The Bully in my Brain
When I was a child, I experienced bullying at school. It didn’t last for too long. I wasn’t the type of kid who stood for it, mostly because there was nothing anyone could do to me that was worse than what was going on at home. Bullies tried, though. I mean, I was the outsider, the quiet one. The one with the dirty clothes and greasy hair. I was the kid who everyone knew was poor. Whose mother couldn’t handle him (Her lies).
I was that problem child who’d burst into a rage, hit another child, rip up someone’s school work for no reason at all. But I was also an easy target. One of the worst things of bullying, I think, is the silence, the shame, those moments alone when you can’t find a way out of what’s going on, and you know, tomorrow, when you’re walking down the road, that bully is there. He’s waiting. He’s got every god damn tool, and he’s been waiting for you.
Forty-two years old, and I’m still the victim of a vicious bully, except, just like when I was a child, I can’t report this bully to anyone. I can’t get them to stop. I can try and say it, try and fight, but how do you fight a bully that’s your own head?
I feel like I’m sitting in this never-ending pit of darkness and silence. It’s got me locked in a closet, far away from everyone. I try to open my mouth, open messages, start replies to my friends. My bully keeps catching me, keeps putting the gag over my mouth, over my thoughts, over every piece of me. So I close messages, I put down the phone. I utter the lies that I’m fine. Just tired.
Do you know how many just tiredsI am recently?
The problem with bullies is that they isolate you. They cut you off from the world for so long that people give up on you.
I can’t tell anyone that part of me wants to die. To just close my eyes, fall back and let go. I can’t say it because no one understand. People hear die, and then they go into panic and stop listening. Tell me what I have to live for. Maybe they think I don’t know, like I can’t see my kids, my grandkids, my life and know that it’s all so great, all so worth taking each breath.
Don’t they think I know that? If I didn’t have those, I’d not feel this way because I’d not be here. That’s the difference. I’d fight this bully by taking us both down. We’d fall off the building, and I’d be holding onto his hand and making sure we go together. But I can’t jump. I can’t fall, and I can’t tell anyone, because no one understands.
No one can make it stop.
I feel like a person trapt in the body of someone else. I feel like cutting today. Like taking something sharp and taking it down my arm from the inside of my elbow to the edge of my wrist. Every see Terminator Two? Where Arnie cuts off his skin to show what he is … that’s how it feels. Like I could dig right in and pull something out of me, maybe the bully, maybe the monster inside my head who keeps weighing me down.
I feel like I’m drowning. I feel like I could put my hands on either side of my head and scream until I can’t speak, but instead I sit silently. I put on a false smile and tell everyone okay.
I even cracked some jokes today. Isn’t that a great cover story? He’s not sad today, he’s laughing. Look. Everything is just fine.
I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.
I’m so ready for this bully to go home.
The more I try to fight him, the more he tells me what’s the point.
And I pause here, because even this seems useless.. I feel half dead, but I’m still breathing.