My book: Light at the end of the darkness

I am currently a bit worried that I might have lyme disease, so to cheer myself up a bit, I decided to start writing a book that hopefully will have a happy ending (if not, I will just make one up,as I want my blog to stay a happy and positive place). The treatment for chronic lyme looks very terrifying and not treating it, doesn't seem wise either. The diagnosis is also going to be a difficult road. But at least, I am finally freeing up some time to achieve my long-time dream of being a book writer. Aside from that, I am still going to blog about the usual stuff that I have on my blog. When the book gets too depressing, it is nice that I can still think about more simple and happy things. 

The book may cover some sensitive topics, so be warned. 

I am not totally sure what to write about yet, but I will see as I go. I will update when I finish a chapter, which can take from a week to months. I will also try to add bits and pieces of information that I will be accumulating about the lyme disease into the story. It still doesn't get enough attention to me and I would like to see that there are more personal stories and experiences. The book isn't only about lyme disease, as I can't write about it yet until I get to the later chapters (at the end of the dark tunnel called lyme). It will either be after getting some treatments (if I can still type) or if I am lucky, after getting the good news that it is something more easy to cure, then I will just write about what I have found and experienced until then. For now, the working title will be: Light at the end of the darkness .

Light at the end of the darkness


It all started with a visit to the petting zoo, when I was in kindergarten. You might expect me to be bitten by a tick there, but no, that happened a lot later. I will get to that in another chapter, so let's get back to the petting zoo, long and long time ago.

I really liked animals from when I was little, so I was pretty excited to be able to go there. When I arrived there with my class, a beautiful peacock walked past and it left a long feather on the ground. I immediately told a male zookeeper who was close by that a feather fell off the peacock and secretly started hoping that it is finders keepers. It really was the case and I happily walked off with it. A few fellow class mates wanted one too and they chased after peacocks for a long time to grab one themselves. They couldn't get hold of one and only Genevieve who lives next door to me, was lucky enough to grab one white feather from a peacock. She kept asking me to trade it with mine, but there was no way that I would trade my black feather with beautiful iridescent colors.

To make sure that my heart wouldn't be swayed by Genevieve's constant pleas, I decided to hide it in the sleeve of my coat, which was hanging in another room. I quietly left the room filled with my class mates and the teacher to quickly put it away, before they notice where I hid it. I wouldn't want any of them to steal it from me, as Genevieve asked to have a look before and refused to return it to me. When I got to my coat, I was startled by someone that had followed me there. It was a younger male zookeeper that I was introduced to, not too long ago in the room. I realized that this must look fishy, me going through a coat that he doesn't know that it is mine. In a panic, I started explaining that the coat is mine and that I wasn't doing anything suspicious. The younger male zookeeper didn't believe me and starting talking about frisking me to make sure I wasn't hiding anything. Even though I was just a few years old, I already knew that that would be wrong and I was about to call everyone to be a witness of that. He started to panic a bit and pulled me into another room. I didn't scream as it sounded reasonable to settle this between the two of us and not get the whole class involved. He suddenly started to look at me with strange eyes and I was feeling extremely uncomfortable. I was about to leave, when he started to talk about giving him a kiss. This really scared me and with him moving his lips towards me, I really wanted to run, but his hand was tightly gripping my upper arm. I was totally going nuts of fear and powerlessness and started to yell at the top of my lungs: " Goddammit, let me go! He is a total psycho! Save me!"

I relaxed a bit when I heard people coming towards us, but he still managed to place a sloppy kiss on my cheek before they could open the door to find me. I was all tears and I couldn't speak properly, so the young male zoo keeper was able to tell his side of the story first, which was totally off from the truth. He explained that I was crying over something silly. Although I had a hard time talking from the tears, I managed to utter the words: "He kissed... hurt me." They kept asking me: "Who? Who hurt you?" I kept pointing at the young male zoo keeper, who was foolishly moving left and right, away from the direction of my finger. I found that very ridiculous and laughed, so they didn't really want to believe my story, as it is a serious allegation. When I calmed down more, I said my story again and they still didn't believe me. Later on, the young male zoo keeper even said that I was such a bad kid that he is taking the peacock feather back and is giving it to a fellow class mate instead. I got very angry and said: "If you don't feel guilty, you wouldn't do such a childish thing." I grabbed the feather with all my might and cried again. I swayed with my arms to beat off everyone that was going take it from me. Just to make me calm down, they let me keep it, but they still haven't said a word about any punishment for the culprit. When I left the petting zoo, I said: "Be careful of this guy as he is going to make a next victim soon and then, you will regret not believing me."

