‘ Flies feasting on corpses, the scent of death lingering on rigid lips, Heaving breasts on supportive shoulders, the spell of imortality broken, Isolation feeding on your mortality, the Wheel of Fortune comes to a halt,Limbs in slow motion, the time has come, open my casket, Smooth polished wood pour me in like a bottle of gin, take away my soul,Souless I flee into the darkness… death is waiting’
Bullying part II
My wheel of fortune had come to a halt and I was caught between two worlds; reality and fantasy. In my fantasy I was a popular child without worries and whose carefree approach to life meant that she succeeded without the venom of her classmates attacking her at every turn. But my reality was far different: I was isolated from my peers trapped in a bubble where the ‘losers’ were confined to by the popular crowd, whose pre-supposing beauty automatically allowed them entry into the top positions that society offered them. Even the teachers were in awe of the power that they possessed laughing at me when I tried to tell them how badly bullied I was, determining that they were too beautiful to ‘do such a horrendous thing’. My emotional scars deepened and I began to distrust the one instituion that had been my security blanket as a child and consequently rebelled. I cut class, began lying to get attention and shoplifted because I thought it would help me feel better about myself and my situation.
The cutting class became worse by the time I was 14, I would physically shake and convulse at the thought of going to class because I was worried what my bullies would do to me next. Avoiding the teachers eye I would stand at the front of the classroom, tears threatening to spill as my ‘so called’ friends’ gave away the seat that they ‘promised’ they would save me but of course it was much more fun to humiliate me in front of my peers wasn’t it? I had noone to sit next to I was alienated for being different and it hurt like a b***h. It still does and I can never forget the hurt that the bullies caused me, the physical and emotional turmoil that they put me through is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. I dreaded P.E the most, blinking back hot tears every week the teacher would tell us to get into pairs and then watch her smirk when noone wanted to go with me and I was stuck until last. Can’t I go with my friends and create a ‘three’ to which she replied ‘what friends’ cementing the belief I had already felt-noone wanted to be seen with me.
For years I could not understand why I was bullied, I avoided confrontation and did not actively seek to be someones puppet but still I was teased. I walked into a shop craving validation and wanting to experience the highs the bullies felt when they bullied me. I stole, feeling a rush of elation when I had got away with it. And so the cycle began, for every nasty comment, sly dig or taunting laugh thrown my way there would be a stolen good waiting my return that I would savour for days. I never stole anything of momentual value but it was what they stood for that counted. I was tired of being good ‘ol’ Ana that everyone relied on, I wanted to be wild and command the respect that my so-called superiors got in every breath that they took.
Eventually I was caught and the classes that I had missed I was to make up for in detention after school, smiling grimly at being punished for my cry for help. But that is the problem with society, we are punished for breaking the rules even when the rules are broken to escape a desperate situation and it makes me sick. No matter how many times I cried for help I was on my own but I never gave up because I knew there would be a day in the near future where those same bullies would get what they deserved and I was right. Our roles have been reversed and for that I am thankful that I stood my ground even when I was in a nest of poisonous vipers.
I found that noone could help me but myself and I began to stand my ground, insults that were thrown my way were slaughtered by my sharp tongue. I would be quick and witty, no longer the same girl they had first met. I was a warrior and for the first time I took control of my wheel of fortune and let it glide to the top. I worked hard and focused on my studies and no matter how hard the bullies tried to sabotage me I still came out on top.
There is more words and memories that I could have used to make up this story but the truth is some things are best kept in the dark and for now that is exactly what I want. It has taken me a long time to open up and trust people and sometimes it is my thoughts that give a clearer insight into my world than my words. Bullying affected me but it never defined me, at least not in my eyes. I never saw myself as a victim but merely a perpetuator of justice who would one day have the courage to fight negativity. For now I was content to continue to prove I was a voice to be listened to and not the passive vessel that some saw me as. I had invisible scars etched onto every limb and I used it as my weapon against injustice, proving that your childhood does not define who you are as a person.
Let Us Live Without Labels, Let Us Challenge The Social Norm
Photography: Jumanna Khanom
Faux Fur Scarf: Missguided
Pinstripe Shirt: Miss Selfridges
Sleeveless Waistcoat: Miss Selfridge