Of Shadowed Pain and Burdened Hearts

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People, most people, think it’s alright to be mean. They think it’s fine to pass rude comments and then shrug them off as jokes. I think that’s nasty. I think that it’s evil and hurtful and horrible. But they don’t get that. They point out at other people’s insecurities and then attack them at their weakest. The sound of other people’s laughter crushing that one sad soul is the reason why I’m writing this article.

 

There’s this girl I know. She’s overweight to the point of being obese. She’s depressed about it because she feels like no one will ever love her because they will not try hard enough to look deep into her soul to find out how warm and kind-hearted, how considerate and compassionate, how loving and giving she actually is. So, she gets wrapped up in that tiny, self-hating shell of hers where she rocks her broken heart and tries to nurse it. Perhaps, she’s already beyond repair. Her own parents tell her that they can’t love her. In their own words, how can they when she’s so fat? That develops a very wrong notion in her head, one that tells her you need to be skinny to be lovable. This is only heightened by the voices of her peers and teachers telling her how her weight is bad for her. They mean physically.  She thinks mentally. They say things, words that shatter her soul. They ask her how the earth she’s walking on still hasn’t cracked. They wonder how her clothes manage to fit her, does she wear curtains? They ask if she’s ever gotten onto a weighing scale and if yes, how many did she break? These words get to her and she retracts further and further into her own mind, realizing that it’s the only place that doesn’t judge her. Some might say that she deserves it, that perhaps bad words will give her the motivation to do something proactive. They don’t see that she needs someone to explain to her exactly where she’s going wrong. That she needs love and affection. That she requires support.

 

 

There’s this friend I have. She’s darker than a moonless night, like the colour of my hair and probably a deeper shade than that. But she’s more beautiful than I can ever hope to be, with eyes that are mirrors into the soul,  the most amazing big wonders that glisten in the tiniest amount of light. Her smile is radiant, showing off to everyone around her, the perfect set of teeth and the gorgeous full lips. But more importantly, her smile portrays the happiness that her life will never have and yet, the gentility of it is baffling. But she won’t give up, she tries not to, despite the fact that people mock her wherever she goes. Her mother keeps telling her she’s gorgeous but she won’t listen because she thinks that her mother is supposed to say that about her and so she doesn’t take it to heart. Then there are her friends, those heartless, mindless people who think it’s alright to make fun of her and that she’ll take it no matter what. They point at her and call her names. They ask her how she manages to go around when there’s no light, How can they even see you? They ask her to smile so they can spot her by her sparkly white teeth, the only white thing about her. They ask if she was born on the sun and it burnt her. They ask if people make coal off rubbing stones on her skin. They ask and ask and ask till she can take no more. Till she believes that beauty lies in the colour of the skin. Cursing her origin, she weeps and that breaks her mother’s heart. But one day, when she’s damaged beyond repair, she’ll understand just how beautiful she actually is. One day.

 

Midget. That’s her nickname. Midget. It’s because she’s extremely short, more so than the rest of her class, perhaps even the second graders. Her mother is short and so is her father. She’s the only child of a short family. But what really is short anyway if not for the perception of people who are taller than the rest? She feels inferior and she looks it too. That makes her a pushover and she begins to let people rule the way. She lets them tell her what to do. People are mean to her. They say horrible things. They ask her to ‘look up’ at them and tell her to bow down to their wishes. They point at her and laugh, asking her how they’re ever supposed to spot her if she gets lost. They tell her she could fit in their pockets and ask her repulsive questions about intimacy in case she marries a tall man. She laughs with them, merely for the sake of fitting in but deep down she’s terribly insecure. She’s feeling worse and worse about herself as the days pass and she wishes it would all end.

 

These three girls. What are they all crying about? Weight? Height? Complexion?
What about true beauty, the way their bubbling laughter fills up the air, the way they’re nice to others because they know what bullying feels like and they don’t want people to feel the way they do? What about their troubled hearts and bitter souls? What about their tenderness and all the love they have stored up, waiting for the right person to come along and share all that love? Are people that shallow these days?

Or is it that they’re so caught up in their own insecurities that they take out their own frustration on others so that no one has a chance to bully them?
It’s just not right.

Stop bullying now.
Don’t be the victim to horrendous stupidity.

Don’t be the bully.

 

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