Chapter 1 - The petting zoo is a beautiful place, right?

When I got home, I kept thinking about what happened. I wasn't even sure what bothered me more, the sloppy kiss on my cheek, that he held my arm so tight that I couldn't escape and panicked (I never knew I was capable of screaming that loud), or that nobody believed me. I don't know why but it was haunting me more than I thought it could. It was then that I knew that in life, the one who is better at talking always wins. I am not sure if I am autistic, but speaking has never been my fort. It also didn't help that I was a child and apparently, children like to make these kind of things up.

I also laughed when I talked about the scary experience on other occasions. I think people tend to do that to make the experience less creepy for themselves, but it made others not trust me and think that I was joking around. But when I spoke about it coolly without emotion, like a robot, people didn't believe me either.

Although I really like animals, I never wanted to go to the petting zoo again. After some time, I forgot about the scary thing that happened and I kept asking everybody why we don't go to the petting zoo again with the whole class. My class mates really didn't understand my behavior and Sara, one of my classmates at the time, got so fed up by it that she yelled that it was my fault that we couldn't go there anymore. After some explaining by them, I remembered and I thought it was fine if I never see that guy again. He could just hide and work somewhere else on the farm. When we went to the petting zoo again, I found out that I didn't even remember his face anymore. I guess, it was that shocking to me.

With the class, I kept visiting the petting zoo on various occasions and I tried to stay away from men and never be alone. One of the male petting zoo keepers kept kissing me on the cheek in front of everyone and because it happened so fast, I couldn't avoid it each time and I didn't really mind that much as everyone is around and I felt safe. I didn't really understand it at the time, but he did that to prove that I asked for the kiss back then. One day, he kissed me on the cheek again and the teacher asked me why I didn't react and pretended like nothing happened, I then got really angry and screamed: "I don't know what to do anymore. He is kissing a child and everyone sees it and you are not doing anything to stop him. The previous time, I got very angry and started screaming for help and nobody believed me. What do you want me to do?" Everyone started to laugh because of my weird rage and it made me want to choke that guy.

They also tested me once by putting me in a room with him and watch if I would scream again for no apparent reason. The whole test is ridiculous, because I was already scared of him and with no one around, I was ready to scream whenever he did something odd. He just needed to put on scary eyes and I already screamed and tried to run away from him. Because they couldn't see what his eyes were doing, they again thought that I was making it up and that I was an attention seeking child.

Chapter 2 - No more petting zoo for me

After all that, I just refused to go to the petting zoo with the class. Although the teachers promised me that guy wouldn't be there, I couldn't trust them as they promised that they would keep him away from me the previous times, but he always showed up. I rather stayed behind in the class room on my own, but because it was starting to get boring, I wanted to secretly go home or go to the large playground in the neighborhood. I couldn't open the door of the main school entrance, but a female kindergarten teacher saw me and opened it for me. Not too far from the school, I was attacked by a guy (I am starting to think it is the same guy from the petting zoo) and I fought for my life: biting, scratching him with my nails, and screaming for help. Blood splatters got all over my shirt (his blood) and I was so scared that I passed out, but luckily, I was saved by a teacher. The school decided to do nothing as it would ruin their reputation as it was on the school grounds and they carelessly opened the door for me. I also wasn't harmed, so it should be fine. But I wasn't fine.

At a very young age, I discovered that the world is one scary place. They rather let the crazy guy run loose than have the school reputation get ruined. I feared for my life everyday as he must be out there to catch me again. I felt that nobody was there for me. The school didn't do anything and nobody believed me, as the teachers who saw everything, refused to confirm my story. The people close to me also didn't really know how to deal with this kind of situation and they didn't give me the support that I needed. I started to get angry at the whole world.

Although I was so small, I already had the courage to go to the police station by myself, which was right next to the school. A teacher saw me go in and quickly followed me to tell the police officers that I was just making up stories and pulled me back out, while I was kicking and screaming. My classmate, Sara, saw that and she was thinking that I really wanted attention.

