Conquering Your Inner-Bully
I think I just made a very important step psychologically. A crucial victory in my self-improvement and personal happiness. It's hard to put it into words, but it feels liberating. I feel like I've just been let out of jail (to use a clichéd phrase.) I feel free.
I think I just overcame my own worst enemy: myself. I think I just conquered my own inner-bully. For those who may not know what that is, imagine a common bully that puts you down either physically or emotionally. In this case, however, the bully resides within you. It's basically your evil half for want of better word. I think I just outright destroyed that son of a bitch.
To fully understand how I did this, I think I need to start over from the beginning, when all this came into being. And before you say it, yes, it involves Historium and the cyber bully who used to put me down because I was an American. Please stick with me on this, I promise there's a point to it all. I can't very well just go, “Huzzah! I've slain the beast!” without first explaining everything that happened up to this point now can I? That's not how a story works.
The cyber bullying had left me filled with vindictive rage. Understandable, as I had done nothing to this poster and he goes to shit on me because I just happened to be from a country he didn't like. It boiled in me, festered on the inside. Sometimes I would lash out by passively-aggressively asking the internet if it were OK if I studied/wrote things related to the United States (re: see the thread I linked in my last blog.) But then something happened, I began distancing myself from things that I liked (ie, the American Civil War, American literature, etc.) because I wasn't allowed to like it. While I didn't know it at the time, I pinned it all on this poster who was long gone from the forum in question. Everything was his fault; my suffering was his fault. He was the big bad monster.
But then I made that blog about revenge. Why? Because it occurred to me for the first time ever that what I was doing was not only hurting myself, but the people around me. But I was especially hurting myself.
This was especially evident last night when I was browsing Listverse. I stumbled upon an article listing ten countries who provided foreign aid to the US (mostly around the time of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf oil spill.) Pretty heartwarming stuff, right? Look at these humans, putting aside their differences to help fellow humans in need! Awesome! Go humans! Even the commentary was very friendly, where at one point an Australian commentator was wishing an American commentator well when she went to go have a baby, and congratulated her when the baby was born.
“I'm surprised,” a inner-voice peaked in my head, “Figured everyone would hate you and the US. They're all just lying, wearing masks that disguises their true nature! Exhibit-”
I caught it. And for the first time in my life I realized it. All those moments when the inner-voice told me that humans were incapable of coexisting peacefully, that kindness between two different cultures was merely a facade to hide the fact that they really do hate each other and wish to see the other one destroyed, all those moments I told myself I wasn't allowed to be happy because of [xyz reason related to that poster]...
That was my inner-bully. That was me. That was me, not some long-gone poster I hadn't seen in years. I was hurting myself. “Your pain was real!” it would argue, but who is in control of my emotions? Who gets to control how I feel? I do.
Korra from Avatar: Legend of Korra once had this to say: “You're oppressing yourself!” I never knew what she meant until I looked at what I was doing. Essentially, I was making myself miserable by coming up with a whole host of reasons why I shouldn't be happy and do what I want, pinning it on some external source. I was making myself miserable by convincing myself that no way would humans ever be able to coexist peacefully despite their differences, despite empirical evidence to the contrary. I took one nasty moment in my life and used it as justification as to why I shouldn't be happy, why humans were all rotten to the core. As a result, I was growing bitter and spiteful. Depressed. What's the point of being happy if people are basically cowards looking to get one over you? Looking for an excuse to turn their backs on you when you need them the most?
But at the end, I was only hurting myself. That old fart's long gone. As much of an asshole he was to me, I have one thing he'll never have. And to those who were/are bullied, you have one thing they'll never have: The ability to choose to be happy. None of us can control how other people act, but we can control how we act and feel.
I've finally let go of the grudge. I'm at peace, and now I'm learning when to catch that inner-bully and put a stop to it before it goes too far. So for those who were witness to my drama about that forum: sorry you had to see that. Wasn't fair for me to take it out on the internet, even if what I felt was genuine. Life's too short to spend it feeling bitter and spiteful over something that happened years ago.
<takes a deep breath>
It's a new day. And it looks brilliant.
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