The Darkness: What Bullying Did to Me

If I took the knife and cut into the veins
Would blood or tar spew forth?
If I wrapped the noose around my neck
Would breath or sulfuric acid rasp?
If I swallowed one, then two and a hundred
Would dreams or nightmares fill eternity?

These were the sorts of thoughts I had all through my teens.

For some, the teen-aged years are a carefree time of  friends, sports, and parties. Popular with clear skin and long shining hair, they throw their heads back in laughter as they revel in the wonder of youth.

I was not one of them.

Not even close. I was the shy, nervous kid watching from the shadows hoping to God I remained invisible.  Because some of those popular kids reveled in more than youth. They fed on fear, living to torment me.

Every day it was the same. “Dog.  You are so ugly you make me want to vomit. Freak.”

And soon I believed every word. Until times alone were just a replaying of every word. I was an ugly dog, unworthy of love or friendship. Why even keep living if all I felt was pain?

My suicidal ideations increased. By the time I was fourteen I was ready to steal my mother’s sleeping pills.

I remember holding the bottle in my hand imagining release from the torture. Soon I’d escape.

I took a handful, not caring what happened next, and went to the movies. Sitting alone in the dark theater I drifted to sleep.

When the lights came back up, I was alone, and groggy.  I fumbled for my purse and began the long trudge home.

I survived this incident, eventually finding my niche in college. But all too many teens don’t. They never get to learn that beyond the cruel words and pain there is life waiting.

I’d like to invite others to share their stories. Maybe, if we share what life is like in the shadows, a few kids will step out from them.



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