It was a Saturday morning. The weather was chilly but beautiful. I walked into Kroger to get some orange juice and eggs. Of course, I also got something that was not on my list. What would a trip to the grocery store be if you didn't do that?
I made my way to self-checkout. I swept my items quickly, paid, and started to walk outside. There's a catch though. As I walked away from the self-checkout, I saw her. I saw my old bully. I saw the bully who spoke to me with harsh and hurtful words. I saw the bully who belittled me. I saw the bully who made never want to talk in class. I saw the bully who has hurt me still to this day.
When I saw her, my body froze. When I saw her, I had flashbacks to that art class. When I saw her, my body had the reaction of crying. I'm usually not a crier, so I knew this pain was real. When I saw my bully, I could smell the room we sat in. This bully had words that were laced together perfectly solely to hurt me.
I never thought I would have to see her ever again, but I was wrong. There she was, standing right in front of me. I'm still not sure if she remembered who I was. I remembered her though. The moment I saw her, I heard it. I heard her jokes about me and her horrible words.
When I saw this bully, I realized how much she truly hurt me. Her words were suppressed into my brain. I could remember each and every time she decided to belittle me and make me feel worthless. I could remember every time she told me "No one likes you. You're annoying." It rang louder than the fire alarm in a quiet hallway.
As my body began to unfreeze, I quickly said "I'm sorry!! Excuse me!!" and sprinted out to my car. I sat there in tears. Truly bawling like no other. Why? Why did I have to see her? Why? Her face was bright and clear in my head, and her words were nonstop in my mind. I don't want to remember this stuff. I don't want to remember how she made me feel. I don't want to remember the sound of her voice, but I do.
You see, that is how it is sometimes. In fact, that is how it is a lot of the time. You can see or hear the smallest thing, and your mind is overcome with terrible memories. Bullies intend to hurt you. They intend to make your life miserable. While she didn't make my life miserable, she did inflict pain upon me.
Even though I know her words do not define who I am, it still cuts deep.
It has still done damage. I refuse to let her or any of my bullies win. Seeing her again left a beating pain in my chest, stopped my breathing for a second, and caused me to cry for a while. I didn't want to think about it, but I couldn't shake it from my head all day.
Seeing one of my bullies in Kroger that morning, was a reminder of how much people do not care. It was a reminder of how staying quiet does nothing but cause more pain. So, I'm done staying quiet. I will write about my bullies. Not for attention, but to let people know bullying can happen to anyone and everyone. I'm done staying quiet. Bullying cut me deep, and even though I won't say their names- I will not keep the words to myself anymore.
To anyone being bullied or who has been bullied,
Please know it is okay to talk about it. You are not alone.