19/05/2010

Shrinks, bullies and hot Swedish actors



For this week's writing workshop, over at Sleep is for the Weak, I chose this prompt: Have you ever felt bullied? At school? At work? In your personal life? How did you deal with that? Tell us your story.

- Hello, doctor B.
- Hello, Marianne, how are you today ?
This writing workshop sure sounds like a therapy session, this week. So let’s do it that way, alright ? Awesome. Let’s rock.
- OK, I guess. Having those dreams, again. You know, with that blond Swedish guy, the one with the gorgeous eyes, hair, chest, Oh dear, his chest…
- Yes, OK.
- Oh, sorry. Got lost again. This Alex Skarsgard thing is getting serious, isn’t it, I wonder whether I should tell someone, you know, let it be taken care of. Oh, but listen to me, I AM telling someone, I’m telling you. But since all you do is nod and say yes, of course I think I’m talking to myself. I’m not crazy, am I, thinking I’m talking to myself when I’m actually talking to you? Right?
- So. About the dreams.
- Yes, the dreams, thanks. You are sort of useful, after all. At least, you’re listening. The last dream with Mr Swedish Hottie was actually very strange. Instead of the usual *********************** dream (author expecting her sisters’ reaction so exercising self censorship), he and I were teenagers and we were at my old middle school. We must have been 13, I guess.
- What happened ?
- Well, he was my super hero. Fighting for me, protecting me from my enemies. I was watching in awe as he kicked their arses, and then I saw myself telling him, with my adult voice : “no, you don’t need to fight for me, I can do this on my own, I’m not scared.”
- Why weren’t you scared?
- Because I’ve already fought them. For real. And I won.
I was bullied a lot, when I was a teenager. I was not particularly ugly (although I did look like a hamster, with very big cheeks and unnaturally curly hair) but, you see, my mother was one of the teachers. She taught English back then. Thank God I was never a student in her class, now that would have been weird.
There was a girl, three years older than me, who had decided she hated me, and that everyone should do the same. I remember her face clearly, dark skin, arrogant nose, huge bulgy eyes, her hair pulled so hard into a pony tail I used to wonder how she could move her face without it hurting. She always wore baggy pants and was always chewing gum. She stole my money on a regular basis, insulted me whenever I walked 10 feet from her, and unfortunately, many other kids did as she said. Not because she was popular, but because they were shit scared.
- Really ?
- Yeah. Oh, good, you’re not sleeping.
- But you can see my eyes, they’re open, I’m listening. Go on.
- Well, duh, some people can sleep with their eyes wide open, I read that somewhere. Or was is it in a movie ? Huh, don’t know. If I had you job, I’d try hard to develop that skill, man, you must be bored sometimes. I mean, my life is OK, I’m fun and smart and all, but I’m sure some people are just dull. Right ?
- Back to you.
- Right. Back to me. So, yeah, everyone was scared. One day, I got stuck in the bathroom with her and her gang. There were four girls, they all looked gigantic to me, and I knew I was going to die. On that particular day, the toilets were empty, there wasn’t a sound. Where is everyone when you need them, I was wondering? Not that I was hoping someone would help me, but at least they wouldn’t kill me, they’d just hurt me. She came close to me, and started telling me all the horrible things she would do to me. You know, a bit like a lover would approach you and tell you softly all the nice things he’ll do to you, except not. Just the opposite. I was shaking, trying to think of something smart to say, trying to figure out an escape, what should I do, think, think, fast, come on, you can do this. And then, I don’t know what happened, I just ran to her. Screamed like a mad monkey, hit her, pulled hard at her pony tail, tried to bite her. She was dumbfounded, she didn’t even react. At first, that is. When I stopped, she was crying from the pain, and she told her friends to kill me. But they were scared of me, too. She left, saying this was the end of me. But I wasn’t scared any more. I knew I had it in me. I think I’d known all along. Life had already taught me I could defend myself allright. I’m a fighter. I fight, even when I know it’s too late, even if I’m told it’s not worth it, or I’ll never make it. She never bullied me again. So, really, why is my male fantasy trying to help me when I don’t need any help ? Isn’t that twisted? What is my subconscious trying to tell me here? That sometimes, you should just shut up and let go, let others help you? Let them reach to you, protect you?
- I don’t know. What do you think?
- I think out time’s up. I heard your next patient ring the bell.
- I’m the one who decides when we’re done. What do you think?
- I think I can do it on my own. And I think I like my fantasy guy way better when he and I are busy ******************** (aw, come on!!!!)

10 comments:

Jen said...

I had a similar experience of the bully (4 years older than me) cornering me in the bathroom. My friends ran away they were so scared so I was left on my own. Can't remember what happened, she didn't hit me though, I do know that!

Great piece, love the approach, different:)

Jen

Marianne said...

Thanks, Jen. I had fun writing it. Starting to like this writing workshop thing, although it is hard to do it in English, sometimes. Good thing Sandrine edits my pieces. We're a good team (but I'm the funny creative one, mwahahahaha :) Also, am evil.

Kate said...

Hi Marianne I love the humour in your piece, it is a great way to defuse such a difficult topic. I wrote on the same topic this way but did not manage your levity so you have certainly given me something to think about.

JulieB said...

Love the slightly offbeat approach to a difficult subject. It's nice to see you stood up for yourself - as you say, probably what the bully least expected.

jfb57 said...

I knew you were brave when I saw you were first today! Great piece!Loved the way you developed it & kept up the action.

jumblyMummy said...

what an interesting approach to the prompt. Well done for standing up for yourself - I think it took you both by surprise.

Annie said...

Fantastic way to present your story... And I am impressed with how you handled those bullies all of those years ago. I may need to take your lead in handling some of the bullies at my office. Although they are grown women who I would think would know better. Yikes!

Great piece. :)

Marianne said...

@Kate, Julie, Annie, jumblyMummy, : thank you so much. Of course the bully thing happened for real, but the rest if fiction (I will not tell about my actual dreams featuring Alex Skarsgard unless strongly threatened).
Annie : Where do you live ? I can come and beat them up ;)
Kate : I am aware that it can be a very serious topic and I sincerely hope I offended no one. Some people experience horrible things with bullies. Mine was a minor bully, I guess. My 6 year old as complaining about a boy who hit everyone and I just told him to gather all his friends and stand up to the little monster. Group therapy, I guess ;)

KLZ said...

What IS it about the gum chewers?

Josie @Sleep is for the Weak said...

What a brilliant way to tell your story!

Good for you for standing up for yourself. I bet it scared the life out of her!

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