A wandering thought-bubble and writer’s block walked into a bar..

I’ve been suffering from a rather mild case of writer’s block lately. The last handful of posts I’ve shared, while heartfelt, were more forced than flowy. Yes, even the one about my favorite little five-year-old. I found myself wanting to write the last couple of months or so with a purpose at hand but when it comes time to take a seat, nothing comes out the way I envision it. I don’t know what that means. Writing has always been my outlet, even pre-blog. I’ve never been impressive off-the-cuff but I’ve always taken pride in what I can scrounge up if you give me a few minutes to breathe and organize my thoughts.

I’ve found that, over the years, my best writing comes from a place of pain and heavy-heartedness which, makes sense. I mean, even as a child, I’d put myself into a corner to write out my feels because I felt so broken from the child-size versions of Karen’s and Terry’s out there taunting a kid who desperately just wanted to disappear. I never even wanted to be seen in that way or to be one of the cool kids. I simply wanted people to be nice; something I thought everyone was born with, kindness. I found out that wasn’t really a thing and if it wasn’t possible, I wished people could just pretend I didn’t exist. I think I figured if I was invisible, it’d be easier than being ridiculed for looking so differently than the stereotype.

The thing is, I know I’ve come a long way since the days of summertime sadness. Of winter and fall and springtime sadness, too. While I may not be totally healed from the bummers of my childhood, I eventually figured out a way to overcome it and adopt a treat-everyone-with-kindness mentality, most of the time. But that, too, has gotten my heart into trouble.

The details aren’t nearly as important as the grief of realizing how mishandled your emotions were relationship after relationship, friendship after friendship. I learned how to show empathy and help people when they’re down but that only later put me in situations where I tried to fix people that were broken from their own unaddressed trauma. And the thing is, no one tells you that you can’t cure people that aren’t ready to travel down the yellow brick road of healing.

Those experiences taught me to keep my opinions to myself, they taught me to be quiet, they contributed to the diminishment of any self-esteem I bothered mustering up as a teen and young adult. I often found it hard to connect with girls; I still don’t know how to actually have a female friendship. Don’t come at me for this but woman are complicated. And mean.

I know it probably doesn’t make sense but all of this feels like some sort of twisted mind-fuck ripple effect.

Our parents start us out in this world with so much hope and joy for what their babies will grow up to be, maybe even how they’ll be. But so slowly, one small action causes another and another. The first weird look or hurtful thing turns into more than you can count on your fingers and toes. I’d rather have sticks and stones be thrown because contrary to the popular lies we’ve been told, words really do hurt. Pretty soon, those little babies are so self-aware and self-conscious of so many things that they don’t quite know what’s right and what’s not; what’s normal and what’s weird. When did all that happen? How?

Sometimes I wonder if parents-to-be ever think about the balance between protecting their children from the hate of society and allowing it to happen, because it will. Even the most sheltered of kids eventually are subjected to it.

Anyway, isn’t it weird? I often wonder if the reason I’m an perfectionistic constantly-observational overthinker with niche nerd pathways and anxiety-ridden tendencies is because of something that happened in 2nd grade. Or when I was 15. I wonder if I’ve always had the spirit of a vagabond and the mind of an organized spaz by nature, or by nurture. I wonder if I feel like I’ll be alone forever not because I’m not capable of loving but because I’m unbearable to be around. And why would that be? Is it because I gave too much of myself to other people throughout my time here on earth; like the wishes of a dandelion being blown in the wind?

The thing that really gets me though is while my best writing has always come from a place of hurt and I’m far more healed now in life than I ever have been in 31 years of millennial existence, I still experience all sorts of wounds in my wanna-be-tough-girl mind on a way-too-often basis. So why have I found it more difficult to write lately?

These wounds, they are more streamlined now though. Through a whole lotta faith and a little bit of therapy, I’ve had an opportunity to deal with some really crappy shit head-on. Which has been fulfilling to work through and overcome but where does that put me with the thing I enjoy most, writing?

I think I really just want to be heard. My whole life I’ve felt both seen and unseen at the same time. Seen for reasons I didn’t want to be and unseen because no one quite understands me. I figure if I spill my guts out to a white page somewhere on the internet, what? Someone, somewhere, will finally be like “girl, I get you.”

What a wild dream that’d be.

Humdrum.

My name is Orianah but most people call me Ori. Actually, everyone does and if you don’t, than we probably don’t know each other. I remember wanting my name to be Emily for so many years. I knew an Emily and  I envied her. She had the typical Roseau look; blonde hair and blue eyes. She played basketball and was popular. She even had THE last name. For those from a small town, I’m sure you know what I mean by that.

