Sunday, 23 September 2012


When we were kids, our parents had to convince us that there are no monsters in our closets, or ogres under our beds. We were told that there is nothing to be afraid of and that we're perfectly safe and sound.

But nobody warned us of a different kind of monster. 

Are we ever safe from the monster, within?

Turn back time back into my primary school years and anybody who knew me back way back then can tell you that I was not the same person I am today. Shy, socially awkward and a geek - I wasn't exactly the most popular kid in school.

I get teased a lot when I was younger. Teased for my skin colour, the way I look, the way I talked, or walked or smiled - you name it. That lead to me being shy. For a long time, I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror. I was convinced that I was ugly. And to compensate, I had to be funny. So that's how I get friends. I was always the funny one, the smart one. And for a while, I was comfortable with that title. 

But then I grew up, and with new circles of friends I became much more confident. I was a late bloomer and soon I was comfortable in my own skin. And with that newfound confidence, I began to change.

This is not the story of how I was bullied and how I managed to rise above it.

That was just the beginning.

This is the story of how I became the bully.

Forward a few years later, when I was 15, there was a new kid in school. Let's call him A. And like all new students, he tried desperately to fit in. However, his method was awkward. HE was awkward. And weird. So it's no surprise, he wasn't getting any attention. I knew A back from primary school, though. He got transferred after that but he came back. So naturally, A treated me like his old friend.

But I was mean. When in front of him I would be nice and friendly, I would talk bad about him behind his back. In front of my friends, I make fun of the way he walked, the way he talked and the way he look. Sounds familiar? I did to him the exact same thing people used to do to me. But I was worse. While the kids in primary school wasn't doing it to be mean, I was. 

I paid the ultimate price of being confident, I became a monster. With every chance I can get, my friends and I constantly made fun of him and laugh at his failed attempts to be one of us. It wasn't my proudest moment, I admit. But at that time, I was enjoying myself. Finally the tables have turned, I have friends and somebody else didn't.

And then one day, A messaged me on Myspace. He said some things that I couldn't remember. Possibly my head blocked the memory out, but he said something that annoyed me. I couldn't remember what he said but I remember what I replied.

I told him that he was a loser, straight to his face (not literally, through Myspace.) I told him how he had no friends and how he should look into the mirror and realize how awkward he really looked like. I told him that nobody liked him, and he was just making a fool out of himself.

And i turned off my computer. 

That night, I got a call from my friend, A got into a car accident.

A died.

I swear to God, at that time, it felt like the whole universe had stopped. I could hear my friend still talking on the phone but I didn't care. I hung up and I fell on my knees and cried. I cried huge sobbing tears and I was gasping for air. And all I could think about was how it was my fault. Somehow, I killed him. I just knew.

I waited for someone to call me back and tell me how it was just a joke. A cruel joke, I wouldn't care. But that call never came.

That night, a part of me died with him.

The next morning was his funeral. I went to his house and there he was, his body covered with white cloths and his body was laid in the living room. His mom, whom I was very close to, asked me if I wanted to see him for the last time. I couldn't say no, but I was scared. The cloth that was covering his face was lifted and I see the boy I once knew. I see myself. I see a misunderstood boy, I see a lonely person. 

His mother turned to me and said 'If he had done any sins unto you, please find in your heart the courage to forgive him."

I cried. I wanted to tell his mom that I was the one who should ask for forgiveness, that I was the one who had sinned. I wanted to tell his mom everything that I had done. I wanted to confess that I wasn't the person she thought I was. I am a fake. A fraud. A monster.

But what I told his mom instead was that A had no sins with me. And I left.

We went to the mosque to pray for A and soon to a grave site where he was buried. Everything passed as a blur. 

That night, when i turned on my computer, I saw that A had replied the message I sent him, just hours before the accident.

He said: I am sorry that you feel that way. I want to make it up to you, please can we talk about this? Can we hang out sometime?

It didn't make sense. I was so mean to him. Why?

I guess I would never find out why. A died not knowing that I am sorry. He died before I could ever have the chance of telling him that the reason I was so mean to him was because I see so much of myself inside him. So much so that he reminded me of how much a loser I thought I was. I hated him, because I hated myself.

Dear readers, sometimes a bully can be a huge, muscular man who pushes you around.

But most of the time, a bully looks just like you and me. Bullies who hurt people not by their physical actions, but by words. Bullies who were bullied themselves at one point. A forced participant in the never-ending cycle of revenge.

We've heard of stories of people who are bullied, but almost never people who bully. This is my story, my regrets and my mistakes.

This is the ghost that haunts me every night. 

This is my monster in the closet.

I cannot ask you to not judge me. I deserve every bit of scrutiny and judgment and hate. But if you are anything like me, I am asking you to stop. Don't do the same mistakes as I did. 

The reason I'm so outspoken about bullying is because I knew firsthand how deadly it can be for the victims and for the bully themselves.

If you're thinking of making fun of anyone, stop yourself. You will hurt that person more than you think. And you will hurt yourself more than you care to admit.



  1. Is this for real? Or just another of your idiosyncratic imaginations?

  2. I wanted to comment this post in ages, but I didn't know how to put what I feel about it into words. First of all, may Allah (swt) guide "A" and may "A" find peace ins'Allah. Second....YOU. ARE. BRAVE! I don't know how you actually manged to write your heart and soul out, but I'm glad you did. This is the 11th time I'm reading this post, and I cry every single time I read it. It's a very tounching story and I thank you for sharing it with us. There's nothing I can say or do to make that ghost/monster haunting you go away, but I'll say're a wonderful, strong person, mash'Allah. Many people would've just continued with the bullying, but you learned FROM your mistakes; even if it was the hard way. You know, deep in your heart, that if you had a second chance with "A", you would've acted diffrently. You know, first hand, what bulliying is capable of, and (this may sound weird) you may have needed this experience to grow into the person you're today.

    What A"" replied to your message = may means that "A" may have seen that you were a friend worth keeping; even if you were mean to him. "A" sounds like he was a lovely boy, mans'Allah, and if he was alive he would've wanted for you to be happy and free. This doesn't mean to forget everything about "A" though, but rater to try not to let that experience burden your heart for the rest of your life. Everything that happened, happened; and (it's easier said than done but) it happened for a reason. I find it sad to say that sentence, but it's true. The thing about life is that it goes on; wheter you're alive or dead. You go through ups and down, and the whole point is how you take in the experience and use it to your advantages. Remember that there's always a light after a dark tunel, and that the sun will always shine again after a rainy day. I can't put myself in your shoes, because I never experienced something like this. The best that I can do is understand because I went through bulliying as well. Not my proudest moments either.

    A lot of people forget that being a teen is a stormy time. If you think back to it what you felt at those times may seem ridcoulous now, but they felt real and serious back then. Nobody is allowed to judge you unless they're willing to walk a mile in your shoes; and you shouldn't alow them either, dude! You're are not were just a boy who made the wrong the desciouns at the wrong time, and you shouldn't have to pay for those mistakes for the rest of your life. Insh'Allah, I hope you become an even more awesome person than you're today and hang in there; because one day, Allah (swt) will help us to beat and overcome our inner monsters.

    PS: I feel as though this comment is just blabbering and therefore not making any sense whatsoever but I thank you for bearing with it^^ (seeing that you got to this point).