falsely justified bullying: realization

Something that I have come to realize about certain bullies are that they make the most ridiculous excuses to antagonize somebody else. I can immediately think of two instances of this, one in fifth grade, and one in senior year of college. In fifth grade, there was a boy, I’ll call him Phil to keep things discreet, who went out of his way to bully me. We were classmates and it just so happened that I was being annoyed a lot by somebody who I will call Mickey (not his real name, obviously). Mickey would like to touch other people, which I found gross, so I would often yell at him and call him out for it, telling him to stop, because it was unpleasant. However, our teacher felt like Mickey was being picked on a lot, because Mickey was socially awkward and nobody felt comfortable around him. Our teacher would tell everyone to look out for him, even though he was obviously harassing others and found enjoyment in doing so, because it was attention nonetheless for somebody was felt neglected. Phil took it upon himself to then bully me as well, claiming he was doing so to protect Mickey. He would call me ugly, a donkey, and other ridiculous insults every single day. I would not even open my mouth sometimes, and he’d still go out of his way to do this, just because I yelled at Mickey before, and I was repulsed by Mickey’s really inappropriate tendencies. Phil argued he was doing right, but he was no better than I was, nor did he even listen to that rationale.

I remember that just moments before I broke down crying, because I felt like I was being harassed to that degree, I called Phil out on his actions. But he then called me an ugly donkey, per usual, and then went on to say that I deserved the treatment I was receiving, and then went on to say a lot of things in Korean, to which my Korean classmates then laughed about; it was obvious that he was throwing insults at me, and again, he was being the very thing he was claiming to be preventing/defending against: a bully. Obviously, Phil had a lot of pent up aggression and anger that he was refusing to express. Instead of channeling that in a healthy manner, he took to bullying other people, i.e. me, and he obviously did not care about Mickey. He just wanted to vent, and used Mickey being isolated as an excuse to do so. It was highly ironic, because Phil was as much a bully as me to Mickey, or Mickey was to others. I don’t really know what happened to Phil after elementary school, because he transferred out of our district. All I remember was that he did get sent to the principle’s office, not for making me cry, but for enabling/empowering Mickey to touch other people and it just goes to show that again, he did not have Mickey’s best interests in mind. A true friend would not be bullying other people’s bullies and ignoring the main issues at hand, in this case, being that Mickey was physically harassing other people. They would help the victim out, and while standing up to an antagonist helps, there’s a proponent to reflecting on actions and trying to understand why somebody is getting bullied or bullying that needs to be done for everyone to actually grow as people. Phil could have just told me to stop yelling at Mickey. He did not have to go as far as bully me every day, calling me names and demeaning my physical appearance. He could have also told Mickey to stop touching other people too. But instead, he just manipulated the situation and used it so he could become a bully himself.

The other situation happened to my friend, who I will call Lily. While she was their vice president, she still got bullied in college by an Asian student group, or more accurately, by select members of said group. She had a conflict with a guy, who we will dub Harry, who was passive aggressively slinging insults at Lily. And when another member of that group, who I will call Clancy, hear, Clancy went as far as publicly screaming at Lily in front of other members of the student group. Clancy claimed that the reason why he was allowed to do this was because he was being a good friend to Harry, and that Harry was too nice to express his discomfort towards Lily. Obviously, this was a lie, since Harry was openly rude and showing animosity to Lily, and Clancy himself did not need to take Harry’s conflict into his own hands, nor did he need to even mention being a good friend, which obviously shows where his true motivations lied behind: himself. He wanted to feel good and he wanted to prove to everyone that he was a loyal friend. And he would go as far as to vilify Lily to make himself look like a hero. Clancy did not care that Harry and Lily were butting heads. He wanted to exert his dominance, as somebody with more seniority and higher presence than either of them. He was self-important, and quite frankly, an instigator. He wanted every conflict to center around him, so that he could “resolve” the issue, by isolating one person to generate more respect for him from the other people involved.

