Sitting in a room full of people who had their own fair share of problems finally gave me a sense of clarity. I had heard countless stories like these before, but the one being told at that very moment was as my subconscious had crawled into my head, parked a chair, and began reading my thoughts.
The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word ‘bully’ is a person who is ‘a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker’. In my experience, I’ve learnt that this type of person isn’t always someone who doesn’t know you, but rather is most likely to be someone who you’ve known and trusted for many years. Begrudgingly, my mind went back to the fateful day I learnt this lesson the hard way.
This particular day started off as any other normal day. I had just come back from school with my two best friends and we were relaxing in my bedroom. My phone made a sound telling me I had a text message. My eyes began to water as I started to read. Even as I was remembering this fateful day, my subconscious had now made herself extra comfy with a box of popcorn as if she knew the story was getting ‘good’. My best friends noticed that I had gone quiet and asked me if I was alright. I said nothing but passed the phone for them to read themselves.
“Everyone knows that Matt never really liked you and was just flirting with you as part of a bet,” Melissa began to read.
“He would never be your boyfriend because he thinks that you’re nothing but a fat, pathetic, ugly and desperate wannabe,” Sarah read out.
“There isn’t a single person who isn’t glad that you’re not here,” Melissa finished.
“Why can’t they just leave me alone?” I whispered, finally regaining the ability to speak.
“I’ve left the school, I’ve left my neighbourhood and I’ve even left the damn town so why won’t they just leave me in peace?! I whispered fiercely.
A single tear rolled down my left cheek.
“Aww Grace please don’t cry,” Sarah said slowly rubbing my back. “Whoever sent this is the one who’s pathetic! I mean you left that school, what, a year ago and their sending this now?! They obviously have nothing better to do with their time.”
“Do you recognise the number the text came from?” Melissa enquired.
“That’s the worst part. It’s from a person I grew up with. Someone I considered to be a big brother.” I replied shaking my head.
My subconscious’ lower lip was now trembling, the popcorn long forgotten.
The organiser of the meeting spoke up, bringing my mind back to where I was.
“Thank you for sharing Lisa. Who would like to go next?” he asked.
Bravely, I put my hand up.
“Hi, my name is Grace and I’m a victim of bullying.”