Inside the school, the teachers decided to wash the blood splatters off my shirt, so that I would have no proof to go to the police with. The blood splatters were the only proof I had that I was assaulted by a guy and they could have matched the DNA. I refused to let them take off my shirt as it felt disgusting to get undressed by people after all what happened to me, so they just washed the blood splatters off the shirt, while I still had it on. I started to cry while they did that and again, Sara passed by and started to laugh at me for crying, as it seemed to her that I was acting like a baby.

I really didn't know how to deal with all this. The teachers suggested me to get therapy - even though they were the ones who denied that something happened that day -, but I didn't dare to go out on my own anymore nor did I want to be alone with an adult in a locked or closed room.

Chapter 3 - What happened after

The only way I found to deal with the trauma was meditating on my own. In the toddler gym, there were two red, cocoon like, plastic bowls with a sharp tip. I discovered that I could fit my whole body in it and swirl it around, letting it roll all over the place. The slight dizziness and having my body snugly fit in a small, protective cocoon, made me able to stop thinking about the scary things that happened. While I swirled around, I might have hit some of my classmates and crushed their toes, but I didn't care. I was only concerned about myself and how I could feel better again.

Once, I got into a fight with my class mate, Sara, as she wanted to get me out of the red plastic bowl and she asked me why I didn't share the toy with others and hogged it every time. There was another one, so I just told her to play with that one and said that this one is mine. She started to push me and in my fall, the red plastic bowl broke. She also went ahead to break the other one. I got very angry even though, I knew that I did that to her before too. When she was fighting for a toy with another girl, I broke it so that there is no need to fight over it, like what my mom does when I fought over toys with my brothers. But that was my everything, not just a normal toy, it was the only thing in the whole world that could comfort me. I couldn't forgive her, so she turned into my enemy throughout kindergarten.

I started to forget about the trauma after a few years, but Sara hated me so much that she made my life miserable throughout primary school. I thought she would be able to forget about it after some time and after hurting me constantly without me doing anything back, but she just got angrier when I didn't react. She even went as far as going to my secondary school and spread lies there, made bullies follow me to university, and even had people harass me at the work floor and using LinkedIn to damage my reputation. I kept enduring everything as I felt sorry for being bad to her in kindergarten for no reason other than her being present at the worst moments and not trusting me. I just silently suffered, but the bullying never stopped.

Some time after the incident, I saw the creepy guy again on my way home and he kept harassing me. Although I forgot how he looked like already, as I blocked it away, I knew it was him when he started to try to scare and intimidate me. He kept saying that it was my fault that he lost his job and that he took revenge on my best friends in kindergarten and that they will surely make my life into a living hell later. I kept talking loudly and angrily (my usual defense mechanism, so that people would notice and help me) and I said I would kill him if he dared to come closer or touch me. A garage employee nearby noticed us and started to reprimand me for cursing and threatening a guy on the street. I yelled back and said: "If you have so much time on your hands to meddle with a fight that you don't know anything of and to randomly take sides, you better remember this guy's face as he keeps roaming around the primary school to harass little children." Not too long after, the garage employee saw me pass by on my way home and he told me that they have arrested that weirdo and that he is put away in prison. I felt relieved, but also concerned about how many victims he made in the meantime. I realized that if I was able to go to the police right after my assault or if the teachers believed me earlier, that it could have saved the victims and also myself from all the bullying that happened afterwards. But sadly in life, there is no take 2.

I have always wanted to have superpowers like a superhero. But although the instant memory loss (Unconsciously, my mind seals off memories of unpleasant or terrifying events) has saved me from getting harmed emotionally, I wish I never got it. From then onwards, I also started to say, forget it (in Dutch: laat maar), when people just won't listen or trust me.

Chapter 4 - Strange guy in a car

If the whole experience at the petting zoo wasn't already bad enough, I experienced something creepy again. I thought that that was already a terrible thing to experience at such a young age, but not too long after, I was on my way to school on my own, after begging my mom for a long time and telling her that it is just a 5 minute walk and a very safe street. Suddenly, a car stopped at the side of the road and a guy started yelling to me that I should come closer as he had something to ask me. My intuition told me that it was a dangerous situation and I yelled back: "I can obviously hear you from here, so just tell me without me needing to come closer. " The guy was obviously surprised by my quick wit and mumbled: "You are right..." While he was still wondering what step to take next, I ran for my life to get to school as soon as possible. People on the street and cars passing by started to notice me and luckily, the guy in the car didn't open the door to chase me. My whole body was shaking when I got to school, both from exhaustion as from fear.