I won’t even bother getting into what Clancy did to me, because I am trying to be less self-important than he is, but I can say from that personal experience that people like him are not interested in hearing all sides of the story before making judgements or actions. When it comes to dealing with conflict, or antagonists, there is a fine line between actually resolving the issue or becoming a villain and escalating an already toxic situation. Both Phil and Clancy did that by essentially hijacking a conflict that they were not really involved in, just to get some sort of buzz out of antagonizing somebody. That to me is not being a good friend nor is it even being a good person. It is characteristic of somebody who has issues, either deeply ingrained in them, and likely from a source that does not even pertain to the current subject matter or conflict in question. In short, they have chips on their shoulders, and rather than dealing with their own problems, they choose to lash out on other people, and use whatever excuses, being conflicts between two people, that they can to justify their actions, to put themselves on a higher horse, and to feel empowered as a bully. To live a healthy life, it is more important to tackle your own inner demons and address them, and at the same time, do not get involved with conflicts unless they somehow affect you directly, otherwise, you’re just stepping into somebody else’s problems, and putting your own stake into a situation you did not need to. Being able to know who to talk to, and how to approach a situation, that is important to living a feather light life.






learning where to draw the line: realization

Something I wonder is if somebody’s actions are genuinely as reprehensible as I feel they are. The context is that during my senior year in college, I was “friends” with a girl, who I willy just name Holly, to hide her real name. Holly and I were not terribly close, but she often hung out with my roommate at the time, and because of that, I would basically see her every day, and we would talk often; she was transferring into the same major as me, so I wanted to help prepare her and let her know what to expect. But I got the vibe that she was not even interested in hearing that. She just wanted to get into my roommate’s pants. And then, of course, the whole incident between me and my roommate happened. Surprisingly, Holly was one of the few people who actually tried to find me when I attempted to jump into the ocean. But she did not say a word when she did find me. She stared at me, with these eyes that I could not discern if they were filled with judgement or worry. Shortly after the incident, she went on to date my roommate.

This is where the situation got awkward for me. On one hand, I appreciate the fact that Holly cared enough about me to come find me, especially when she did not have to. However, knowing that she would date somebody, knowing that the person she had feelings for was capable of doing that to another human being, that to me screamed out very bad judgement of character. And on top of that, most of my subsequent encounters with Holly were simply just her giving me these long, silent looks when she would see me on campus. As if I did not deserve to be in school, but rather, shipped off to some institution. It was a lot of passive aggressive treatment. It went from her liking all of my posts on social media to her judging me. Clearly not understanding or willing to hear my side of the story in any of this, as she thought that I was this bad person, and that she was doing my ex-roommate a favor by dating them, as if doing so was part of their healing process. To me, it was obvious bullshit, for a lack of better words. She wanted to date my roommate from the get-go. I saw through it, and even when I was still friendly with my ex-roommate prior to the incident, I expressed support for their relationship. But that was before the incident, and before I realized what kind of heartless human being that I was living with.

Things took a turn for further awkward, because first off, I graduated. So I went about my post-student life as a working adult. I kept Holly on Instagram just because she was not terribly active on it anymore. But then in January of 2018, she started posting pictures. Of her in the hometown of my ex-roommate. I was obviously triggered and without a second thought, I un-followed her from social media. Now, it might all seem trivial now, and even as I am typing this, I am actually laughing because it sounds so silly. But in that moment, I felt that same anxiety, because I was being reminded of a person and a specific incident I was trying to forget about. And seeing her dating that person, it was very unsettling for me. All I could think was that Holly was a moron for rewarding somebody so undeserving of her company with her love, attention, and affection. It was not necessarily jealousy, but rather, frustration because my ex-roommate was milking being a victim of a situation that they had a huge part in escalating just to date her. And she was buying into that, and drinking the Kool-aide. But after the un-follow, I started to forget about them again, since I had no further contact.

