Updated: Jul 7, 2022
When Silence Finally Speaks Entry #1
Introducing Silence aka Sigh
It’s dark. I’m in a room and it’s pitch black. All I can hear is the air around me, the occasional car passing by, and creaks of the house settling. I'm in comfortable weather and thankful for it because yesterday and the two previous days, it was over 100 degrees in Minnesota. It’s late; 11:32pm on a Wednesday night. I have so much on my plate and yet even though I feel like there’s not enough hours in the day, I also feel like time is passing slowly because of all the exciting events coming up. My parents are moving to Minnesota, I’m moving in with my boyfriend into our first real apartment without roommates, and I’m finally saying yes to myself.
I guess you can say the last part of the sentence is the reason I decided to write today. Allow me to give you my back story. Growing up I was initially loud and proud in my house, super shy in public, at school, but painfully so after getting bullied in 6th grade. Before, I was shy because I didn’t know people but after being targeted by my bully I was shy and quiet because I didn’t want to be anybody else’s emotional punching bag. That was definitely something that broke my spirit growing up. How could an 11 year old get all the kids in my class to turn against me? I was baffled and broken.
I cried a lot that year, and it was probably the first time I had experienced anxiety and depression. It runs in my family but that triggered the start for sure. I wanted to go to school but I didn’t. I started getting used to the pain and expected it. Sometimes I even thought I liked it. Maybe it was my way of becoming ok with the fact that at that point it was normal for me to endure pain from my classmates. I was physically assaulted by the girl that bullied me at a “supervised” after school program and no one did anything. She spun me around by my shirt, choking me, but I guess to those adults it looked like kids playing. I don’t think I ever said anything either because at that point my trust was lost. It happened in the same room as the adults. No one at that school helped me, even when my mother called a meeting with the principal and the teachers. The principal whom I thought I loved because she always gave me hugs, failed me. She said if the bullying isn’t happening on school property, which it was by the way, then there was nothing she could do about it. She explained to my mother about one specific incident that was not on school grounds and ignored everything that did happen in school. I didn’t find that out until my mom told me years later. It didn’t register at least.
My mom decided that it was time for me to change schools. I was terrified. The school before was all I had ever known. That was another defining moment for me. I learned that sometimes you have to do scary things to get away from bad situations. Just because you're used to something, doesn’t mean that’s how your life should always be. I shouldn’t have had to experience such a life altering situation, but I did. I will never enjoy the fact that my confidence took several hits, but I am proud of the person I am today. It is because of that situation that I am careful with the emotions of others. I am able to identify others' emotions and be more sensitive. I think more about how people are feeling than the average person which has been both helpful and hurtful. Sometimes I care too much, or people take advantage of who I am, or worse I annoy people because I worry so much, and the most recent problem I’m noticing is that I don’t care about myself enough to stand up for what I want. I’m working on that now though. The thing is, you have options after something terrible happens to you. Specifically with bullying, you can choose to isolate yourself from everyone, bully others like you were bullied, or you can do what I did at first and try to isolate yourself, but then end up trying to be as nice as humanly possible for the fear of being rejected. Before being bullied I was happy, outgoing, still shy, but not painfully so. I don’t remember too much, but I know that I wasn’t as afraid of people as I was after. I chose who I was because I wanted to survive, but I also watched a ton of tv and that’s how I got my human interaction because I wasn’t about to put myself out there again after kids I had known for years turned on me so they wouldn’t get bullied themselves. Instead of coming together and telling the bully to back off, we got lost in our insecurities. I always think to myself “isn’t that how the world is today?”
I spent years building and rebuilding myself. It was not until college that I finally started to find my balance of who I wanted to be. Some good things I can bring to light are the fact that I am very honest. I can’t lie. I have been able to make the most honest friendships and relationships ,and my friend group has become more of a family because of it. I don’t want people around who are negative, and I won’t allow that in my friend group. Everyone should be treated with respect and love. Whoever I’m friends with knows that I like to spread love and somehow we have a cute little friend family. I learned that from my family though. My parents taught my brother and I how important family and trust are. Through their actions and words my brother and I learned very important lessons. My mom and dad would always make room for our friends whether we dropped them off at home or they had to stay at our place for a few nights. My brother would also let me hangout with him and his friends, and I learned what kind of friends I wanted and how we should treat each other. I got to learn what I did and didn’t like around me, but I also knew deep down that I never want to be alone. I know that I can be strong and that I am capable of being alone, but truly I don’t think anyone wants to be alone, not really.
It is because of my emotions that I have begun to stay silent with things I want. I have a select group of people that I tell everything to, but I have definitely made mistakes and told people I shouldn’t have how I felt. You can’t trust everyone with your emotions because not everyone has your best interest at heart. In the same breath, some people don’t want to know everything and other times people won’t hear you out because they think you have everything and they wonder why you're complaining. Sometimes I notice I’m too much so I just go with what everyone else wants. I want most of the same things too but I definitely put others' needs before my own. I was and am aware that I do that, but recently it became too much for me to bear. At some point you start to realize that everyone’s feelings matter and you are part of everyone. It is both very strange and makes the most sense that you gain the most clarity being away from home. You’re out of routine and you start to realize who you are and who the people around you are if everyday life wasn’t so familiar. Like I said, you have to do scary things sometimes to get out of a bad situation or a situation that you’re uncomfortable with.