I wrote a previous post about my daughter liking a song about standing up against bullying. The song talks of things such as cutting, and suicide. (before you judge, go to the post title "HERO" and listen to it). It has brought up a lot in my past that I'm dealing with tonight. So I thought I would try and be brave, and blog publicly about. I have to tell you, I'm terrified right now to do this.
My junior year of high school, things started getting rough for me. I had this guy, a senior, who lived in my neighborhood, just a few houses up from me. He had feelings that I didn't reciprocate. This turned ugly. He started spreading lies about me at school. He was harassing me both at school, and at home. He left me notes threatening to rape me or run me off the road. He terrified me. And soon, even my closest friends started drifting away. No one wanted to deal with this guy. Some even found him entertaining.
He spit on me in the halls, called me names, left those menacing notes, destroyed a text book of mine, drove by my house at night blarring music for hours!! (Our neighborhood consisted of two roads. The first one circle around and connected back to where you entered at, and the second one cut straight through the circle. So he literally just circled). Sometimes he sped. But mostly he'd slow down and creep by house. He stole our cat, and my car.
One night, my mom and sisters were out. I can't remember if I chose to stay home, or I had come home from work. But I know I was cleaning. I saw my mom's headlights shinning in the back yard as she pulled up. But wait.... Something wasn't right. The lights were fixed onto something. They weren't moving, or turning into the garage. What was going on?
I went outside to make sure everything was okay. Nope. It wasn't. This guy was behind my house. There was a fence at the back of the property that backed up to the woods. My mom saw the glow of his cigarette. He had been watching me. God only knows for how long. He had a stash of cigarettes back there, a rock to sit on. He had made a nice little nitch for himself.
This guy went from being a friend, to scaring the crap out of me. He even physically accosted me at on point. And he managed to drive people who I thought were friends, away. I felt so low. So alone. I remember crying night after night because of him, and his friends. I started sneaking my mom's Vodka to try and numb the pain. YUCK! At the time, I hated it.
So I tried to slit my wrist. The ONE time I got anywhere it hurt like... well, it hurt! I was able to hide it somewhat for a while, until it got infected. I told my mom, and a friend who asked about it, and the dr. who treated it; that I had it accidentally slammed in the locker when I was reaching for a book, and some shoving went on in the hall. Everyone seemed to buy it. SHEW!
I tried taking pills. But the only pills I took were Tylenol. And I couldn't figure out how many to take to end it. Frustrating.
After court, he finally graduated and moved away. But damage was done. My senior year in high school was not good. I lost friends. I stopped caring about my grades. I graduated high school with a D average.
After high school I was in a different relationship that seemed okay. At least on the surface. But soon, I was being told no one would ever put up with me or want me but this guy. Then my hanging out with my friends was soon phased out. He hated it. And I "loved" him. And I didn't want to fight with him. Pretty soon, the only person I really saw was him. And if I did see my friends, I got the 3rd degree of questions when I got back.
So now I'm alone and unlovable. Great. Just like the guy in high school made me feel. I guess it had to be true. Our arguments escalated. If I tried to walk away, he'd grab me. If I tried to free myself he we hold on tighter. He left bruises. He told me they were my fault. I shouldn't be trying to leave.
One day when he grabbed me, he pushed me backwards, and my back caught the corner of the counter top. That was it. I was done. I can't remember if I slapped him or kicked him in the "family jewels". But I got away. I ran upstairs (rookie mistake). He ran after me. I just kept thinking if he caught me, it was going to be really bad. There was a music box on the steps I stopped to threw at his head. I missed. By A LOT!! That made it worse. I ran to my room, locked the door and cried. Then he started trying to kick the door in. I ran sat up against it. It was the only thing I could think to do. Pretty soon my family came home and he left. They saw the door all messed up and heard me crying. They knew something happened. They just didn't know what.
At this point in my life, after the end of that relationship, I started drinking. I drank when ever I could. It was only way I could live with myself. It made me not care. This got me into trouble. But that's another story.
