November 21, 2017

To my Bullies, with Love.

“If you’re horrible to me, I’m going to write a song about it, and you won’t like it. That’s how I operate.”
~ Taylor Swift 

~

Taylor has the right mindset.

Why be miserable when you can celebrate the torment of your horrible romance with a song! Hey Taylor, want the rights to mine?

You see, I’ve been dealing with bullies my whole life.

I just can’t seem to shake them. I’ve even taken an interest in psychology to learn more about what drives certain people to hate. And, as I’ve grown, I have come to a place of compassion for bullies; a heart space that allows me to forgive them rather easily. I feel the need to understand them, the origin of their pain, and what wounded them in the first place. What caused them to act out? Why do they want to destroy the confidence of others? Why do they choose to hate?

As my knowledge grows, my own pain fades, and my heart grows bigger. I remember absolutely everything, but I have forgiven my bullies. I am grateful for all of them and their small, but important role, in ultimately leading me to a more enlightened state of being. And well, leading me…to me.

I have reframed my experiences with them, learned from those experiences, and committed myself to living with the memory, but without the shame. I have integrated the events into my self-concept, and it’s made me stronger, kinder, gentler, and wiser.

While I do believe in honoring the incidents as they happened, I do it with a new frame. Treating the memories of the bullies that inflicted the emotional and psychological abuse with a compassionate and understanding heart, for the benefit of personal growth, awareness, and enlightenment.

In a nutshell, these experiences have contributed to creating a better version of me. That’s the beautiful trick, isn’t it? Except, it’s not magic at all.

It’s acceptance.

It’s growth.

It’s commitment.

It’s self-love.

As I was about to embark on this article, I jokingly told a good friend (and fellow writer) who inspires me, that my use of poems to express my own pain tends to open me up to be able to release even more of myself into a topic, or piece. That once I “rhyme it out,” I often want to tackle the issue with a more serious tone.

It’s like I use poems as way to weave humor and creativity through my own pain, in order to step more comfortably into the idea of sharing my experiences with the world, so they may be of benefit to others.

It’s my own development and healing process, my way of saying, “F*ck you pain, I’ll just song your ass.”

I’m no Taylor Swift but I’ll give it a go.

So, here is the original door-opening poem, my song, and my catalyst for this piece, and what opened my heart to you all.

This is to all the kids who have been or are being being bullied—and yes—you adults too.

~

To my bullies, with love.

Let’s go with a poem,
we should make this fun

For this is about us,
and there’s work to be done.

So I’ll make it a rhyme,
it will be a good read

We’ll work with forgiveness,
and do a good deed.

Let’s get started—
me, as a boy…

To the school bus bully,
who used me as a toy.

I remember you well,
when I played violin,

You took interest in me,
with that wry little grin.

But then came the day,
you shattered my pride

We were on the school bus,
with no place to hide.

I remember it clearly,
you caused me to muddle

As my violin went,
from the bus to a puddle.

It was raining that day,
now my instrument’s wet

I was anxious and scared,
and extremely upset.

But today I forgive you,
I live without fright

And for you, school bus bully,
I hope you’ve found light.

Let’s move into summer,
baseball card bully two

Who romanced me with friendship,
while planning his coup.

We laughed and had fun,
all the things that kids do

And with each passing day,
I drew closer to you.

But then came that question,
as I sat in your palm

You asked for my baseball cards,
your voice sweet and calm,

For a school project you had
that would never exist

You would take all my “bad ones,”
I wouldn’t resist.

And a whole year passed by
as we readied for summer

Before I realized your fraud
and your lie—what a bummer!

When I happened upon,
your collection that night

Tucked away in your room,
in my stomach such fright.

All of my “good ones”
worth thousands of bucks

Catalogued neatly,
I was duped, and it sucks.

But today I forgive you,
I live without fright

And for you summer bully,
I hope you’ve found light.

Now off to high school,
and mean bully three

Who would spit on my head,
three floors up with such glee.

It was really not cool,
to be picked on, harassed

Sitting frightened and scared,
as I made it through class.

With your spit in my hair,
it was all I could do

To clean up in the bathroom,
and hope you were through.

But it happened again,
and again to this boy

And those school days were tough,
for me as your toy.

But today, I forgive you,
I live without fright

And for you high school bully,
I hope you’ve found light.

And, last but not least,
to my friend who aborted

The one even closer,
the one I supported.

You’re number four,
you were quite an illusion

For you bullied with words,
gas light, and confusion.

But the irony here,
is that words are my life

And mine are much better,
they cause no one strife.

I’ve recovered myself,
from the wreckage of lies

For you can’t destroy me,
I have love in my eyes.

I’m a lover of life, and of love,
and of light,

And you can’t break me down
with your hatred or bite.

Or hurt me with words,
or a glare, or your grind,

You can’t find a way in,
to my heart or my mind.

So, today I forgive you
I live without fright.

And for you, grown up bully,
I hope you’ve found light.
~

I’m not afraid of bullies anymore.

~

Author: Bill Rugg
Image: Gypsie Raleigh/Instagram
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton

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