Writing

Socially Unacceptable Post 21: Bullying

Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It’s a rare occurrence…
― Zack W. Van

Bullying tended to happen any time I was involved in any sport.

In soccer, the boys kicked balls at my back and snickered. Both my team and the opposing team told me to quit because I sucked and it was my fault we always lost.

In basketball, the players wouldn’t pass the ball to me until the coach lectured them. Then they would single me out to whisper insults and hate to me any time I tried to be open and get the ball. Until I stopped trying to get the ball altogether and just lagged after the others.

Even in kindergarten, kids were terrible. I tried to join the girls and was always sent away. Whenever we played house, they decided that I was the dad and had to go to work. Whenever I came back from “work,” they would say, oh it’s the next day now, time for you to go back to work. Which meant anywhere but with them. I tried to be friends with one of the boys and he decided he didn’t want to be my friend eventually because I was a girl.

When I took swimming lessons at the YMCA, I was once in a class with six boys. They all decided they did not want to be anywhere near me. So even though we had two lanes to share between all of us, all six boys crowded in one lane and left me in the other one. This lasted until the coach made one of the unlucky boys join me in my lane.

All of that was nowhere near as bad as the bullying at swim team.

Post 21 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.

Writing

Socially Unacceptable Post 20: Rules

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

–Unknown

They were right. My friends didn’t care. I felt like I was floating in emptiness, surrounded by the frigidness of space. I felt like I was floundering at sea. I felt like my heart had been excised of its ability to trust in stability.

The voices were my only constant companions. They whispered in my ears, or shouted, or screamed. I cried every night until the tears would no longer come.

I prayed God, help me. Please help me. Fix me, I’m broken.

The voices said, we will fix you.

I rubbed my eyes and sat up in bed. I listened, exhausted, puffy-eyed, arms crossed protectively.

How?

Listen to us. Follow our rules. You will never be bullied again. You will stop hurting. It will numb your pain.

That day I had called out to God and there was no answer from any deity. But my voices…they answered. And I listened.

The rules were these:

  1. Never be outnumbered again. Stay away from groups of people.
  2. No eye contact.
  3. Say sorry when it’s my fault. Say sorry when it is someone else’s.
  4. Keep my emotions to myself.
  5. Never bring attention to myself.
  6. Nothing I ever do will be good enough. Get used to it and just try to make progress always.
  7. If I stay busy, I will not be lonely.
  8. Do not speak to anyone outside the family unless someone asks a question.
  9. Never invite yourself to sit with anyone else. Never ask.
  10. If it is possible, I have to fix myself.
  11. Not feeling is worse than feeling.
  12. I will not commit suicide.
  13. No one can both understand and love me.
  14. My opinion should not be shared ever. Agree and people will leave me alone.
  15. Always say everything is ok.
  16. I will never be disappointed if I have no expectations.
  17. Trust is a risk not worth taking.
  18. Love is conditional, and meeting the conditions is too hard.
  19. I will never belong anywhere, so trying to fit in is a waste of time.

I followed these rules for years, and they crippled my relationships with other people.

They kept me safe.

They kept me alone.

Post 20 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.

Writing

Socially Unacceptable Post 19: Abandoned

They say that abandonment is a wound that never heals. I say only that an abandoned child never forgets. —Mario Balotelli

I first started hearing voices when I was 12 years old, directly after I was in swim team. One showed up first, constantly criticizing everything I did. Then a couple more joined in.

They told me I was stupid and I said they were wrong. They told me I needed to obey them and I said no. They told me I was worthless and I said I was not sure.

They sneered and yelled and screamed and argued with each other. I became more and more afraid. I wanted to ask for help, but I couldn’t. Not after swim team.

They said my friends did not care about me. They said I was the only one trying to hold up these wilting relationships, that my friends would not notice if I disappeared and stopped reaching out.

I got fed up and desperate. I said no, no, my friends cared. They would notice if I disappeared. They would reach out.

The voices said, prove it.

Fine.

I retreated from social life. I stopped reaching out to my friends. And I waited. And waited.

A day passed. Two. A week. A month. Six months.

I waited while the twisted pain inside of me grew and swallowed me whole. I waited while the months turned into years.

I made new friends, ones I kept at arm’s length, ones that I liked but did not trust. Most of whom lost contact quickly. One new friend stayed, but she had so little in common with me that we barely interacted. Another old friend technically did not leave, but we were not very close and she only was in the United States for a week or two every other year.

Six years passed before I would have what could be called a close friend. And even then, I was afraid of being abandoned again.

My trust in friendship was broken.

Post 19 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.

Writing

Socially Unacceptable Post 18: Darkness

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
–Edgar Allan Poe

I am 23 years old and afraid of the dark. My voices snicker at me as I write this. Want to know why?

My voices revel in the darkness. When I used to walk on campus at night, alone in the dark, they would simulate feet walking and heavy breathing near my ear. They would tell me someone was following me with a knife. Or they would say that one of the cars was following me.

They would sometimes speak as the supposed person following me, telling me to stop and threatening me.

Or, my voices would simulate someone screaming for help, and I would be desperately afraid it wasn’t just my voices but someone actually in trouble who I was ignoring. It happened so often though that I know at least most of these instances no one was in trouble.

I remember those days, when I would leave a friend’s dorm. I would linger in the doorway for a moment, half tempted to ask them to come with me to my dorm, to escort me and my posse of voices to safety.

The words stuck in my throat and never made it past my lips. Because an adult should not be afraid of the dark, and I was convinced that help was something neither deserved nor truly desirable.

So I said my cheery masked goodbye and ventured into the darkness alone, accosted by voices and hallucinations.

Post 18 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.