“Bully”

It was this year (April or May), when on that fateful day,

I heard this little eight or nine year old sweetie say that she

did not want to talk about child abuse in any way.

It mattered not if we brushed on possibilities or hypotheticals;

this child with blue eyes so chemical made me wonder the practical

and even more the ethical of probing into young lives so malleable.

I saw her meekness, heard the tone in her tiny voice so simultaneously

confessional and imperceptible.

And stood still did time as reflected did I upon the moment of a

wounded soul’s sign and the room full of young eyes so feral but kind.

 

I quickly change the subject from child abuse back to encountering a bully

(as if this is a quantum leap calculated carefully to something more family and/or funny).

“A bully does not define you” (sweating, this is the best I could do).

“Have you guys ever heard the expression ‘sticks and stones

may break my bones but words will never hurt me’? Look, see,

it doesn’t ever matter what anyone says to you, no matter how bad or mean.

They cannot tell you what to do or who or what you are,

you are each your own unique and shining star.

In fact, most of them are probably bullied themselves by someone else

(I envision angry fathers with belts) and thus turn on all of you.

That means reach out to them with kindness, be their friend and offer guidance,

hear them out not with protest but silence,

and give timeless niceness of an order of the very highest.

I much more loathed their silence than a protest or shout.

Maybe they remembered violence, an angry Dad of a lout.

Perhaps there was pushing and name-calling and parental clouts.

 

A young man raises his hand to me. He is quiet and skinny, probably twelve or thirteen.

“I have to disagree with you” says he, this young man of maybe 5’3”.

“What do you mean”?

“You say that words can’t hurt us, but that’s not true.

I know someone who killed himself because he was called names.

He was hurt so bad that he killed himself.

So words won’t just hurt you, but kill.

They will hurt you way worse than getting punched ever will.”

 

I defy any of you to know what to say.

I challenge any of you to stare into the eyes of 8 to 13 year old and tell them they’ll be ok.

Why must a man of 25 in other adults confide by his hurt

from the words of children not old enough to drive?

Time stands still. I look to him and the other kids until…

how do I even muster the knowledge or will?

Where from comes the courage to help them pull through or

the knowledge to even know how to?

I don’t remember what words I spoke or what sentiments were key,

but I somehow dissolved that situation scot-free,

talking about my own experiences being fat and picked on and

how I turned out smart, successful, and very proud of me.

But even as we moved on, I couldn’t shake the way the boy looked at me.

 

I begged, I preached I pleaded with the children to know:

sticks and stones may break your bones, but their words cannot tell you what is so.

Their words cannot tell you what is so.

And yet they look me in the eye, tell me they fear not the knuckles and the fists,

for it is in fact their words you tell me not to fear that made me cut my wrists.

 

Where are our priorities?

For the worst child has a bigger heart than a mediocre adult,

for the anger dwelling beneath is not their fault; they did not carve out their Gestalt;

they were forged by parents’ hands with less thought from the heart

and more greed from the glands.

We abuse our most precious gift so through the litter of your own sins sift

and pick out the personal rifts that define the decline of what you call “mine” so swift.

Because someone is responsible, someone understands this piece

at a level a little extra comprehensible; those who inflict pain and

raise their children to do the same all point fingers at someone  

and say “we are but victims in the game.”

But the innocence held dear from what’s been done to you

can only be stretched till you beat someone too.

And you remember your bully. You remember your oppressor.

You remember the anger and confusion and fear where a day of abuse felt like a year.

But somehow it has become ok to inflict upon someone else those tears.

It is for your soul that I pray, and also that your victim will be ok.

Because you hurt not just that one child, you hurt millions in the future

that will all be pulled into the cyclical hell that defines the emotionally unwell

where people will create their own prison cell and trap their victims in one as well.

Don’t assume that there will be an inevitable escape.

Taking their own life might be their only prison break.  

 

I begged, I preached I pleaded with the children to know:

sticks and stones may break your bones, but their words cannot tell you what is so.

Their words cannot tell you what is so.

And yet they look me in the eye, tell me they fear not the knuckles and the fists,

for it is in fact their words you tell me not to fear that made me cut my wrists.

Tony Blauvelt 08/21/2013

“Mitosis Is”

I’ll hide it if I may, but know that there is still a deep hurt to this very day; perhaps you think I exaggerate what I say (maybe you rationalize this way), but just because separation is common that never, ever made it ok. You cannot these words abide, because you know not the feeling of emptiness inside, the crying at the photo album from when you were five; it’s a trip down memory lane back before the tears when I may have been sane, is this a waste of time, this anecdote inane? No, you sit and listen and know what you did, learn how delicate is the conscious of this kid. Get your heart wounded and dirty as you sift through my memories’ mud, my favorite stuffed animal my very own Rosebud. The photo shows I and he in front of the Christmas tree, covered in happiness, adorned in comfort plain to see. He may be old and tattered now, but at least he never hurt me.

Do you know how fucked up it is to try to understand? For a child’s comprehension of his family’s disband? There is never true peace with it, you simply do the best you can. There is no patience or arrows or lines or any God given-signs paving the path to normal times, your life is irrevocably changed by this moment of fate and heartache’s games, the new life is thus attained and the factory-wrapped new heart pained by the truth that has been ascertained: you have a perennial divide your heart always entwined by the memories on which the devil dines that haunt you because they were happy times and at your conscious they’ll always pull, your brain they’ll control and reign, the scar doesn’t heal but merely covers the pain.

So explain to me, world’s Moms and Dads: where was your conscious when we were conceived? Was your focus you or me? Can it be that you cannot begin to see what’s been done to me by one becoming three as I cry at the photo of me and my little buddy beneath the Christmas tree? Maybe this is a selfish point of view as I know your life belongs to you but I suffer under the sky’s inky black hue as I have little else to do but wonder what happened to both of you. It was your decision, and your happiness was at stake I expect and that I must respect but you initiated the bisect. And empathy crawls through life’s tar before it’s crushed under the heel of anger from afar because the heart’s emptiness can only stretch so far before even the most patient and loving person will have an anger that shall worsen when they feel the dismiss of their conceivers bliss their love we shall miss as they meditate on love’s abyss and pursue this the mitosis’ kiss.

The memory of the Christmas tree will with me always be because I trust myself and my best buddy since I was three and only I and he because the other tree called family shall never again be because you locked it outside and swallowed the key in a court that they call the supreme. And it’s not you that I aim to single out for millions of others have encountered doubt that led to pushes and shouts and angry bouts of alternate love routes exacerbating the heart’s gout as a child’s status quo receives an unexpected clout. But to reiterate I am irate that separation makes a child’s emotions stagnate and forever shall they consternate as love is always crippled by emotional ebola these days the divide as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola as you offer up to the courts your monetary payola for comfort of your own as the children hug their stuffed friends the tear stains forever shown as they cry and moan a suffering groan their primal emotions shown as they feel all alone in ways you have never known.

As I said before regarding disband, you simply do the best you can. And by committing to my own separation ban, I give apostrophe to thee, my unborn children that have yet to be, please listen to me: I love you more than you’ll ever comprehend. And I will be there for you always. I’d rather die than provide anything for you other than the utmost happiness anyone has ever shown, the type that fills not just the heart but also the bones and still finds ways to continue to grow: I promise, my babies, your Mother and I will always nurture the seeds of truth we’ve sown; we will share the greatest love the world has ever known.

Tony Blauvelt 08/20/2013