In the Grey's Anatomy episode we watched just a little while ago there was a school shooting. That whole scenario dug up a lot of crap that I thought I had dealt with and now I just can't seem to do anything. I want to talk about it with people, but I don't want to come across as depressed or attention-seeking or needy. I just want to be able to tell my version of the story without having my facts and experiences shoved back down my throat and told that it's not so.
The whole thing started when I said that I sympathised with the shooter. This could easily be percieved the wrong way. No, I have no desire of shooting someone. I had once but despite my will to kill my tormenters by common sense kept telling me that it wouldn't help me or cure my mind. I'm not mentally sick (not any more than the average person anyway) but I had MDD (Major depressive disorder) once. This diagnosis was never given to me by a doctor, it's something I figured out by myself when I studied psychology in 12th grade. All the symptoms in the book matched me at the age of 10-16. As quoted from Wikipedia:
Although it is common for most children and teenagers to feel down or sad sometimes, a smaller number of youth experience a more severe phenomenon known as depression. Such young people, who are often described as "clinically" depressed, feel sad, hopeless, or irritable for weeks or even months at a time. They may lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy (e.g., playing with friends), their sleeping and eating habits often change (i.e., they may eat or sleep either more or less than usual), and they may have trouble thinking or paying attention, even to TV programs or games. Depressed children may often display an irritable mood rather than a depressed mood, and show varying symptoms depending on age and situation. Most lose interest in school and show a decline in academic performance. They may be described as clingy, demanding, dependent, or insecure. Diagnosis may be delayed or missed when symptoms are interpreted as normal moodiness.
I had a time when most of my free time was composed of lying on my bed, staring up the ceiling and listening to Evanescene. Tears used to stream down my face and get into my ears, but despite the tears I used to be totally void of emotion lying there. It was easier to just lie there void of feelings than to actually be up and curse the world and the people and deal with all that anger and resentment. Constant anger is exhausting. My point is that I do not desire to kill anybody, but I do understand where the feelings come from. I understand people who want to. Either my common sense just works the way it's supposed to or I'm to smart for it. But I didn't kill myself, although I wanted to many times. One reason is that I didn't have the courage cause my ability to imagine pain is too great. Another reason was that if I killed myself it would be the same as letting them win. They would be given my life, and no matter how much I thought my life sucked I knew that they of all people didn't deserve to win. So I clinged. I stubbornly clinged and when all of this is dug up I still cling not to fall. When I think back nowadays I really did want to kill them at the time. I wanted to end my misery. But I felt helpless. Where does a 14-year-old "innocent" girl in a small town without anyone who has any questionable contacts get a gun in Sweden? The killings of my tormenters were banished to my imagination.
People are surprised by the amount of people that are killed in school shootings. Like bullying is only reserved for a few people. In 7th grade the bullying turned from silly but hurtful childrens' teasing to the severe type. From 7th to 9th grade I was severely bullied and it's not something that only a handful of people from my own class did. In my year there were 8 classes. The year number followed by the letters A-H. Since it was in a small town people in all classes knew each other and so people from every class bullied me. So what's 24 x 8? 192.
I still get that thirst for revenge. Revenge for destroying my childhood. Revenge for forcing me to grow up ahead of time. Revenge for destroying me mentally. At Wikipedia some of the effects of bullying are listed and I apply for almost all of them:
Dombeck says that as a forty-year-old man, he still feels the effects of the bullying he received as a ten-year-old. Every day, he would dread riding the bus home from school because he was bullied by the older children on the bus. Dombeck defines some common short-term and long-term effects of bullying. These include, but are not limited to:Short-term:
- suicide (bullycide)
- significant drop in school performanceLong-term:
- abiding feelings of insecurity
- lack of trust
- extreme sensitivity (hypervigilance)
- need for revenge
For the short term ones I had depression, I was suicidal, I was so anxious of going to school that I rather skipped it altogether (even at the age of 10) and I used to be angry at the world in general (in some aspects I still am). For the long term ones... Well, I am insecure. That's what I'm trying to deal with at the moment. I don't trust new people. I cry more easily now than when I was a child, figure that one out. And as mentioned above I still want that revenge every now and then. I get a small piece of revenge every time I see that I have succeeded better than they have. When I get confirmation that it was worth the pain of clinging. When I see that they were teen moms, that they work at the cashier at the supermarket or fail their university courses, that's when I feel great. Malice is true joy.
So am I a psycho killer? No, but I sympathise with them. I understand them. That's possible without being one. Some of them were driven there without having much say themselves. And no, it has nothing to do with video games, films or music. It has to do with people. All violence has to do with people and it always has.
So am I mentally ill? No, not more than your average person. I guess my emotions are a little broken and probably beyond fixing. I percieve the world differently from every person I've ever met. I don't know if that has to do with my experiences or with my brain being different in some way. Or maybe I just haven't met the right people. I'm just your average girl with an IQ above average that used to carry the world on her shoulders.
Bullying is getting a lot more attention nowadays than what it did when I was in the middle of it. However I don't believe that there is a way to end bullying. I don't think it can be done. There will always be someone who wants to feel great and does it on someone else's expense.
People also seem to have a general fear of talking about it. They rather seem to want to ignore the problem. Ignoring it wont make it go away. But to acknowledge the problem means having to deal with it and that's what they are truly afraid of, because they don't know how. Letting people coming forward with their stories may help you learn.