Re-tailored

Golly, it’s been some time since I’ve written a post. It’s not for a lack of thoughts, but rather energy.  My sleep has been disturbed by nightmares for, well, months, and the cumulative effect wears me down in the evenings.

This I had posted over years back.  As the saying describes, Friends come and go, but enemies hang around. I thought I had laid to rest some of those old demons, and perhaps I had, but now they reappear, previous horrors conflated with the memories of new experiences.

TAILOR-MADE

Tailor-made, I was.
Though all my clothes hung on me
And I was awkward as hell
Shoelaces usually tripped undone
And my hair ties came loose.

Tailor-made for being the victim
Geeky, younger, smaller, four-eyed,
Clumsy, studious, totally clueless
Socially awkward, unpopular
And best of all, face-blind.

I never knew who it was that poked me with pins
Stole my purse, squashed my lunch
Took my street clothes while in gym
Groped barely-developing breasts
Slammed me against the lockers.

Smeared clay on my chair like shit
Marked on my books, tore my assignments
Called me names, oh so many names
Or briefly pretended to befriend me
To make me the butt of a joke.

Not that I didn’t protest repeatedly
I reported the abuses properly
Told many official, protective people
Friends, family, teachers, administrators
But their responses were unilateral

“Boys will be boys,” said dad.
“You’re just being whiney,” said mom.
“If you can’t tell us who these people are,
that you ‘think’ are doing things to you,
then we can’t do anything,” said the officials.

Perhaps the real problem
Was not in what I said,
But that I was speaking up.
When I asserted myself
They redefined my reality.

Saying that what I perceived did not exist
That I was crazy, hallucinating, or on drugs
That I was just trying to attract attention
That I was making things up
When I wasn’t.

The perfect victim is someone
Who can’t identify the people that did things
Who tries to be good and please people
Who misses danger cues
Who is easy to silence.

The anger and frustration at being disbelieved
Turns into confusion and self-doubt
Maybe it’s just me
I must be wrong
Everyone says so.

Depression sinks in
I must be crazy
I keep perceiving this as reality
When everyone says it isn’t so
Isn’t that the logical conclusion?

You must trust people to help you
They are important people
They are the ones in charge
They know what’s best for you
They keep asserting you’re wrong.

When the reality is given to you by others
And they keep changing the story
It’s hard to keep your facts straight.
This is of course is only further proof
That you are crazy, and making things up.

Trust is earned, not demanded.
Funny how trust erodes
When reality is allowed to reassert itself
And I re-assert myself
Even though they re-assert:

I’m just acting out and making up stories.


2 Comments

  1. fridawrites said,

    11 March 2010 at 13:59

    I missed this poem before–this is a wonderful poem that I think should be more widely available to show the impact of bullying. The psychological impact of making the victim feel crazy by denying or changing the facts multiplies the effect so many times over. You might consider submitting this poem somewhere; I’d like more kids to read it, to know that they’re not alone either, and that a strong adult will emerge from the fire of others’ brutality.

  2. Veronica said,

    8 March 2010 at 5:18

    I’m not quite sure I understand your poem, but then again I am a CAPD mom with a CAPD child. I know what it’s like to feel different from the beginning, never feel like anyone understands. But then again, I also am a cancer survivor who spent 3 yrs being told I was crazy and I just wanted attention. To low and behold be told I had a few wks left to live because I had a football size tumor that had invaded me. So know I have the sewings like I’v been tailor made only I know that I tailor made myself. Even though they thought I was crazy, I knew I wasn’t. Even though they said my life was over, I was the one who was making the decisions this time. And I always told everyone from the beginning I knew something just wasn’t right with my son. And once again, I was the nervous crazy person. And a few months ago my son was diagnosed with severe CAPD. I am a voice, I am an advocate for my son and I refuse to stop there. I am planning on starting a non profit organization for CAPD to stop people from calling us lazy, crazy, dumb or different. The only difference I see is we work twice as hard and can make it just as well if we apply ourselves. Life is a gift and sometimes we get the gift that is harder to assemble, but together we can assemble it, and we are not alone!!


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