Instead of being named and being born with what I saw as the ideal life of a 3rd grader; I was named Orianah. I was a pudgy ginger with Harry Potter glasses before Harry Potter glasses were deemed cool. I wore Pamida brand clothes and was teased like a son of a bitch. Some kid in second grade called me a fag once. I was one of those kids that were bullied from 1st grade all the way through 9th. And after that, I didn’t let my ears hear the comments but my eyes still saw the looks.

So what. I was bullied and I dealt with it. I have insecurities but I’ve made peace with the assholes of my past. What goes around comes around is the way I see it and to be quite honest, if something shitty happened or happens to them throughout their lives, I have zero remorse or empathy for them. Call me a bad person if you must.

Someone told me in my adult life that they were just kids. That they didn’t know any better so I shouldn’t hold a grudge. I think I’ve overcome the grudge part. But that doesn’t mean that their hurtful childhood remarks didn’t phase me. It doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to conveniently “forget.”

I rambled a bit too much on that topic. I was thinking last night about biographies and how our biographies always seem to change depending on who we’re around. For example – If I were asked to write a short bio about myself for a company newsletter at work, obviously I wouldn’t write what I wrote above. It would begin something like this:

My name is Orianah, but everyone calls me Ori. I was born and raised in Roseau, MN and moved to Viking during my freshman year of high school I have two brothers, a mom, and a dad.

The classic humdrum that we all already know. So, what’s the opening paragraph to your bio? Does it change depending on who you’re presenting it to? Does it change throughout your lifetime? I know mine does.

Bullies.

If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots.

My brother posted a Facebook status about a video that went viral locally. It was of a girl crying and her brother telling the camera that his sister had been being bullied.

I saw it on the news. It was sad to see. I had mixed emotions when it was publicly broadcasted on the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news because I ran threw both sides of the story in my head.

For one, I think it is horrible that her mom had the damn balls to film her daughter balling her eyes out from being bullied and then publicly posted it. I’ve said it a million times, I’m not a mom but that doesn’t exclude me from having a very just opinion about something because one day I will be a mom and I’ll still have an opinion and still be entitled to it. I felt like I had to clarify for the “but you’re not a mom so you can’t have an opinion” speech.

Anyways, I’m sure that the mothers intentions were to spread awareness that bullyng is real and in our community. We already know this. In my opinion, video taping your daughter clearly upset and Facebooking the world is so far from comforting; it’s ridiculous. That alone isn’t only being a bully yourself but it’s going to encourage people to poke more fun. Kids are going to watch the news with their parents and see the video. Then they will bully the poor kid even more for being a cry baby and a tattle tale. Do you not think it’d be absolutely humiliating to see yourself clearly distraught on television? A round of applause for the “Inconsiderate Mother Of The Year” award everyone.

Bullying does happen. I’ve been the victim of it for many different things over many many years. From 1st grade to 5th. As a pre-teen and a post-driver. And even as a college student and full grown working adult. It’s everywhere. It’s unavoidable in the disgusting, soul grabbing world we live in. It sucks and it hurts but stand up and fight for your damn self.

Kids are assholes but so are the grown ups. If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots. And I’m not saying that bullies should get away with being bullies. They shouldn’t.

The adults around should address the issue not only in general but when they witness bullying. They should be punished just as if they were late to class or caught smoking in the bathroom. If it is off school grounds, there are still opportunities to educate the bullies. Teach them about karma or even the golden rule. Teach them to be kind.

My brother would tell you to teach them to fight. Throw punches. Show them you’re tough. I get it. Heck, if my kid were being bullied; I’d want to punch the bully square in the face too but I don’t want to raise my kids knowing that violence is okay.

I want them to be physically strong but not to use it as a means to end bullying. I’m sure this is all easier said then done. If I had punched any of my bullies. I really don’t think it would have changed anything. I’d probably have been perceived as the mean kid. Not the bullied kid who took a stand.

Teach your children to stand up for themselves through proving the bully wrong. Teach them to do what they love no matter what anyone says. Teach them to kill with kindness and excel. Fight back with words instead of fists. And don’t fight back with hatred in your voice but with confidence.

If you guide them down the path of being strong and standing up for themselves, they will be fully capable to handle the real world because elementary is just the prologue to life.

So stop sheltering. Stop promoting a passive attitude. Stop treating your children like babies. They are going to be exposed to the world sooner or later, wouldn’t you want them to have as much experience with it as possible?