Writing Contest Submission: Bullying

Yo! It’s been a while.

Due to various circumstances, mostly college related, I haven’t been able to post something recently. So rather than keep this blog empty, I might as well share something that I submitted to a writing contest in my Uni recently. It’s an “exposition” text that I wrote that covers the theme around bullying. Enjoy!

You woke up, took a shower, get dressed, had a breakfast and went to school thinking like it’s just going to be any other day. You arrived at your class and attend class like normal. During the lunchbreak however, all of sudden few of your classmates started calling you names and insults you, though you have no idea why. You paid no heed about it though and went through the rest of the day normally.

In the following days though, your classmates still insults you and then some. It was small at first, missing shoes there, unflattering comments written on your desk here, but soon enough it escalated to things that you can’t imagine would happen to you. From minor physical violence like shoving and tripping, to an outright public humiliation, like say, the publication of your deepest secret and shame. You went home crying, sad and confused over what had just occurred to you. You wondered why your classmate would want to do all those things to you and what have you done to deserve that.

You told you parents and in return, your parents told the school and the bullying stop to some degree, but the damage was already done. The following days aren’t any easier to you. In the beginning it’s just your classmates, but now the entire school laugh at you, looking at you like some sort of a joke, a garbage. Soon enough, you too started to think of yourself as a garbage. Partly because it’s the only reason why you deserved to be treated that way and you can’t get hurt from being called garbage if you already think you’re like that yourself.

Some time later, you entered a new school after some persistence from your parents that it’s not the end of the world. Your new classmates seems nice enough, though you couldn’t help but feel like they’re going to turn on you at any minute. You constantly think there’s a dagger in every kindness that they reach out. Every day of your life was a constant walking on a thin thread filled with anxiety that the second you showed even a semblance of a weakness or an ugliness to your peer, you would fall off and it would be all over.

Soon enough, you no longer can imagine a happy ending in the story of your life. You grew numb and always put on an effort of not being happy to protect yourself from disappointment, and of course, you grew more and more distant from not only your peers, but also your parents. Not long after, you couldn’t take it anymore and decided to end your own life, finally trying to “free” yourself. However you were caught in the act and was admitted to a hospital.

You underwent a therapy afterwards. Several sessions later, you started to feel better, but still unsure of yourself and the future, but you did started to opened up to those around you. Not long after, you ran into one of your former classmates who bullied you. Surprised, he greeted you with a sheepish smile, though at the sight of his face, you couldn’t help but feel nothing but contempt toward him. However, your former classmate started apologizing over what he had done and beg of you to hear what he has to say. Reluctantly, you listened.

Then, your former classmate started to talk about the reason behind his action. He told you about his unhappy and broken home life, his abusive father and his submissive mother. One average day, his “friends” started to talk about how funny it would be to mess and make fun of you. He doesn’t want to do it, but they force him to join, calling him a chicken for not wanting to do it. As the bullying escalates, he started to find himself enjoying ruining your life. So relieving, so cathartic. Until he heard that you tried to take your own life and all those feelings became guilt.

Because of that, he went looking for you, wanting to apologize for his action with all of his heart. Your former classmate breakdown crying as he apologize and told all of his story. After what your former classmate did to you, it’s hard to imagine for him, and by extension his friends, as nothing more than a monster, but seeing he has his own unhappy circumstance, you saw something in him, some version of yourself of what you could become. Because of that you forgave him.

After that event, you sat somewhere stared into the vastness of the sky, trying to process of what you just learned, wondering about the misery of other people somewhere out there who decided to give up their own life or hurt others as a way to relieve their own pain, thus continuing the cycle. You wondered if it ever end, but in the end, you decided you can only hope and extend kindness to those around you.

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