An ingrown life

When last were your feelings hurt by someone that wouldn’t normally consider you, but who then went out of his or her way to say something awful and uncalled for, just to make you feel bad about yourself? Years ago? Recently? It’s always surprising to me how often it happens and how ready the human race is to take down one of their own.

We are a nasty lot, aren’t we?

I like to tease. I like to say things that provoke mirth because they tug at stereotypes and state the obvious. People giggle, enjoy the forum and even throw back some of their own banter. This is a dialogue I believe to be very necessary between friends of different backgrounds in a claustrophobic South Africa. Isn’t it a fine time to laugh at ourselves? It’s harmless… but… there is always a darker side. For example, I would never stand on the side of the street and yell faggot, nigger, moffie, kaffir, cunt, fatso, kike, fudge-packer, douchebag, spic or slut bucket to an absolute stranger walking the other way, yet, I can personally assure you, there are many who are of the opinion that this behaviour is perfectly acceptable.

Harassment, bullying, slander or defamation of character – call it what you want. The problem with this legalese is that it doesn’t resonate where this behaviour begins: among pre-teen insolents who haven’t been taught any better by the people who took responsibility for shaping their lives. Victims are taught little rhymes about sticks and stones but with no real help or a true behaviour-change, they grow lonelier in the darkness of isolation.

I have my own story. One that is unique to me but just like a million others all over the world.

I wasn’t the only one who grew up this way.

There are many who seek some form of therapy to “just get over it”.

This is such a personal journey that people take, seeking their own ways of finding the light. It is an outpouring of your feelings into something constructive for you that sets the wheels of healing in motion. Catharsis isn’t on a schedule but when it arrives, it is a lightening-bolt force of nature. The dialogue you have in this process is with yourself. You are the crier, the listener, the sad and the psychologist. You are the hurt and the discipline, the broken-hearted and the healing.

When you take seven minutes to watch the video below, may you see the most profound art created from such hollow-hurting that I have ever seen.

If you cry, I hope it helped. If you don’t understand it, I hope that one day you will.

Read the full poem here.

© Dylan Balkind

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