Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tattoo (Part Two: The Phoenix)

The story behind my phoenix tattoo isn't one I tell often. When I do talk about it, I give the short version, the one people ask for. There is so much more to this story than meets the eye. Today, I share that story.
Fresh tattoo!
The phoenix is my favourite mythical creature. I always loved the idea of an immortal creature who could die and live again. According to legend, this bird would burst into flames when it got too old, then would be reborn from its ashes.
What I always tell people when they ask what it means is this: "It's a reminder than things have to get worst before they get better. Just like a phoenix has to burst into flames before it can live again." This usually satisfies the curious. But here's the real story.

When I was younger, I was bullied a lot. I hit rock bottom when I was 10 years old. I came home crying almost every day, I hated everything; myself, my life, everyone. The kids in my class were ruthless and cruel. They would insult me, make up rumours, laugh at me, use me as a last resort, only talk to me when no one else would talk to them, I was kicked and shoved around and they even made a petition to get me kicked out of school. The few friends I did have were only there for me when no one was looking. No matter how many times my parents spoke with the principal and counsellors, the bullying never stopped.

I was 10 years old, and I wanted to die. I had it all planned out, it just needed to get bad enough for me to do it. One day, I was so tired of the crap kids gave me, that I went up to one of my bullies and told him that he could kick me, insult me, and do whatever he wanted. I didn't care anymore. Another kid went to get a teacher and something finally happened. She told me that when she was younger, she was bullied too and when she changed schools, everything changed. She said I should do that too, and I did. It was the only thing I could think of. I had been in therapy for most of that year, the school didn't do anything and the bullies would never stop. So I changed schools.
Healed: One year later

Everything did change. Except one thing. The bullies never stopped. They went after my sister once I left. Thankfully, it stopped a few months later, but it broke my heart. I felt like it was my fault. But things eventually got better for the both of us, and the bullying stopped altogether.

Now, almost 10 years later, I've made my peace with it. It may still haunt me sometimes because wounds like that never truly heal. Now, life is good and I am happy. My phoenix is a constant reminder that life is a challenge, that although I have lived through something horrible, I was strong enough to get through it and become a better person because of it.


  1. I always wanted to ask you about your tattoo but never did! I am sorry you had to go through something so terrible. We all go through highs and lows in our lives and it is good that you have found ways to cope. Things do get better and people who give up hope will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. To quote a movie meet the robinsons: " Keep moving Forward".
    See you soon!

    1. To be honest, if you would have asked, I would have given you the short answer. It's not always an easy subject to talk about, but I got through it and "keep moving forward" is exactly how I feel about it!

  2. That's good thing you have the courage to persevere through the bullying and also that you had the opportunity to change school and that things got a lot better! Kids can be so mean to each other.

    1. I was very lucky! I wish there was a way to change the cruelty in kids!


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