Can You Pick Up Where You Left Off?

The following video contains some of the blog plus whatever stew was floating around my head;

I received an email from someone who told me about being bullied. He asked me to address the topic of bottling up feelings and if I had experiences like it. From the age of 12-18 was really bad for him. Ages 10- 17 were really rough for me. One of his paragraphs read;

“For many years i didn't let out certain emotions, anger & sadness mainly, or my feelings of fear. Anger, i would dispel it by crying instead, not a good thing to do when you are 12. That was caused by 2 boys from school that i was with, we were on the platform of a railway station waiting for a train home from school, suddenly they grabbed me by my arms & legs & started swinging me, making out as if they were going to throw me onto the railway lines, the fear came that they may actually do it, i started to panic & struggle, so they put me down & moved away from me, then the anger started to surge through me as i got up, i started to go towards to confront/hit them but i started crying & shouting at them instead. That was when the bullying & ridicule started. it didn't take long for the word to spread around the school about what had occurred. Coupled with the fact i did bible readings in assembly/church services & sang in the school choir, i was then labeled as a crybaby, sissy, a big girl & constantly tormented. I was also learning to play the flute at that time & used to go into the music room to practice during break times, The 2 main culprits, who shall remain nameless, also played instruments & would follow me in there on occasions, they would do things like trapping my head in one of the metal music stands. That was why i gave up playing the flute, singing & bible readings, all things that i enjoyed doing.”


The saddest part of bullying is that it inhibits a person from doing something they love. Part of having artistic freedom is when we get to explore who we are. I was also bullied on the playground and started at a deficit which continued for most of my life. I remember playing piano at school. It wasn’t until Grade 7 or 8. Some people were impressed I could play and others were very threatened by this new information and I was picked on as well.

I was a very colorful child. At home and on my own I felt very free. At school, I was an awkward child stuck somewhere between my spirit of play and fear. I would move back and forth between the two depending who was around. This bled into my adult life as well. Certain family members inhibit me, some don’t. Some acquaintances make me feel awkward and some make me feel comfortable. Bottling up our anger is one thing. Bottling up our talent is worse.

Not only does bottling up feelings keep you good and angry, but it means the things you are good at never become realized. I believe in letting feelings out, being truthful, having a voice etc, but my ultimate change came by looking at situations differently. Letting out my anger and frustration happens in poetry, music and art, but for the most part, I don’t find it extraordinarily helpful. Opening up to someone who loves you generally works better than lashing out at enemies.

I needed to realize two things;

1. People who bully us, hurt us or do bad things generally are either threatened by us or have had someone do it to them.

If you look at the numbers, most kids experience it. It’s sad, ugly and yet very normal. It’s wrong, but we shouldn’t feel like it only happened to us. It’s a bad domino effect.

2. Age does not stop me from being a child. To say they stole my childhood is perhaps factual, but we tend to give up our ambitions because we think it’s too late or our pain is so high from it, we are too exhausted to talk about it, far less pick up where we left off.

You will find your group who accepts you, but I still feel like we have to do the things we love because we enjoy them without anyone watching. If we wait for someone to give us permission to pick up an instrument, we’ll be waiting a long time. Bullying imprints negativity on our spirit. It actually causes you to care what others think of you because they are in your face and threatening you. It’s human instinct to protect oneself.

There are so many groups out there now who do what you do. If you are 75 and want to learn guitar, I bet you can find a group online who does it. If you are 15 and want to play the flute, there are teens like you. Basically, the world is so populated, you can find anyone.

When children trap your head in a music stand, you run the risk of equating music with the bullies; two things which don’t naturally go together.

Negative association has been one of my greatest hurdles. I have always had a hard time with eating relish or small onions because my Abuser made me grow them in the garden and then we made relish out of them…hundreds and hundreds of jars. I am sure many of you have your own negative associations. If your ex had a certain color of cat or breed of dog, you may hate them now…not like it’s the animal’s fault, you just don’t want the association.

For our friend here, a music stand is supposed to hold our music for us to see. My hope is that the negative association is not there.

Backed against the fence, but climbing over…
Karen :)

“The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.” ~E.B. White

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