(hit up mr. linky before I’d actually published poem – memory is all out of whack these days; so if you came looking for it, here it is now! )
Tripping me in the hall for knocking over my tray for laughs and your pleasure
Pining me against the chain link fence despite pleas to stop and let me go.
I’m not a snitch; an alien; a person of privilege; a teacher’s pet.
I erase the hateful words and drawings from the chalk board before the class begins.
A time when bullying was just a part of school yard hi-jinks
Punished twice: once by bullies and then again by school system.
I dumb myself down in certain classes; being average or lower is better than being smart
A’s get you a beating; C and D give you a break.
Telling me I’m ugly and no one likes me; you make sure your taunts are in front of an audience.
And not one steps in to help.
Teachers single me out for in class ridicule; just more fodder for your hateful words.
Walking home or especially on the school bus, there is no escape from your torture and torment.
Being just a pale shadow, unnoticed was like a reprieve.
Now, so many years later, bullying is a talked about subject
Everyone in the school system believes it happens
And try to stop its demoralizing role in school life
I wish them luck, to change everyone’s attitude and reactions
When social media has become a new platform for cruelness
So that no child has to go through what I did
As the chunky new kid helicoptered in for a half year or so
I never spoke of my torments; never named names.
Chronic depression has me reliving so many painful things
The classroom humiliations and school yard shadows.
Now, I would be punished and bullied via the internet.
Just another way to cruel way to say
You’re different; shy; unattractive; unwanted; not cool; a reject.
My stigma then: always being the chunky new kid
Told about parties I was not invited to
And never would be.
Lonely, depressed, defeated,
My voice, my confidence, self-esteem non-existent
Believing in myself all shattered.
I still have the emotional and physical scars
I’m still different; I’m still damaged; I still feel alone.
No matter how hard I try to fit in, to belong.
I still feel left out o f
Circles of friendship.
Circles of love.
My then stigma: new chunky fat only child in class so must be spoiled
Not good enough to belong, to fit in, to be special, to be wanted.
Deep in depression, my “now” stigma is a cracked mirror linking me to my “then” one.
Old wounds can take lifetimes to heal;
when I’m on rock bottom,
I let my guard down
so the old hurts that can make a shape for themselves inside me.