Sunday, June 14, 2015

Running Away from the Past

Recently I was talking to a very dear high school friend of mine and we were being nostalgic about our good old times. Her ex-boyfriend is someone I used to have (still do, I guess) a crush on. I remembered those (few) days when I would hang out with him during recess breaks. I remember having a somewhat pleasant time.  To which my friend interjected by saying, "but I remember him making fun of you in front of the entire class!"

How clearly I remember that moment. How clearly I remember holding back tears.

I think there are times in all of our lives when we try to make sense of whatever experiences we have been through. Many such experiences which I keep burying in my mind are related to my painful moments of bullying through out much of my high school life. There are moments when I start thinking about just one incident and all of it comes rushing hammering into my brain. I don't think I still have processed all of these memories. It was at the moment when my friend spoke out loud about it, I realized how conveniently I have chosen to forget about those parts of my life and painted a glossy picture in which I was a super brave and courageous person who faced the world alone. The truth is that I was afraid every second. I was afraid of my every move in every place. How I would take a different route to the exit gate of the school so I don't run into those boys...every boy....
How I would pretend to laugh and pretend to be paying full attention to the person talking and standing next to me, not being able to shut out the jibes and jokes they would shout at me across the basketball courts. I remember them clearly. What the weather was. What I was wearing. Who was with me. Their faces. Their jeering, cruel, mocking faces. I wish I could just point out just that one incident that ruined my life but there have been so many. Across schools. Across cities. [I have had my education spanning over 4 schools across Jalandhar (Punjab), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Bangalore (Karnataka)]

There have been times when I had wanted to confront them. Maybe find them on facebook, write them a message. But would that help? Displaying my vulnerability? A friend of mine told me once, how his ex-batch mate messaged him out of the blue and apologized for being a bully. He said that unexpected message was one of the best surprises he had got in his life. Maybe that's what I am actively looking out for. To try to talk to those people and understand that why they did this to me. I want to let them know how much they hurt me. I want to tell them how scarring their actions were.

Since few years, I would keep jokingly telling my friend that I want to meet this ex-boyfriend of hers (him having expressed some vague interest in meeting me with her too). And somewhere in my sub-conscious I just want to hear those three words! I. Am. Sorry. And then suddenly I think that am I not strong enough? Do I actively look out for apologies from people just to validate my experiences? Is this the only way I am EVER going to get closure? 

All of this just led to one reaction. Me shutting everything out. It just became so much easier to pretend that I am strong. That I could handle the world. In fact, even now, it is so easy for me to let go. Because I always fear that intensity of commitment in anyone, because I always impulsively protect myself by shutting everyone out; be it any form of intimate relationship. 

I don't know where this post is headed. I know I will never have the willpower to actually give enough fucks in my life to seek out these people and message them. Because I don't want to look into the past. I have become stronger.......

have I? 

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