Thursday, 24 March 2016

Insidious bullying: struggle to be "Normal"

Sudden silence. Apathy. Cold eyes. Whispers. Giggles. Everlasting nightmare.

For a teenage girl, conformity, being a "normal" at school or the sense of belonging means a lot. Perhaps the crave for the sense of belonging accelerates online communication among the teens. I see kids desperately try to reply someone's comment on LINE everywhere. It may look ridiculous to ones who have already passed the phase. However, for a teenager, being a member of a group is her priority in her school life. It can be the way of survival from constant parental and peer pressures. I admit that this crave for human contacts is not only for teens. We all do no matter how old you are. But when you are young and inexperienced, living in the tiny world called a school, those classmates or schoolmates matter more than they should be. So, who can stand strong amongst total apathy in a classroom where everyone seems to pay no attention to your presence? Who can possibly say, "Be strong! or Hung in there!" when the person struggles to breathe every single second in the classroom? Having being a victim of insidious bullying in school days, I certainly can not say that but to cry with her, my sweet girl, knowing my action will only aggravate the condition and no words can comfort her. 

Back in high school days, I eventually gave up on going to a university due to insidious bullying. Nothing physical, nothing apparent, no teachers can understand the underlying meaning of the constant giggles and whispers among those girls. No school policy of anti-bullying works. No one including those bullies know how and when to stop such cruel and cowardice actions. Breathing can be a struggle in such a condition. Lunch break is the worst hour to cope with. The world looks full of dark mallice. The worst of all, you feel absolutely ALONE. Then the helplessness falls and covers even in the slightest light you see. All the senses will be paralysed and you feel stuck in the hell. Sometimes it takes only the shout to the boss bully, "F%## off, You hideous bitch." But it is impossible to do that when you can not even breathe. I survived by skipping classes. It was the hardest and darkest time I have ever experienced and I have no interests to go back there even if it means no wrinkles and spots on my face. 

Here I am, expressing total respect to my own daughter. Because she has been fighting against bullying on her own from the beginning of the second semester until the end of the academic year without any supports. Only the bravest of the brave can do that on her own. Her grades are dropped to the bottom and her eyes lost her blinding glitterings. Yet she has fought and survived without telling anyone. To me, she is nothing but a champion, the coolest and bravest girl I've known. For her honor, I will breathe deeply and suppress my rage and the strong temptation to give the same amount of psychological pain to the bullies. 

Bullying in any forms including psychological ones DEPRIVE someone of pleasures, motivations and energies to live. A life is precious and also connected to each one of us. Each life is valuable regardlessly. Once you realize that we are all interconnected to each other like a big family, it will be impossible to treat others unfairly. Yet, there are so many young and precious lives destroyed because of irrational hideous actions such as bullying. Bullying can start from just a bit of misunderstanding, jealousy, insecurity, hatred or rage which is from nothing but your own darkness. For teens, the world looks full of contradictions and inconsistency. It must be overwhelming and intimidating. Life ain't easy and solvable like a math equation. That's why we need others. That's why we crave for connections. That's why we need to help each other. That's why we must develop our empathy and compassion. One has to get over numerous hardships and unpredictable disasters. How can you be strong enough to survive when you feel alone?  How would you feel if you were this girl eating lunch alone at the corner of a corridor ? How would you feel if nobody talks to you all of sudden for no specific reason you can think of ? Can you really say it is nothing to do with you? Can you really say you are not one of onlookers? And what would you do if you were the girl standing alone? What would you do ? 

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