When classes were over, I was starting to feel afraid again as I needed to walk on that same street again, where that guy might still be roaming in his car, looking for victims. I asked my classmates if someone could walk me home as I was really too scared. My classmates didn't really believe me and ridiculed me for being afraid as it is just a straight 5 minute walk and that I should call my mom if I wasn't grown up enough to go by my own yet. I was really about to burst in tears, but luckily, Genevieve, my next door neighbor, was willing to go with me. She needed to do some things first, but that was fine by me. Together, we kept walking home every day we had school.

One day, the guy in the car really appeared again. It was quite some time after my first meeting with him and everyone in my class started to believe that I made it up and that I was an attention seeker, just like with the young male zookeeper story. My classmates started to walk me home in turns as Genevieve didn't want to keep doing it every day. They also started to walk me home less frequently, as there really wasn't a very big treat anymore and they started to feel that it was such a hassle to detour so much from their way home. That day, it happened to be Genevieve's turn to walk me home and we were happily chatting, when a guy pulled down the window of the car to ask me something again. I was startled, but I was so upset by my classmates that didn't believe me, that I frantically screamed to Guinevieve that if I get kidnapped, she should remember the license plate and the faces of the kidnappers well enough to save me. I was really going to risk my life to prove that I didn't make this story up. What was I thinking? Have I turned insane already at age 6? When I felt the warm hands of Genevieve, pulling my arm and refusing to let me go near the car, tears started running on my cheeks.

It is like the script of a bad movie. Even I find it hard to believe. Can you really experience so many scary things in such a short time period?

These kind of robberies by car happened a lot in my neighborhood afterwards and apparently, they were after my gold necklace (but I don't know for sure if there was more there were after). They lure you near the car by asking you for directions or talking very softly suddenly, so that your automatic response is to walk closer to hear it. They might also hold onto your necklace, while they drive off, so be careful.

Chapter 5 - How the bullying started

One day, I overheard a female kindergarten teacher say something like: "Isn't it about time that she acts normal now?" I was sure that they were talking about me and I got really angry. I immediately went to pick a fight with Sara again and pushed her very hard on her back. She told me to stop it already. I then screamed that it isn't over until I decide that it is enough. I wasn't actually saying that to her, but to the teachers.

From then onwards, I started to act like a total brat, a princess that deserved a special treatment, just because I experienced all those terrifying things before. I started to think that the teachers owed it to me, since they didn't believe me and didn't do anything back then. I think that's when everyone in class started to hate me for my obnoxious behavior.

I didn't know small kids could have pure evil in their eyes. They started to enjoy seeing me suffer. Sometimes, they pretended to shake hands and be friends again, but they still didn't stop bullying me. When newcomers came to my class, I tried to be friends with them before the girls in my class could, but eventually, they still believed the lies of those girls, as so many people are saying that I am a bad person, so it must be the truth right? At some point, even the teachers started to make fun of me and think that I am a bad person.

I was too scared to enter the girls toilet, where they could harass me as much, as they could as there was no supervision by a teacher. Eventually, the teachers saw that I really was getting bullied, but they told me to leave the school as I was ruining the mood in the class and that they would not be this way if I wasn't there. They all started to put the blame on me, like I asked for it. It didn't happen to the other kids right? So it must be you, you must be a terrible person. They were calling me weak, because I couldn't ignore the bullying. People started telling me that they were bullied too and that they turned out fine, but I don't think they were bullied as badly as me. I just kept acting strong and pretended not to be bothered by the bullying.

At a certain point, I even stopped doing anything back after getting bullied, wishing it would stop one day, but it didn't. When they notice that you don't react anymore, they just increase the hurt to provoke you again. It isn't fun when you have any reaction, so they kept doing it until I burst out in anger. 

After not getting along with the girls in my class, I tried to make friends with the boys. One boy called Jino actually believed that I wasn't a bad person and started to talk to me. But I think that he was beaten up after class for it and one day, he told me that he regretted being friends with me. He suddenly left the class, but not before he silently tried to warn me for the bullies and told me to leave the school too. But I was too stubborn to admit defeat and kept fighting against the bullies. They kept bullying me in a way that nobody saw what they did to me and everyone only saw me getting angry and hitting them in return as I wasn't capable to keep everything hidden as well like they did. They even went as low to pretend to be friends with me and go to my house to find more things to hurt me with. To know more about my family and to find out more things about me that could hurt me, as I started to become numb for the bullying. 

