UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

If you can survive being 27, you can survive anything

Trigger warning: suicidal thinking, cutting

I can safely say I’m a much different person now that I’ve survived being 27 than I was when I first turned 27. When I turned 27, I was still at UMass Boston, in my final year. I had a general vibe of anxiety hanging around me like some sort of storm cloud aura I’m pretty sure even my co-workers at the time could pick up on. I distracted myself with homework and getting perfect, if not near perfect, grades and papers. But it wasn’t until after I graduated from UMass Boston that I found peace within myself.

I was bullied a lot from all from elementary into high school, mostly for being different. When you’re bullied, you either form suicidal ideations and kill yourself, or you keep them for life and develop a very “screw everyone, I’m here for me,” attitude. I’m very much a “succeed out of spite” gal now for it. In fact, it’s what got me into UMass Boston and my tendency to aim for perfection. I like surprising people who seem to think I don’t have my life together that I can do things like everybody else.

There was a time I was really negative and down about the way things were, between being bullied and trying to hide my stigmatized epilepsy in high school when it struck; to this day I have a small set of scars on the back of my right wrist when I went through a phase of cutting myself with a small razor during a peak emotional phase in middle school, only ever just enough to make myself bleed. I even wrote a suicide letter at one point, and my mom ended up finding it in the trashmy careless self had not so discreetly tried to hide it. Thus, forever triggering a series of school counseling sessions that ended my Junior year of high school when Senior year started taking over and I proved I was, more or less, back to normal.

When you’ve gone that far and you’re still alive, even a decade and then some after the fact, nothing phases you. But bullying is a different thing after you realize something years later. In February of 2018, during my first year at UMass Boston, I learned something that would change my mindset of how I see my family and handle myself amongst them entirely. I was raised completely different from my brother for many reasons. There were a few years where my dad never failed to remind me of how different I am from my brother.

I had known for many years he had emotionally abused me, based on multiple signs I could tell when I wasn’t with the rest of the family. He did it in a way that they never knew, and it was just me and him against, well, nobody. Emotional abuse is no joke, whether being bullied as an adolescent in middle-high school, to being abused by somebody in your family you’ve got to pretend you’re okay with. But now he’s in dialysis and as he continues, I found myself all the more inclined to love him in spite of his flaws.

Turns out, all that past anxiety was background noise. I woke up one day and realized that I forgave him for the emotional abuse he had dealt me in my childhood that had somewhat made me who I am today, more or less. My constant anxiety and depression? From holding that in because it was just me surviving him. The past few months have been interesting, as I realized by forgiving him, and myself for staying wounded and scarred in the heart resulting in extra, needless anxiety longer than I needed, I healed our relationship. I’ve been setting boundaries with him to allow myself extra time in the day to finish a chapter of whatever I’m currently writing, and so on and so forth. Our relationship feels almost normal now. 

But this doesn’t mean you have to be abused or, pardon, broken, to have a successful trope type year of being 27. Twenty-seven is a year of growing up in some form of another, whether spiritually or emotionally, and for me that was learning forgiveness in its entire essence. Sure, I might still be paying off my student loans living with my crazy, strange, Baby Boomer parents. I might be taking forever to find a job. But, you know what? I’m alive and forever finding ways to prove I can do just about anything anyone else can do. I have three degrees to my name, a student loan hanging over my head like a proverbial Sword of Damocles. I survived being 27.

If you made it this far, this article wasn’t about a pity party or a sob story. Much less a cry for attention. It’s to show that we’re all different for as much as we all mill about in our social circles and institutions pretending to be okay. Many of us are just holding it together trying to survive until we can live, (like me). You don’t have to have your life together by the time you’re 30 to feel like a successful adult. The point is to keep trying until you’re there, live, and breathe. We weren’t born to race against each other and make people feel bad about not being the same as everyone else.