Hell on Earth, that is: How bullying destroys a frail spirit

bullismo inferno

The following is the contribution of my dearest, very young friend as well as fellow citizen: Valentina. It’s a pleasure to host her in my blog, a blog where I talk about bullying and mobbing. Valentina’s words, so clear, so simple, so straightforward and really honest can be useful, so that many people can understand and reflect.

Thank you Valentina: you are an extraordinary person.

Francis

My name is Valentina, I am nineteen years old and I was a victim of bullying when I was thirteen.

During my life I have never been accepted and treated as a normal person by my peers; however, in the third class of the middle school, I lived Hell on Earth.

I was a shy, silent little girl: I did not like answering when someone was joking about me: I usually was silent and pretended to laugh with the others. Actually I did not like being teased.

Then things changed and from simple jokes filled with malice those words became truths, as far as I was concerned, especially the words of my two classmates.

Any judgment they expressed about me was felt, by me, like a condemnation. Every word they said tore up a piece of my heart and tore my weak temper insidiously.

Their insults started right at the beginning of the third year of middle school and lasted until the end of those days, especially because I allowed them to.

The first day of school I felt I was invincible: I had had a severe diet and I was so slim as to feel normal, like my companions. I had bought the trendy diary, although I did not like it; In short, I thought I was finally an average girl: a girl who goes unnoticed and ends the middle school successfully and without troubles.

My two classmates welcomed me, however, with the worst comments ever made by a human being.

“What did you do?” “Did you have a diet?” “Do you think you are beautiful?” Paradoxically, the girl who was talking to me was overweight: she was really very fat and so arrogant.

I was small and delicate: those phrases made my whole world collapse, and I knew that, even though I was slim, I had not become automatically normal like the others.

From that day on I started again eating without control, and I began to suffer bad words all the days.

So the real ordeal began.

Ever since I entered the classroom to the moment I left I was tortured by my two persecutors.

The first, the fat one, sprayed poison like a rattlesnake; the other, her best friend, followed her like a puppy.

They never left me alone: every change of lesson’s hours, every time, every moment was good to torture me.

Their eyes were  filled with disgust: their hateful sentences made me feel completely wrong.

“Why do I exist?” I told to myself. “I’m a mistake. I’m wrong. I suck … ”

I did not say anything to my mother, to my parents, because I knew how they would react.

When I was in elementary school, it happened that little girls would mock at me; then my mother came to school to protest with vehemence; however, behaving like this, she had made me feel even more uncomfortable: even the teacher had made me feel guilty. Not only was I the victim, but I also became the daughter of an impulsive and irrepressible woman. Mud over mud: an unbearable thing for a nine-year-old girl.

So, since I did not want to live similar events again, I thought it was better not to talk about my problems at home: it was better to suffer. I deserved it. After years of insults, by now, I knew I was worthy of them.

And every day the agony continued: it was always the same: they did not even have much imagination in their malignity: they had only a tremendous constancy.

I was their favorite toy: a toy on which they poured their frustrations, their anger: to them I was not a human being, with feelings: I was simply an object to use and destroy.

It was like being sexual abused: their words humbled me, offended me, made me feel naked before the world.

Every day, at school, I was alone with my harassers.

“Do you know you’re a crap?” they told me. “Why do you always wear the same clothes?” I looked at myself and thought that I had put that t-shirt on that morning; I thought I did not understand anything, that maybe they were right and that I had put it on the day before.

“You never wash yourself! You should just throw yourself in an acid tank to wipe your dirt off! “the fat girl said, and as she spoke she chuckled, her face full of freckles. Then her mate chimed in: “If Valentina dropped into a bathtub full of acid, then she would die, which is the only thing she deserves!” The fat girl laughed as I bent my head on the bench, imagining to disappear at that moment, forever. “What model is your cell phone?” she asked me; I took the phone out of my pocket: it was a simple model that I used only to make and receive calls: I have never liked expensive phones and did not want my father to spend unnecessary money. “So?” she continued. “Answer me!”

I looked at the phone: there was only the trademark.

So I just named the brand.

“No, I asked about the model! Are you stupid? You don’t know what model your phone is?” she asked me, and looked up at me with angry eyes. She looked like a beast ready to jump on me and kill me.

“No … I do not know … How can I know?” I stammered, unprepared.

What model was my phone? But I did not have a particular model: it was just a simple cell phone to use for emergencies. It was not like their latest generation phones.

“You are really a fucktard then!” my torturer commented. “You’re a poor sod: look at this shit cellphone! You don’t have the money to buy a normal phone! “Then she pushed me and left.

