“Recovering from self-demolition; rebuilding a being”

 

Thanks to a childhood largely defined by being bullied, which started quite suddenly when I was about 7 when for reasons that were completely unknown to me at the time the kid who had been – or who I thought had been – my best friend suddenly declared that he wasn’t my friend at all and took all my other “friends” with him, I have difficulty trusting that my friends are actually my friends. In fact, up until my late teens, I took for granted that anyone who seemed to be my friend was just pretending/tolerating me.

Another more subtle, but maybe worse, indirect effect of being bullied through school was via my (unsuccessful) strategy for avoiding being bullied. I tried to be like, and to seek the approval of, the other kids – primarily the ones I perceived to be higher up on the food chain. I took that so far that, by my early teens, I had barely any perceptible independent self left. And was also acting like a total scumbag.

I’d like to take this opening to thank the handful of people I met around this time who were patient enough with me to actually become friends, and enabling me to at least start to heal. I’m still trying to sort what’s actually me from what’s part of the facade, but I’d like to think I’m a lot more “myself” now than I was at fourteen.

 


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