Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Coping When You Reach Breaking Point

Breaking point. What is the definition of the term? When you break something, that object either smashes into a million and one smithereens (e.g. an iPhone that your butterfingers 'accidently' drop onto tiled floor) and is, to an extent, irreparable. As for the 'point', it is a stage that you reach after leaping over many obstacles before that, um, point. Therefore, you'll in for quite a rollercoaster when 'breaking' and 'point' are combined - a ride that nobody wishes to hop onto. 

If you fancied reading a Google-approved definition of the term, breaking point is defined as 'the moment of greatest strain at which someone or something gives way. A terrible climax from which its victim suffers, breaking point harms you more than words can begin to describe: everything that you see and feel is as empty as a black hole. Coated in more darkness than a tacky coat of nail varnish, you are pushed to the absolute brink by toxic levels of frustration that are constantly injected - and carry a highly fatal risk. 

Each time that you reach breaking point is a further blow to your confidence, self-esteem and hope in society and, most important of all, yourself. Therefore, does it honestly shock you to the core that coping is the least of your priorities?

Well, I'm certainly no exception, that's for sure.

Since I hit an almighty low - or high, depending on how you perceive it - last week, I've been staying at home instead of leaping into pools of schoolwork head-first. Needless to say, bullying was the cause of my decision to stay away from the troublemakers, along with the sad truth that the school itself was failing to sort the issues out - months after they originally came into prominence. 

After nearly six months of daily intimidation, verbal abuse and, at times, physical attacks, I decided that it was time to take a stand against the authorities who were incapable of disciplining the bullies, despite the cost that it could potentially have on my studies. With the support of my parents, I've remained off from school for two days, yet am nowhere nearer towards reaching a conclusion - thus, breaking point remains a major and frankly worrying issue. 

Although I feel safer and more secure than ever at home, it frustrates me that several of my workbooks are still at the school and, instead of complying with my request, the school hasn't bothered to supply me with any work to complete at home. Considering that I haven't made anybody else's life an absolute living hell, why should I pay the price by falling behind while my tormentors gain an education at school? In between studying, my blood boils with so much anger that I'm running out of ways to contain it: unlike the foul habits of several of my peers, uttering as many F-bombs as the fruity ones that Lush make do not relieve me of any stress. In fact, I'm becoming more stressed out as each day passes because my faith in the school is decreasing to such an extent that I cannot entrust my safety in their hands - and, if things carry on as they currently are, will I ever muster the courage to walk through its doors again?

Undoubtedly, I'm certain that many of you will be scratching your heads as to why I'm refusing to return to school, despite the effect that has already impacted me. As a self-confessed lover of learning (in teen speak, geek might be the literal translation), I feel like I'm being starved of oxygen due to not having the required work and books - as bad as the teaching was, learning was the only thing that I woke up to achieve each morning. Even Google is depressingly letting me down with few suggestions when I type in the exam specifications: if the world's most famous search engine cannot help me, who can? My punishment is continuing, though I'm miles away from the school itself - and I have absolutely no doubt that the bullies themselves have received the dressing down that they should have had months ago. 

All of this drama - non-stop phone calls to the school, emails to the teachers, the long waiting period in between responses - could have been avoided. So easily that none of this could have ever resulted in such a terrible, sticky mess. Instead of getting my hands stuck in another piece of HBO-worthy drama, I want to wash my hands clean of every impurity that has blemished my confidence in the past five-and-a-half months of bullying. My hours in bed may have increased due to not getting up early for school since yesterday, yet I am affected by fatigue more than ever. I can't sleep. I'm losing my appetite for food. I have no interest in working. Basically, I'm not myself. If you ever wanted to witness the zombified version of LikeATeen, you are staring at her - grey-bagged eyes and blank-as-a-sheet-of-white-paper stare into the back of beyond. 

Like an empty can of Diet Coke, I am so deprived of my inner contents - all that makes me a typically happy teenager - that I cannot think about anything apart from what is going on at the moment. Whenever I'm at home, my mum usually has to encourage me to take a break from studying: this time, however, it is evident that I'm hardly in the mood for it. Finishing a unit off in my Biology book might seem excessive to some of you, but it is as basic as writing my name down, so I feel. My identity is defined by events that were robbed of my control: a snitch, a weakling and a loser are among the names that I sense are associated with me because of bullying. As all great people do, I aim to rise above it, yet there is only so much that you can take before breaking point consumes and destroys you. 

Therefore, I'm in need of developing suitable strategies that will enable me to cope during this difficult time - but how? I don't know what to do or think while my mind is positioned elsewhere, making itself a perfect target for another strike. Coping is essential if I wish to keep myself sane from now until whenever this chapter draws to a close - or should at least eventually do so - but I have to learn how to calm myself down when my anger threatens to explode. 

Albeit short-lived, watching half an episode of Sherlock last night (which was cut short due to wanting to see Gemma Collins embarrass herself on I'm a Celebrity...) took the edge off current matters for a while, an opportunity which I immediately seized. I enjoyed seeing Benedict Cumberbatch on screen more than his greatest 'Cumberbitch' (extremely obsessed fan, between you and I), though for reasons completely unrelated to a doomed love affair. Temporary distractions such as television may not address the issue at hand, but I welcome them gladly - any distraction would make do while reality is being such a miserable bother. 

And, perhaps to my inner sloucher's annoyment, carrying on as normally as possible - which applies to any Maths-related work - is highly important. I've survived as best as I can with my books, knowledge and the internet, in the hope of keeping up-to-date with my studies. Everything else might be up in the air, yet at least I can find some solace in analyzing a paragraph about the inner-working of plants or translating a page of French. Yet again, distractions are my heroes in disguise: without considering it, they have rescued me on numerous occasions. Hence the reason why I somehow managed to survive months of bullying at school - apart from break and lunch, work was on offer. 

Anyway, I hope to emerge from the other side as soon as possible, having gained more than what I had when this drama originally commenced. Breaking point should hopefully never be reached in the near future again, yet this experience ought to define me as a stronger being. Their hints of a six pack may suggest otherwise, yet the pupils at school possess a fraction of the strength that they regularly boast about. Appearance or words don't mean anything - only the truth does. Along with the fact that bullying is unacceptable and its death should be declared sooner than ever. 

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