It took meeting my husband before I believed I had any worth as a person again, about five years after my first bully started his crap. And to be honest, there are still times when I am on the defensive and I shouldn't be. It's caused issues here and there. But we've worked through them, and still have too sometimes.
Eleven months after were married, we had a horrible fight. One of many that we'd been having lately. He was at work, and we argued on the phone. I can't tell you what we argued about. I just remember thinking I was done. I was done crying. I was done not being important to anyone. I was done just trying to survive. I felt alone for the last time. I wasn't going to feel alone anymore. I wasn't going to hurt anymore. I wasn't going shed one more tear.
I went to the store and bought a bottle of wine and some wine coolers (I was young folks). I got home and tried once again to slit my wrists. God it hurt!! So I tried to dull the pain with the wine. Okay, now I was getting a bit deeper. But it still hurt. I hate pain. I had enough emotional pain. I didn't want physical pain too. So I reached for my muscle relaxers. Took them with a few wine coolers, on top of that bottle of wine I had drank. Ah...now I was getting sleepy.
I called my mom and told her I loved her. I called my husband and did the same. I sat up against the wall of the bedroom and tried once more to slit my wrist. There was a little blood and then.... MY MOM!!
My mom showed up! Her and her friend. My husband was right behind them. They got the feeling something was wrong, and rushed over. My husband tried to make me vomit. Folks, when you take muscle relaxers in force, you have no gag reflex. Sorry. That wasn't going to work. It didn't work.
They rushed me to the hospital. And because of them, I'm here today.
It started in high school with one bully, and then continued after high school with another. Being told how ugly you are, how no one wants you or would ever want you, to be treated in all these ways above leaves it mark people. I'm going to be 35 years old this year. And I'm just now, JUST NOW, learning to get past some of this. I'm trying to learn to be okay with myself. I'm finally at a point where I'm okay if I'm not liked. But I still struggle with wanting to prove them all wrong and be liked. There are still days I look in the mirror and hear them laugh, and hear them say no one could ever love me. And I have to fight this, if not for me, for my three daughters.
When people are "young and dumb" they just don't give a damn about what they do or say, or just how much it can effect others. But that's no excuse. None. We need to teach our children how much words can hurt. And they are leaving scars that may take DECADES to heal. Do you know what it's like to live a life like this. Every time you screw up or make a mistake, their haunting words come back to you, ripping you apart. Every time you're in a disagreement, you automatically start off on the defensive, even when you shouldn't. Do you know what kind of damage this can do to relationships? Their words never totally and fully get erased. You'll always wonder if there was any truth to them. Even when deep down, you kinda know better. Kinda.
Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words could kill me. That should be how the saying goes. Because often in today's world, people try to the escape the pain with drugs or alcohol, or cutting. And when it doesn't work they do more, try something different. This proves to be deadly in many cases. And then there are those who are just so tired of the pain and of feeling alone and rejected and like no one cares, that they purposely try to end it. I wish people could see, could know the damage that is done and just how long the effects can last.
I am happily married today and have 3 beautiful girls. But even now, I wonder from time to time. Even now there are moments when the past still haunts me. Suicide is NEVER the way. And I'm so very thankful that the right people were there at the right time, and saved my life. I could never do that again. Ever. I know the pain that caused my family and loved ones. A side effect maybe of the bullying? See, it effects more people than you'd think. Their actions drive your actions. Your actions have consequences that effect others. It's a domino effect.
Like I said, I'm happy today. And you know what I like. I like it when those voices come back and I'm strong enough to tell them I AM loved. I have proved them wrong. Sometimes it's hard to remember that, even now, but.... I do try. I'll always try. For two reasons:
1. My girls
2. Because bullies should never win. Ever.
I am determined to be stronger because of all this in the end. And I think I'm doing an pretty good job. Still have some work to do, but that's okay. It's worth it. I'm worth it. My husband and children and family are worth it. They bullies are NEVER worth it.