Most people see bullying as a child's game, but it is very serious. Although you couldn't see anything on the surface, I was being hurt so much that I could not trust anyone but myself anymore.

I noticed that bullying happens everywhere. I also turned into a introverted person that easily gets angered and scared when I get the slightest feeling that I am being teased. I was the timid, shy person who has gotten scared of people, the oddball in class, who will always be the target of bullying. I am scared to think that it has gone to a point of no return, that I can never make friends anymore.

Chapter 6 - How I got bitten by a tick

Finally, we have gotten to the part, where I will talk about the tick that bit me. I wish I could just write that I got bitten by accident, but even this, was an act of bullying.

I was about 11 or 12 years old, when I had a field trip with my class at a forest nearby. A girl was talking about a spider that has gotten her uncle sick. I previously already heard a lot of stupid stories from my bullies to scare me, so I thought this is one of those stories too. I kept asking if it is because the spider is poisonous (very rare in our country), but it was a rather complicated story. I didn't really understand as I was very young, but I would like to know more (my scientist mind developed early). She went to look for a tick and after a long time, she showed a couple to me. One tick had very large and creepy legs, so I told her to take it away from me, as it creeped me out. Faintly, I heard something like: "she really is a mean person, just do it", but I didn't pay much notice to it. When I turned my back to it, someone dropped a tick on my back, and I asked the person walking next to me to check what it was and to remove it. She assured me that it was gone, but she actually rubbed my back to make sure that the thick attached itself to me. She kept asking me if I didn't feel a bite, but I really didn't feel anything.

I didn't notice the tick on my back until a day later and totally scared, I scratched it off with my nails. The head unfortunately stayed in my back. From then onwards, the girl that had a sick uncle kept tapping on my shoulder during the breaks at school and asked me if I was feeling okay and if I got the lyme decease yet. It wasn't out of concern, but out of hatred as I didn't believe her that you could get a strange disease from a small spider like being and that it wasn't like poison that would kill you immediately, but very slowly. In the beginning, I didn't have any health problems, so I told her many times that I was okay. But due to the constant tapping on my shoulder, it made me react as a mad women from then onwards. I started to hate people tapping my shoulder.

Nothing happened for quite a few days, but eventually, the red mark called bull's eye, started to show on my back. It is a red mark with a empty/skin-colored ring inside. After some time, it has gotten so big that it almost covered my whole back. I searched online for a bit and I discovered that the doctor might take some skin tissue to examine and that scared me so much that I decided to wait for the mark to become smaller (as I didn't want them to take such a large piece of skin off), but it just faded away. When it was time to see the doctor, there was only a faint shadow on my back. The doctor didn't believe me at all and she said that she wouldn't give antibiotics for no reason, especially to such a small kid. As I didn't have any symptoms, I just left feeling disappointed.

Some time after, I got a very severe flu that was so bad that I lost my voice for a few days and I stayed at home from school for a week. I really didn't connect it with the possible lyme disease, until the fatigue that I had after the flu didn't go away. I went to see the doctor again and she still didn't believe me as I went there when I was feeling less tired (how else was I otherwise able to walk there?) and it didn't look like I had something serious.  

My whole life, I hated people for not believing me (the creepy guy, the lies about me, the bullying), so I was devastated, when even the doctor wouldn't believe me.

Chapter 7 - When does the bullying end?

During my last year of primary school, I realized that I was bullied so much that I was starting to get mental issues. My class mate, Wendy, who was kind enough to unfold my collar that got stuck inside my shirt, startled me so much that I was about to fight for my life, as I instantly assumed that she wanted to choke me. I was really sorry and embarrassed, when I discovered it was just a nice gesture. I don't know why, but I think it is my stubbornness and unwillingness to be chased away, that I kept dealing with the daily hell called bullying. I should have listened to my teacher and transferred to another school, but I was so blinded by anger, when he told me to leave instead of those torturing me.

