I have been there.
I have watched as your words cut
Gnawing like a rat under a bed,
Eyes awake and frightened in a place that should always have been safe.
Leaving little pieces of her remaining.
Taking her glow,
Diminishing her light.
I have been there.
You did it to me.
I made excuses.
I tried to fight back.
I rallied, I urged…
It made no difference.
Because, even here, even now,
I am still there.
You threw away your words carelessly, Thoughtlessly.
I followed behind, and caught them, Thinking they might be important.
I let my life be what you said it was,
I gave more thought to the words you spoke
Than you ever once did,
but I never thought about the person I was, before your words ripped into my life,
or the person I could have been
if you had never opened your mouth
and I had not been molded in acid..
I wanted to prove you wrong …because
You said these … these things! …with such conviction.
And I couldn’t understand how you could possibly be right.
And I wanted to prove you wrong…because,
If there was someone like you in the world,
Someone who had so much potential
Someone who wasted such a persuasive gift
By shredding the souls around you…because
what did it say about me?
That I couldn’t stop you. That I couldn’t change your mind….
That I couldn’t stop the words that you fed to me like apple seeds.
I did not understand,
That an apple seed is an annoyance on the tooth…
a mouth in recoil…a single wince at unexpected pain…
and I did not understand that apple seeds, on a daily basis,
leave more than an uncomfortable taste… or a mouth opened to words that cannot come.
They leave a poison
That eats from the inside
That makes blood rebel against the mind
bringing madness and unexpected misery.
And so now,
I must close my mouth to you, and turn my head to speak,
Because I don’t think you’ll ever listen… you never have before.
But I’m speaking out for her.
I’m speaking out for the others who may come into your circle unaware
Of your plan to eat them alive.
I’m speaking out for the me that dies a little more each time
those words drip from your poisoned lips like vipers.
Somebody will listen.
Somebody will say
I will not feed this seed to another,
But I will plant it deep.
I will nurture it and take care of it,
And gift the world with it,
And it will never become a poison, it will never become contagious.
It will bloom and nourish the lives of others.
You have deafened your ears, and deadened my soul, with the sound of your own mouth,
You cannot hear me shouting,
But somebody will…
This. Will. Stop.
~Apple Seeds, by Kimberly Stickrath (written specifically for the You Will Rise Project)"Sometimes, the only way to break a cycle is to change direction...and focus your attention not on the bully but on salvaging what is left of yourself. It has been my experience, that no one changes unless they want to... and for many bullies, even bad attention is still attention. They equate it with love or fulfillment. You can try to understand a bully's motivations and make all the rationalizations you want for their behavior, but you are not responsible for "fixing" them at the expense of yourself. As hard as it can be to admit it sometimes, there are situations that simply cannot be resolved well. No matter what you do, you simply can't get the positive outcome you desire -- but that doesn't mean you can't have a different positive outcome. In these cases, find a reason to make a break. Stand up where you can, for yourself, or for someone else. Surround yourself with positive, enthusiastic people who do appreciate you -- you'd be surprised how much that can help! Ask for help if you need it and when you need it, and have the good sense to step back and walk away. A bully cannot move on. A bully will always always be trapped in a childish rut and will always use his/her insecurities as reasons to lash out at you. That doesn't have to be your life, though. You CAN move on and more importantly, you can choose not to pass on their poison. Acknowledge that the bullies of your life were a part of your past, but don't give them control over your future. Prove 'em wrong! Show 'em up! Live your life happily, willfully, with great determination, and leave all of those bullies in the dust!"