I was only four and half when Christina beat me up,
she was from Barbados and we lived in the same colony in Kilmarnock.
Cora aunty, her mom told mine, “Teach her to fight back or else she will be bullied.”
I did not learn to fight back but managed to deal with 2 years of bullying,
I still remember her ponytails and red ribbon and forgetting everything,
After all she was heavier and I was half her weight.
The other bully at school called me stinky, but my class teacher made sure her hugs comforted me.
The next bully came in a size I thought defied gravity,
I was only eight, yet that school bathroom would leave me with fear and dread,
I hoped no one else would face what I did and till date dread,
I do not remember his face except that kiss was not innocent, it tarnished a part of my childish soul, tore away my veil of innocence and made me realise that only I could protect myself but even that was not enough.
The next bully I met in class 8,
I was in high school and did not have a clue about the bullying that would follow during that the entire school year for everything I did or did not do,
The teacher spared no time in telling my dad and sister about the bad/pathetic student I was, my out of school fests and debates kept me going.
The parent teacher meeting that year did not well and I realized again my soul was broken in bits yet I kept going on and told no one.
The next bully was an older school senior when I was in class 10,
Her sister was my classmate,
A simple dance practice had turned into a sparring zone,
She made sure my confidence in dance was torn.
I howled like my soul was breaking apart but no one knew why nor did I tell anyone reasons.
The other bullies I met in were during my days at college,
Some were girls, who made snide comments,
Some were guys, who commented on my skin colour and weight,
I realized now, looking back that I was bullied during most of my 3 years at grad school,
Yet wonder how I did not break and fall apart in an emotional whirlpool.
I kept going forward and doing what I had to do,
But I see the impacts on marks that were lesser during those years,
There were times when I could not concentrate and found it hard to focus,
Moments when I cried alone in classrooms or toilets,
At some points of time when I felt like the world was a cruel place
People resorted to everything to ensure I would fall apart, for them it was a series of jokes,
They did not realize they were the bullies and messed up blokes.
The bully exists everywhere,
It is important to teach our children to fight back.
But there are times when I could not express, all I did was suppressed.
I met more bullies at my workplaces,
People who were mean and sarcastic without any reason,
People who live to hurt others or rip them apart.
It struck me the bully never vanishes or disappears,
All your life to survive, you definitely have to walk tall and fight back,
Because the bully always launches a “veiled attack”.