When I was growing up I had a father who controlled what I did, what I wore and where we went on vacation.
When I started getting bullied in school it felt like my dad was at school with me, weird I know, but that’s the way it felt.
Throughout my life I’ve found ways to get through the days when I had to do things I didn’t want to do, when I had to hide things from people that I didn’t want them to know.
These things weren’t out in the open, but I knew them in my head. I wore a mask, and still do.
When I was younger I wore the mask because we weren’t supposed to talk about things. We had to keep our mouths shut about what happened in our house, at least that’s what it felt like to me.
If we let things out to those around us, i.e. lies, half-truths and things that were better hidden than in the open we’d be punished, grounded, put in the corner and be ridiculed by our dad.
When I was younger I remember writing stories about these lies and half-truths. There was one about a government project to develop about boat that couldn’t be seen by radar and another about a house that only a man with schizophrenia could see and no one believed him, though he knew it was there.
These stories are what started me writing. It’s always little stories like this which related to true life event that made their way onto the page.
My own way
The subject of school only came up in our house when it concerned grades, not how is school–that was evident in my grades–or who are your friends. Things like this are what parents are doing wrong. You should care more about the environment your child is around and less about their grades.
Good grades are awesome, but is your child feeling good about themselves, are they quiet when the topic of school comes up. IF they do, they’re most likely being bullied.
My way through all of this was to write. I found my true self, my life, my complete person in writing prose and poetry. My worst days were my most creative and I found myself torturing my bully in my prose. Sometimes my dad found his way into the torture chamber. But I always kept my mask on around everyone else.
It was my way to deal with my life, we accept life as it is and don’t ask questions.
We know the guy down the hall beats his kid, but we only want to see his mask.