Consider this entry a followup to my last entry on bullying. Writing it brought a lot of emotions and thoughts to the forefront of my mind, ideas I hadn’t considered.
This year marks 21 years since I moved from Houston to Arkansas. Next year will mark 20 years since I entered middle school. 2017 will mark 20 years of my diagnosis. 2019 will mark 20 years since I was last truly bullied.
These are very long stretches of time. I’m only regularly speaking to one person from 1995 after all. I’m only still in the area because I want to be. As I’ve noted, only a few of my interests are the same. My life is definitely infinitely different as I’m now married with a job as opposed to being an awkward lonely grade schooler. I’m a very different person.
So logically I should be past these things, right? Well, this is a continuation of an entry on the scars such events leave so no, I’m not. I’ve been thinking a lot about why that is. After all, I’m in a very different place. It no longer reflects my current situation. Why do I feel this intense drive to speak out on what happened to me?
This I think stems from a simple fact we often overlook: we are still continually the same people. I have grown and I have changed but I continue to carry that 13 year old’s memories. I carry the memories from being 11. I carry memories from being 21. I am a golem formed from all of these lives in effect.
It is for this reason that I fight hard against bullying. I don’t feel resolved on this issue. I still see people hurting due to the same issues I faced in 1996. The same language and the same tactics are being used today. If that issue hasn’t changed, why should my experiences be invalid? I know.
Furthermore, the fact that I have come to a different place in my life gives me a platform to add something current victims need to know: it will get better. I know the ending so it’s important I speak.
I don’t dwell on this. I stress. Most of the time I’m far too busy to do so. Even when I have time, I’d rather think of my triumphs than these things. My current script homages my experiences in high school, not this. Those are the moments I turn to in my mind.
But this has made me to a great degree. I am more aware of harassment. I am driven to do right, to help others. With my blog, I seek to educate and inform to counter the ignorance I see. And I do certainly forgive the kids who bullied me. They were kids. I can’t fault them.
It’s in these ways, not with time or events in my life, that I truly approach being “over” something. By standing up and doing the right thing. I vow never to stop this mission. I owe it to me.