Only then I could draw breath: for the moment I was saved.

It was March and I already felt physically and psychologically tired of going to school.

Another terrible day had ended, when the fat girl came up.

I sat at the last desk, to be as hidden as possible to the world: that world I was starting to hate completely. When the two girls approached they pushed me in a corner, in a moment: I did not even realize what was happening.

Some other class-mates were still in the room: but they turned and looked at the scene without lifting one finger.

The girl said: “Do you think you’re going home and posting the usual stupid photos on Facebook?”

“What do you want?” I asked with a feeble voice.

What was of my voice in those terrible days? It was gone: it had disappeared.

“Those stupid photos of your stupid turtles!” she yelled.

That day she was as angry as a devil: I was her target and she was my dart. And it was really hurting.

To her everything was stupid: all I was concerned about, even those tiny small turtles I was taking care of. The turtles were my only consolation, my only reason for life since that ordeal began.

Why can’t I post photos of my turtles? After all, I don’t post photos of me: I know I’m ugly and I’m a crap: I do not have to put my photos. But why not my little turtles?

“Do you understand, bitch?” the girl repeated to me, abruptly. “Who do you think you are, by publishing photos on Facebook? You are a nobody! You must not do it any more, or I’ll kill you: do you understand? ”

She was tall two wings less than me: how could she kill me?

Yet, in my head, I began to believe that evil dwarf could really kill me.

“I won’t do it anymore…” I murmured.

“Never do it again, bitch! So learn! “she said, and spat in my face.

I closed my eyes and wept, hoping to disappear.

Everything around me vanished: everyone vanished  and I was alone in the classroom.

I was wrong. I got it all wrong.

I collapsed against the wall and wept.

After a long time, a hand appeared: that hand stretched out toward me. I grabbed that hand and got up.

That day I lost my dignity: I lost it all of a sudden, along with the rest of myself

From that day on, I started to walk with my head hanging: there was nothing I wanted to see in the world.

From that day on, I started not to go to school anymore: I did it in secret, because I could no longer bear that hell.

My father used to drive me to school by car: I went out of the car, stopped at the school entrance, and pretended to pick up something from the book bag.

Then, when the car disappeared, I put my book bag back and started wandering for hours in the neighborhood, waiting for the time to go home.

I would sit on the benches, crying: I felt guilty because of the lies I told my parents.

I was walking in confusion: people looked at me with a strange look. I started to see the world differently.

Eventually, in May, I confessed everything to my mother.

Yet, it was too late: I was already beyond the line of a possible return to being a normal and happy little girl.

My mother, as usual, to defend me, went to school and gave the class a real scolding.

That time, however, I did not get bored any further, but nobody spoke to me anymore.

I spent the last weeks of the third middle class at home, in bed: I did not talk to anyone: I became silent and did not eat anymore.

Then, for a divine miracle, I was admitted to third-middle class exams. I gave myself a wake up and studied in a hurry and fury. I was convinced that they would not admit me to the exam, with all those days of lessons that I had missed.

Instead, I passed the exams with a more than sufficient grade point average, surrounded by the usual unpleasant comments of my class mates: “She passed the exam with that fairly good grade point average?” “She did not deserve it: she never attended the school lessons!”

And perhaps it was true: I did not even deserve that grade point average, because I had missed all those days of school; but I had worked hard and I had made it; so I was worthy of that average grade.

After this bad experience my way of dealing with others has radically and lastingly changed.

After a few years I found myself suffering from a mental disorder that, according to doctors, has always existed within me, but that has revealed itself because of these harassments.

If the fat girl had never existed in my life maybe my spirit would have survived.

That’s what bullying can do: it can destroy a person who has already a weak temper.

So if you are living such a nightmare, do not be scrupulous and tell it to someone.

Tell your family, or tell a teacher. Surely speaking is the best solution.

And if you, like me, have impulsive parents, try to make them understand that to solve your problem they must be patient: they must be reflexive and not use aggressive tones, because that only makes things worse.

Speak calmly, instead: expose your problems to the people you trust and who love you well.

Because, guys and girls, someone who loves you is out there, there is always someone, you know.

You do not have to believe what those bullies say: you have to learn to give the right weight to their words, that is zero.

Their words have no weight because they are problematic people, who do not love you, but who do not love even themselves. And you have to listen to the words of those who love you, those who care about you.

Remember that the greatest thing God has given us is the free will, so you can decide what is truth and what is lie.

Do you really believe that what those people say is the absolute truth? Remember that they are not God!

 

Stay strong!

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