect will it have. We are all hurting, mental illness or no mental illness. We all have bad days. How are you so much of an exception that it’s okay for you to spit venom and for no one else to spit venom on you?
Think about it.