On my last day of school, I was feeling very gloomy and stayed behind class on my own. Even though school was one of my favorite places on earth as I could learn and discover new things every day, there were too many bad memories that happened here. Suddenly, Sara walked in and scared me by asking me if I would miss her. I tried to escape as fast as I could as no one was there who could save me. She kept pushing me around and I yelled that I would go to the best schools and get the best jobs so that she and her stupid friends will never be able to bully me again. They were so busy with bullying me that they don't have time to study anyways. 

At my primary school, they had a strange graduation ritual, where you walk out of the school without touching the floor, by walking over wooden boards and jungle gym like equipment. At the last stop, I was forcibly kissed on the cheek by a teacher that had a beard, while he was helping me get off a wooden board that was suspended. He told me that I promised that he could kiss me on graduation day, but that promise was made in kindergarten when I still thought that school life would be fun and teachers were reliable people that would protect me from harm. I told him that he should kiss my other classmates too, as they keep saying that I get preferential treatment. I only intended them to be pricked by the beard of the teacher too, but some female students got very upset by it and they got angry at me for telling the teacher to do that to them. Once again, I took the blame, while the teacher could have refused to do it, but he didn't as he must have enjoyed it and it was nice that he could shift the responsibility to me.  

I really thought I would have a great time at my primary school and that I would be in a really good mood when I would leave the school, but it was the total opposite. I really wanted to just leave the school and my bad memories behind as soon as I could.

Chapter 8 - The last school day wasn't over yet

Lydia, one of the girls in my class, was out to get revenge and kept hitting on the back of my head and running away immediately afterwards. I screamed so loud that the whole school surroundings could hear me, that I told her to stop doing it and that she should come out of her hiding place, come hit me now when everyone is watching, and fight with me face to face. It was just like the bullying, they kept hurting me in a way that nobody could tell, but adding it all up, it hurt me immensely. Even the teacher with the beard came out to reprimand me for acting like a crazy person again and that I should stop overreacting as I am ruining the school reputation. He could care less about me getting hit by my classmate.

One guy that had nothing to do with it actually came over to me to hit me and told me that I asked for that. I got so angry that I told him if he liked hitting little girls so much that he should hit the damn girl who keeps hitting the back of my head. He didn't believe me at first, but Lydia came out to hit me again very soon, so he helped me hold her back so that I could escape. But due to the fatigue and pain that I was suffering (from the lyme?), I couldn't run fast enough. I was getting the back of my head constantly hit by Lydia all the way from my school to my house and at a certain moment, I just didn't have any strength left in me to fight back anymore. I just let her hit me without resisting. I think she must have hit me more than a few hundred times, almost after every step I took. A few minutes before I got to my door, a man walked by and said that a girl was hitting the back of my head and asked me if I didn't know. "Of course I know", I yelled, "What do you want me to do? Kill her?" The man just shrugged and left. The last few hits started to get very hard compared to the hits before, so I turned around and angrily yelled that she should stop. I found out that the last few hits were actually done by the man that just talked to me and he said that "my friend" told him that I liked it and he must have thought that it was fun to hit the back of the head of a little girl. In the background, I saw Lydia run away happily. I got so angry that I told everyone around that she is a thief and that someone should catch her for me. A different guy walking further away heard me and brought her back to me. I was really feeling terrible, so I just slapped her. Immediately, she slapped me back three times as hard and she ran away again. The other guy got really angry that I got him involved in a fight between two little girls so he held me tight and called the bully to come back over to slap me again to make it even. After that, I just had no strength left to do anything anymore, so I just randomly threatened that she should be careful tonight as I might just go burn down her house, while she is sleeping. She just laughed it off and ran away.

I walked straight back to my room and while I was lying on my bed, all the cruel bullying that was done to me repeated itself in my head and I got angrier by the minute. At some point, I got so mad that I grabbed a box of matches and told my mom that I was going to burn down the houses of the bullies. She laughed at me and said: " Go ahead." I answered, " You think I won't? I will show you right now."

In blind madness, I walked to the area where some of the bullies lived and threw a burning match on some garbage bags. I was totally sure that nobody would get hurt as the smoke was very dark and the smell should alert someone soon enough. All I wanted to achieve was that the bullies would be scared of me and that they would think that I was so insane that they should avoid me at all costs. Almost all the girls in my class moved away, since they know deep inside that they have bullied me badly.

