“Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.”
Once upon a time during my elementary school days, I lived the existence of a bully…
Yes, Dear Reader. I, Shermeeka Mason, was a bully.
Everyday, I chased terrorized suburban children during recess at Butler Elementary School–pushing them down to concrete, ripping their shirt collars while attempting to fight them, threatening to kick so and so’s ass when I get them (see, Reader? I cursed like a drunken hobo even back then). I even poured pencil shavings on a classmate’s head just because I could. Yeah, there were days when I got mine in return, but I got them all back ten fold–even if it meant being in detention for the umpteenth time, right?
Well, back in the fifth grade, I was jumped by a group of 6th grade girls. Here’s the story:
There was this red-headed girl named Crissy Long who was a classmate of mine. For some reason unknown to even me, we hated each other and we did so for valid 5th grade-level reasons: She deemed me ugly and smelly and I found her to be extremely annoying, mean and snobby. Well anyway, our feud came to a head when she called me ugly during recess. This was going to be the LAST fuckin’ time, I thought. So I walked up to her and threatened “I’m gonna kick your ass!” with rage in my voice. If I’m not mistaken, I think I attempted to pull every strand of red hair out of her empty head.
What I didn’t count on was the posse of hood 6th graders that suddenly come out of Planet Nowhere to defend this little bitch. Next thing I know, I’m running for my life from these girls the way those suburban kids ran from me. The brawl was so bad that I was afraid to attend school and my mother kept me home for about a week or so.
I know what you’re probably thinking: That’s what the fuck you get, Meeka. Pulling people’s hair and shit. What’s wrong with you?” Nothing was wrong with me. But I would be 12 shades of a liar if I told you I didn’t feed off the drama that permeated from that fight and some others I got myself involved in. See, many of those whose lives were affected by trauma actually create drama in their lives.
I think you heard me the first time, Reader. Many people who have been through some sort of trauma deliberately interject chaos into their lives–and that of others–to gain attention. Depending on what type of trauma he or she experienced, the trauma victim would attempt to gain control by creating unnecessary drama. Bass and Davis (2008) write that “survivors sometimes maintain control over their environment by creating chaos. If your behavior is out of control, you force the people around you to drop what they’re doing to respond to your latest crisis. In this way, you become the person calling all the shots” (pg. 21). In other words, the survivors who engage in this sort of dysfunctional behavior are only manipulating the people in their lives in order to be in control.
I place myself in this category because–until recently–everything was a tragedy and everyone had to pay attention to my crisis of the month. Before and after getting sober, I was often engaged in some crazy behavior (usually a man was involved. Or a psychotic housemate who suddenly decided they were not bipolar anymore and ceased taking all medication). Most often, that crazy behavior would result in me getting into a heated argument with either the man or the crazy roommate–when it transformed from “crazy” to “downright dangerous,” that was usually the point where I started to crash and burn, taking other folks along for the ride. And then my friends became concerned. I told them I was fine and not to worry, only they would because whatever I did most likely happened again.
And I have too many examples of this.
Thus, if you or anyone you know suffers from unnecessary drama, say these six powerful words to them and yourself: don’t start none–won’t be none. Translation: If you don’t create problems, you won’t have any. If I didn’t pull Crissy’s hair, I wouldn’t have gotten chased down by half the hood. If I didn’t bully anyone, I may have been able to create friendships in elementary school. When I take responsibility for my own pain and suffering, I don’t have to cause the same in someone else’s existence. Survivors who cause problem unnecessary drama for the following reasons:
1) They don’t want to look within themselves
2) Chaos is all they know
3) The person doesn’t want to take responsibility out of fear
I’m not saying all this due to be on some power trip. But I’m only writing all this to let you know, that no survivor has to run their lives–and that of others–like an episode of All My Children. To the survivors reading this, I urge you to stop and create a more peaceful and calm reality for yourself. Living in drama may be fulfilling at first, but you’ll become the boy who cried wolf after a while. People who cause that much pain in their world will not be taken seriously when the shit sincerely hits the fan. On a deeper level, you’re reducing yourself by becoming a perpetual victim. That’s not a true existence. That’s prison.
So, with all that being said, don’t start none and there won’t be none. Set the drama aside and live a full life.
You’re worth it.
Bass, E. & Davis, D. (2008). The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (4th Ed). New York, NY: Harper & Row Publishers