I don’t normally talk a lot about myself here, partly due to not thinking of myself as interesting enough but also because I don’t really like opening up. After reading one of Gypsy Syl’s recent post about bullying and its effects I just felt the need to talk about it as well. While I put on a rather self assured front most of the time I have mostly always been a rather introverted person. I was going to say I don’t like people, but it’s more that I prefer to avoid the drama and troubles of groups, and this all stems from my early school life.
You see, I was a rather weedy, small skinny thing with the family joke being that the dog weighed more than me. This wasn’t due to not eating, or any other eating disorder – I ate an insane amount but it just didn’t really go anywhere and so I would face a fair bit of bullying because of this. I had a nice small group of friends but that often doesn’t protect you from the usual popular crowd. Later I grew up but shot up dramatically and began towering above many others and also a more muscular build – that didn’t go over well either.
I always seemed to put on a good front though, and appeared to be the jovial happy person I usually appear to be. Making jokes, laughing and seemingly brushing off the words from others but it does often get to you, and far more than even you think sometimes.
Looking back now I was probably suffering from a certain amount of depression. The withdrawn nature and mood swings that could last days and weeks and they general malaise that settles over everything you do. I learnt to cope of course but it’s always there in the background.
This attitude and emotion seemingly persisted well beyond those school years ending up in someone that would rarely open up to others, share feelings or generally talk about myself in a more personal way which probably ended up being the reason that one day it all felt too much and I emotionally snapped. I’ll spare the details and just say it was close… Very close and I think woke everyone around me up to the idea that just because someone appears to be happy, and jovial doesn’t still mean they don’t need to talk, or need help.
I am of course doing a lot better now, and actively seek out that cuddle or an ear when I need. I still mask much of what I’m feeling behind humour and a self assured mask but not so much as to lose myself anymore. Sometime it helps to smile and laugh as well – even when you might not feel it.
Now I’m not saying this for the sympathy vote although I do thank you for all your kindness but more to relay two ideas.
First is that let’s be mindful of how we treat each other. The words we use and how we say them can have a dramatic impact. It isn’t a silly triggered joke, and that people can’t control their emotions its just acknowledging that we are all in fact human. Individuals have feeling and emotions, negative experiences can stay with us and have a profound effect, and most of us have the basis of empathy needed to understand this.
It strikes me as odd how many don’t understand this lately, or how in vogue it seems to be for attacking those that show their humanity. It’s odd as well just how many of those probably faced bullying, and the pre verse effects of the inking yet deliver it towards others. You would think you might develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding because of that.
Think before you speak, listen to understand, and of course treat others how you would like to be treated. We all make mistakes though, myself included but this doesn’t make you a bad person. Acknowledge and learn from this and you will become a better person because of it.
Second is that let’s be responsive to those around us. Ask if someone is ok and don’t just expect they are, or wait for them to come to you. You don’t always have to respond either, or solve issues- some of these things can’t be solved and words at times don’t help. The important thing is just being there for each other.
#Blaugust2016 day 12 complete