Chapter 9 - Desperate cry for help

When I lit up the garbage bags, I wasn't even afraid of going to jail. I already knew that in my state, I would never be able to friends even at my new school. I really needed to get help, but I never got it. Since all of my bullies live in my neighborhood and near the metro station, which I needed to go to regularly to commute to my secondary school. I kept meeting my bullies and they didn't stop harassing me. One time, Lydia even walked up to me and held me tight so that I couldn't move. She deliberately did that to make me get late for school and had another girl watch if someone would see us. I started to realize that me threatening to burn their houses wasn't convincing enough and that they knew I could never do it.

I was so angry that I went home to grab a box of matches again and I went to my primary school with the plan of burning all the grass in the front yard. I tried to burn the grass, but each time, the fire would start at the top of the strand of grass and extinguish at the root. I went back home to get a bottle of sunflower oil, but that didn't help either as I was afraid to waste too much oil and make my mom angry. I went back home again and found an almost empty bottle of wine without a cork. I poured it over the grass, but it didn't light up either. I got so tired of it that I gave up and went home. On my way home, I saw a bunch a boys that carried jerrycans filled with a yellow liquid. At the time, I thought it was lemonade, but it must have been gasoline. I heard a loud blast and it made me laugh. I guess, someone hated the school more than me.

It wasn't until afterwards that I heard how much damage was done to my primary school. In a TV report, they have shown clear pictures of me playing with matches in front of the school and they even said my name, which is pretty rare, so everyone could tell it is me. Afterwards, there was also a video showing how someone calmly stood there and filmed how the school burned down without panicking or calling the fire department. Seriously, the so called evidence is ridiculous. Someone took pictures of me playing with matches and he/she wasn't able to stop me, a little kid with almost no power. When I left, they didn't check to make sure anything would light up again. Another person filmed the whole school burning down and did nothing. They didn't go knock on doors to get buckets of water or anything to stop the fire. The video wasn't shaky at all. It is more likely that they were more concerned of getting evidence to frame me than anything else. Because if I was the culprit, why didn't anyone (the photographer or the cameraman) hold onto me, stop me from burning things, and bring me to the police at any given moment?

The school representatives kept saying that they didn't report me as I had a bright future ahead of me, but they had an angry tone throughout. It is so obvious that they were faking that they cared for me. The only reason why they didn't report it to the police is probably because then, they would hear my side of the story, how I was bullied all those years and that they failed to protect me in many ways. I was sentenced without a fair trial (I cannot believe that without 100% solid proof they could show my face and give my name on TV), but I thought it was fine as I wanted to put everything behind me. I wanted to start anew at my new school and stop dealing with my bullies.

Chapter 10 - Secondary school

I had an introduction camp before school officially started and it was a lot of fun meeting new friends. One group of girls admitted me to their circle very soon, but they were getting so close to me so soon that I got very scared. I was afraid all of this would be fake too. I also met a boy at the rock climbing wall that I had seen before when I was a kid. Back then, he was holding a bike and walking past my house entrance. He looked a lot like a friend of mine so I asked him to come over to play at my house like he usually does, but he looked at me with puzzled eyes and walked away. Later on, I asked my friend why he was in the neighborhood and why he ignored me, but he said he did not go to my house. He kept teasing me that I was missing him so much that I was imagining things. But it was true, that boy really existed. I even asked a girl that was passing by if she saw him too. I was scared that I was seeing ghosts or imagining a friend since I wasn't capable in making friends with someone, but luckily, he really was a human being.

I got into a class with a lot of kind and relatively quiet girls, so at first glance, everything looked okay. Just when I began to think school life was going to be better than before, I saw one of my bullies from primary school at my secondary school entrance. I got so scared that I yelled: "I am not going to make any friends, so stop doing unnecessary things!" She had some friends studying at my school and together they were making plans on how to make my life miserable, so I alerted the janitor to make her leave as she came to harass me and she wasn't a student at our school.

I really got sick of it. People kept saying stupid lies about me and still, it would be seen as the truth. I didn't have the energy to explain anymore and I was really disappointed in people. The teacher's policy was also to never take sides in fights and let the students deal with it themselves. I know it sort of makes sense, but it is ridiculous that they don't do anything when they see that someone is being bullied.