That was until I visited my college town again to catch up with friends, and to my huge annoyance, Holly’s relationship was brought up, yet again. Like I really needed to hear about it. Full sarcasm intended there. They broke up. Which would be good for her, because the ex-roommate turned ex-partner for her was honestly a coward and a troublemaker anyways. However, it made my relationship with her awkward. I wonder if she did wrong in the first place by dating her, and if this was an action that even needed my forgiveness to rectify, or if I have a right, as somebody who was wrongfully attacked and misbranded by her ex, to not like her as a person, because she chose to date them after what transpired. It is one of those complicated situations, where I wonder if, since they are no longer dating, if I should continue to think of Holly as somebody who supports bullying and immature behavior, or just let bygones be bygones and not let the past affect the fact that she is somebody who cared enough about me to look for me when I was in a dark place, despite her body language telling me that her intentions were for my interest, but rather, to look good and impress somebody else. For now, I continue to keep my distance, not to run away, but rather, because Holly lives in a completely different time zone than I do, and she is just a character of a very twisted part of my past. Either way, the line I drew was to cut her off, which is what she did when she chose to date a bully. So I have to live with that choice for now, as that acceptance is a part of my feather light life.






progression vs regression: realization

The saying “old habits die hard” really hits home with me from time to time. I notice an unusual cycle with my life, in recent years, where I go into a state of isolation, driven by butting heads with somebody I thought was a friend. As a result of cutting ties with somebody like that, I wind up giving off airs of confidence to hide my loneliness and anxiety, as well as regret and guilt for destroying a friendship. And when that emotional baggage becomes too much to bear, I crash. Depression hits like a train, and I unravel. I keep thinking that I can overcome this cycle, but it seems like I get caught into it as quickly as I get out of it. And I wonder to myself, am I really overcoming these bad habits, or just taking a break from them? When did this start happening to me? And why does it happen to me? I have to dig deep, and really think back when this started.

Elementary school. First grade to be exact. I had a group of people who I thought were my friends. They definitely weren’t. They used and abused me. And I had separation anxiety when they finally abandoned me. I wanted to fill that void. And I filled it with anger and rage. A desire to ruin these antagonizers’ lives. That really hijacked a huge portion of my early childhood, even stemming into parts of middle school, where I was able to prove my worth, and expose their lack of it. Then I hit a slight slump, where my life plateaued because my desire to push myself was no longer there. I just wanted to excel to spite those people who hurt me. And in senior year of high school, I wound up feeling this emptiness and regret, for being so unprogressive with my accomplishments, first and foremost, not realizing that what drove a majority of my desire to succeed was revenge. And that resulted in me fighting with yet another friend, who I was close to. And it set off another bout of anxiety and depression. And from that, it stemmed into a desire to thrive again. I wanted to prove to that ex-friend I am better off without their attention or their time, when in reality, I was trying to cope with that loss.

In college, I thrived yet again. People knew who I was, because I was so determined to put myself out there, and establish a reputation for being this capable, reliable, and well-liked personality. And yet, another fight happened between me and somebody I thought was a close friend, during my junior year. It was stressful, and I guess in a turn of events, I was angry before I was hurt. My rage allowed me to accomplish more, including a business minor, Dean’s list, and getting on board for four different student organizations. But then, the loneliness kicked in again. That sadness of knowing that I cut ties with somebody who I really thought was my friend. And that led to the very indecent that actually spurred me to starting writing in a blog, something I feel a bit tired thinking about. But ultimately, the cycle I have noticed is that I get into a rut, get hurt, then angry, then vengeful, which drives my successful, but once I achieve what it was that I set out to prove, I plateau, and feel lost and confused. That confusion gives birth to yet another rut, and from there, I question if my entire life will be built upon disproving horrible people and working off my rage and frustration.

What I realize about this entire, horrible cycle that I have lived my near 24 years of life around is that there are a ton of awful people out there. And that is what this world is. A bunch of scumbags, but amongst there, genuine gems of human beings. People who do care, who will sacrifice, and go out of their way for those that they care about. And the people who manipulate, use, and hurt others. Something I still have yet to fully learn is how to ignore the latter in my quest to fill my life with the former. How to not let those fake, two-faced, abusive, or toxic personalties affect me to the degree that they do. How to achieve things not to escape from a problem or to spite somebody and prove that they were morons or idiots for doubting me. While yes, realization is one key step, the next important step is to practice what I preach. To sound out the baggage and to not allow it to define me anymore. While it is hard, it is necessary to make that progression and to burn the bridges that enable my regression. I will need to do that, to live my feather-light life.