If you’ve been following this blog at all you’ll know I’ve had a couple of teensy problems with this new medication I’m on for biplar-2/hypomania in that for weeks I have been a big ol’ cry baby!
I cry at commercials, talking about the commercials I’ve cried over, songs, tv shows, movies. Anyway, you get the idea.
Well, the other day I read some comments on my facebook page and it was Niagara Falls all down my face for a solid hour or two and I lay the blame completely at the feet of my friends.
They should have known better!
Back story – I was bullied every day of my life from the time I could understand what people were saying to me to the time I graduated high school.
Mostly it came from a poisonous clique of girls at school but my brothers took up the slack on the weekends.
So for, let’s say, 18 years, what I heard about myself, what I took in about myself, was that I was stupid, ugly, someone no one wanted to be around except to beat on, my red hair and freckles were ridiculous, my height made me look like a freak, I’d look okay if I was a guy, no boy would want to have anything to do with me, and on and on and on and on and on.
So, what happens to someone who takes that in pretty much 24/7 for the first 18 years of their life? They become brainwashed and they come to believe everything that is said about them, because that is all that’s being said about them.
Where were my parents in all this? Well dad took off when I was a little more than five years old leaving mom working full time as a teacher and trying to raise five kids on her own without going completely insane.
All things considered, she did a hell of a job.
But she had difficulty with praising us. She didn’t want us to be arrogant so when we did something we were proud of she’d usually say, well don’t get too proud, there’s always someone out there who can do it better.
If I wore makeup she’d says something like, don’t you think you’ve got a little too much makeup on? If I didn’t wear makeup she’d say, you should go put some makeup on.
It was maddening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And my adult behaviour reflected all of this. I became a typical immature, insecure egomaniac alcoholic with severe depression that has since been rediagnosed as bipolar2/hypomania.
So what do my all grown up, never bullied me friends do?
I sent out a couple of pictures recently on FB of two of my gorgeous nieces and jokingly said how funny it is that they both take so much after their Aunty Faffy (that’s me). I was expecting a few LOLs back along with exclamations from one and all on how amazingly beautiful these girls are, but no! I got back work from these friends like, “You play second fiddle to no one,” or “you never gave/give yourself credit for the gorgeous woman you were/are,” “You are such a strong, amazing woman,” I mean come on!!!!! What is this?????
I don’t know what to do with this. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, so my brain kind of imploded and I broke down sobbing for a good two hours.
A part of me was running around in my brain, bouncing off the walls repeating “what’s happening? What’s happening? Warning Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!!”
It’s sad that people who have grown up bullied see things skewed. We see things through the eyes of the bullies who grew up alongside us. For example, I went clothes shopping one day in my teens and decided that if I wanted other people not to make fun of my clothes I would have to buy things I didn’t like, so I did.
I’m willing to bet that a lot of people who live with depression and bipolar disorder were bullied as children. None of my bullies ever laid a finger on me but I was a thoroughly beaten person.
I don’t think it’s enough to just have more teachers watching out for bullying in order to stop it. There are a lot of places teachers can’t see. Even if they can see they can’t always hear what’s being said.
I think counseling, life long if needed, needs to be provided to victims of bullying so they can get every ounce of their strength back before it’s lost for good.
I look back on my life and often wonder how things would have turned out for me if every one of my dreams hadn’t been shot down by everyone around me. I wanted to be an actress, a model, a writer – I might as well have painted a huge target on my back. Turns out I really didn’t need to, bullies can seen invisible mind targets!!!
Kids growing up in my town didn’t dream of things like that! They finished school, (maybe) got married, had a few kids and worked until they retired.
I never wanted that life, so that just fueled the bullies. It was like I was feeding them the emotional bullets they would eventually fire back at me.
Finally I just gave up. I bought into what I’d been told all my young life. I was never going to be an actress, model, singer. Okay, I did a little local theatre and sang in a couple of local bands, but my dream was to make it big and at one time I believe I could have. But then after taking it for as long as I could I realized I really never would amount to anything.
I broke, finally, into a million pieces and said goodbye to it all.
I still tried. I’ve talked before about being promoted to morning news anchor at the radio station I worked at years ago, but what happened when I went to do my first on air morning newscasts? I lost my voice, lost the ability to speak and I have never worked as a news anchor since.
And now, I’ve applied for disability because of my mental and physical health issues, I live on welfare, I am a single mom although my daughter is my true treasure!!!!
So how am I supposed to react to all the nice things these people have said to me? What do I do with this information? I am so grateful and touched to have these people in my life and if they don’t mind me crying, more, then hell, I’m just going to cry!
But at the same time, I’m baffled. I honestly don’t understand what these kind people mean when they say I never gave myself enough credit. I never felt I had credit to give myself.
This is the true evil of bullying. It takes away your soul, shrinks it, tears at it until it’s unrecognizable. Just a broken soul for a broken person except it’s really hard for people to look at someone living with bipolar and depression and see the broken person, how deep the cracks go.
They go so deep. And it’s very dark down there.
Thank you my dear, dear friends for your kind words. I wish I could figure it all out. I wish I could make my brain work better.
I figure, though, that there is a reason for everything. If things had turned out like I wanted, knowing my propensity toward addiction, I probably would have risen to fame, died young and never known the amazing girl who is my daughter.
I believe now that things happened like they did so that I could bring Mary into the world, because, believe me, the world needs Mary. She’s a very bright light.
I’m not trying to say I feel sorry for myself, I’m trying to explain how everything got off track for me. Mary and I have a simple, nice life together. We have a pretty little apartment surrounded by cedar trees and we have an awesome cat.
My brothers haven’t bullied me for years. I cherish them. And my mother is very careful about criticising me now. We talked.
If you’re a bully victim, take a stand before you lose yourself. Tell someone, get help, don’t let the bastards steal your soul!