My bullies also started to spread rumors about be being promiscuous, but I didn't even mind it that much as it covered up the fact that I turned abnormal from the assault that I experienced back when I was a kid and that I couldn't be alone with a guy without being scared to death. I tried my best to overcome this fear by spending more time with boys and men in a relatively safe environment. I also tried to be alone with male teachers, while I sat at the farthest seat away from him and only during short moments just before class. So if something happened, the other students would walk in and save me. I also tried being friends with guys, especially ones with girlfriends, as it should have made it impossible for them to fall for me, neither would they want to do strange things to me. But guess what, even then, my trust got betrayed.  

One day, they probably thought that the lies that I was promiscuous weren't very convincing, as I am generally more afraid of guys than attracted to them. A male classmate from primary school suddenly entered the female toilet at my secondary school, while I was there alone. I was scared to death and warned him that a girl might walk in any time. He then pulled me into the men's toilet next door. I got saved by some people, but I was in total shock. Again, the school tried to cover it up as if nothing happened, but they did remove the doors of the men's toilets from then onwards. I tried my hardest to forget about it, as I didn't want to feel unsafe and wary at all times at my new school. 

I still find it very funny though that my bullies created so many rumors about me having many relationships and a fascinating love life, when I never had the energy to do so and I was also in too much pain due to my (unknown) illness that I couldn't do more than the essential things in life like going to school, make homework, eat, and sleep.

Chapter 11 - Defense mechanism

I started to create a tough exterior with a bad temper and loud voice to protect myself, while I was in fact scared of people and wanted them to stay away from me. I didn't want to make friends and get betrayed again. I was also scared that my friends would get harmed by the bullies again. But that still didn't stop me from wanting to have friends after all. With these inflicting emotions, I often had to take a moment for myself. It was to seclude myself, to look away to control my tears, and to return to a emotionless robot again. Although I had a mean and angry image so that I wouldn't be the silent and easy target, the creeps saw right through that. 

I was so uncomfortable in class that I started hyperventilating and even then, nobody was going to help me, it was rather something to joke about. I also couldn't concentrate in class, as I cannot focus when it isn't quiet and I don't like being in a room with people that could potentially hurt me. The teacher then made every student stay quiet for me, but that made me feel worse as I could tell that they were not willing to do so.

 I even pretended to be a scientist to observe people's behavior towards me (creating some emotional distance), so the bullying wouldn't hurt as much. It made me experience everything from farther away. I didn't hear the mean remarks at the time that they tell me, as I ignored them all and only heard them again, right before I fall asleep when my mind recalls what happened that day. It made the insomnia that I had even worse, as I felt more and more frustrated that I didn't say anything back. My body and mind also seem to have become two separate things. Even though people hurt me psychically, I assured myself that my mind was still okay. Deep inside, I was still the girl that likes to make jokes and laugh. Nothing had changed that.

I felt guilty about not trusting and negatively judging people before getting to know them. But each time, I decide to fully trust them, I get hurt badly. I was also too tired and in pain to explain about those stupid rumors that was going around about me. I already hated them for again believing something that wasn't true. I am really surprised how many people can hate and hurt you just based on what they have heard from others. Do they really get a kick from bullying people? I have seen a side of people that I never wish to see again. 

I always felt that I was weird and that I could never fit in. I wonder if this will ever change as I am prone to people teasing me. The smallest joke that would be harmless to most people, I see as a big personal attack and I react badly to it. Then, people would tell me: " We were only joking, why are you overreacting? Can't stand a small joke? You must be crazy? How do you expect to live in this world if you can't even take that?" Really no one will understand, unless they have been bullied as badly as me.

I discovered that when people hear bad things about you, they just try to confirm and find ways to prove that you are a bad person. They never give you a chance to prove them wrong. " See, she bursts out in anger, that must be her real side. " They even laugh when I get all angry. They rather like to think that the kind side of me is just a fake and that it is fine to bully me without feeling guilty.

A classmate even passed pfeiffer's disease to me through my can of cola, because I said that her fatigue couldn't be worse than mine and that even though she might feel better, it may still be contagious and that she should be cautious around people. I was not trying to isolate her from her friends or that we should avoid her like she has the plague or anything, but apparently, it sounded bad with my always angry tone. Even then I thought, it doesn't matter, I am so tired and in pain after all. I thought it couldn't get worse, but it did. It was even harder to bear than before, but I still forced myself to keep up with the school work and follow classes like a normal student.

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