A Day in the Life of a Victim

"Words don't mean anything, they only have power if you give them power." This is what people have been telling me. They are wrong, dead wrong. Sometimes the pain of bullying comes, not from the words themselves, but from the fact that someone is saying them.
Think about it... Pretty much everyone knows how it feels to be the bully. But do we know how it feels to be the victim. To be targeted everyday, for our orientation, race, gender, how we dress or act, or even who our friends are.
Put yourself in the place of a victim. Everyday you wake up, with barely the motivation to drag yourself out of bed to face another day of school. You feel the fear, as you walk in the door, your gut twists, and clenches, you feel sick, scared. You don't want to be here.
You never feel safe. You feel their eyes burning holes in the back of your head. But, every time you turn around, they look away, and pretend to be looking at someone else. You hear them, the conspiratorial whispers, followed by poorly muffled laughing. You see them, staring at you, smiling, but trying to hide it by looking away quickly when you catch them at it. Sometimes, they play nasty, anonymous jokes on you, like putting a dead rat in your locker, or writing about you on the bathroom wall.
The rumors are the worst, the verbal disease that spreads like wildfire, infecting everyone. The lies, the complete utter crap. Those who you thought were your friends, sudden;y turn on you because they heard the latest gossip that you had slept with so-and-so, or something else that is never going to be true. The verbal attacks, rip you up inside. You see the "popular" group, they send someone over to you, he or she blatantly makes a joke, or asks you out, on a dare.
Sometimes it turns physical. On the bus, or walking home, you hear them, behind you. Their breath coming in short, excited pants. Like a large animal going in for the kill, they stalk you. You walk a little faster, they get closer, and closer. You can almost feel their breath on the back of your neck. Then, suddenly, the star football player is on top of you. You feel your nose break as it smashes into the ground, blood spurts. You feel the course gravel invade your mouth. You cough, and struggle for air. He gets off, you rush to stand. Only to feel his foot smash against your ribs. There is a faint crack. You collapse to the ground, and just lay there. This time you don't have the strength to move. He stands above you, a great behemoth. The look on his face, gloating, your broken nose and possibly cracked rib makes no impression. He is not silent however, he looks down at you, through the fog of a concussion you hear his words, mocking you, telling you that you are weak and should just go die. His laughter fills the air, it is a blood curdling sound, this being feels no remorse.
He walks away, leaving you, a bloody mess on the ground, alone. Slowly, you pull yourself to your feet, a herculean effort. Once standing, you feel light-headed, you begin to walk towards home. You can only make yourself move by focusing on putting on foot in front of the other. You finally reach your front door, the key turns in the lock, the door swings open with what feels like a huge effort from you. You don't have the strength to make it up the stairs. So you collapse on the couch, and sleep.
You awake when you feel someone shake you. It's your mother. She's standing over you, and looks scared to death. You lie, when she asks what happened. You tell her you fell down the stairs. You don't want to tell your secret, you keep it close, mostly out of fear of making it worse. You don't want to be known as a snitch.
She believes you. Too bad, you almost hoped she would demand to know what had really happened. She gives you a couple aspirin, and sends you up to bed. You go, happy to be in the safety and solitude of your bedroom. You turn up the music. From it's hiding place, you pull a razor blade. You pull up your sleeve, calmly, you look down on the mottled scars covering your arms. The razor, cold in your hand, gravitates toward your arm, you can't stop. Again and again, the blood flows. You should be scared, it's so much blood. In your head, you hear their voices, haunting, telling you that no one cares, you would be better off dead. You start to believe it. You drop the blade, grope for a pen and paper and scribble out a hasty note.


It reads:
To whom it may concern,
I'm sorry. I can't go on living like this. I feel so trapped, like a caged animal. It truly is horrible to feel like death is the only way out, but I find it hard to believe that anyone other than my mother would care.
Goodbye

You sign your name, the note gets slightly smeared by blood and tears.
You pick up the razor, this time, instead of mutilating your wrists, you take the blade to your neck. The warm blood responsible for your life spills down your chest. The world grows dark, and you slip into, what is to you, the most comfortable and undisturbed sleep you have ever experienced.
Suddenly, as if from above, you watch, as your mother finds the body of her child, completely devoid of all signs of life. She screams. Your life is ended, you are dead, all because some jerky teenagers didn't realize they were hurting you.
All the bullies need to learn, watch what you say. You don't know exactly how much it might affect someone. For all you know you may have just driven someone to the edge by making one rude comment. Everyone has their limits, some can take less than others before they break.





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