All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
My Own Worst Enemy
“I don’t get it, I just don’t,” stammered Jen with a look of incredulity on her pristine face. Her visage was often compared to a statue, perfectly shaped with not a flaw in sight. However, in this moment it was more similar to that of a deer caught in headlights; Jen was in mental agony over the news delivered to her by the crater faced freshman girl.
“What gives you, some sniveling little freshman pissant with the IQ of my pet kinkajou, the right to even think you can speak to me?” Jen inquired; the young girl she was accosting fully expected her to begin frothing at the mouth and for fangs to extract themselves from Jen’s teeth. “And telling me news like this no less, with that stupid smile on your… well what SHOULD be your face. Can you even hear me behind all that fat and all those pimples?”
This statement alone reduced the girl to tears. She scampered away as if she were a squirrel being chased by a rabid dog. Being used to constant verbal abuse did nothing to protect her from Jen’s attack; hours of crying and regurgitating in a vain attempt to lose weight were the only remedy to this vicious ambush on her least favorite physical attributes. Jen continued to berate the poor soul even after she was long gone. Jen’s social circle laughed mercilessly at the expense of being shunned for protecting an “outsider.” This group of girls, known around school as the b**** Clique, was comprised of the most popular, attractive and affluent in the school. They coordinated clothing styles based on what they considered to be “in” at the moment and harassed non-conformers to their ridiculously high standards until red in the face from laughter.
“So Jen, what’d Miss Piggy end up telling you?” I asked, being Jen’s self-appointed best friend. Even though I was not as pretty or as rich as Jen, I had a knack for making fun of people and penetrating their emotional wall within seconds. People have compared me to a bear, able to sense their foremost weakness and exploit it within seconds. Jen valued someone in her clique with this uncanny ability so she kept me around even though at times it seemed as if I was subordinate to the other girls.
“Oh, that!” exclaimed Jen. “The future Pillsbury Dough girl told me she was in the bathroom and heard that I’m not getting invited to Brad’s party. How could he not invite me? I mean come on, I’m the hottest girl in the school and people worship the ground I walk on. Plus, it’s not like he has the balls to just not invite me. It must be some kind of mistake!”
Jen continued to rant for what felt like hours. I was just about ready to break out a bucket of popcorn and put my feet up listening to the narcissistic monologue Jen was delivering expertly. I have heard Jen repeat her superiority over every one else so many times that I could have given the speech myself. If only I knew how to tell Jen off I would have done it long ago but the prospect of being shunned was not something that I enjoyed the sound of. A deep primal fear of being an outcast caused me to fake a friendship with Jen and verbally accost whomever Jen deemed deserving of mental grief. I vowed that someday I would stand up to both the tormenter and the beauty known as Jennifer Daniels.
While in the midst of a mental crisis, I did not notice the foreboding darkness of the hallway. For weeks after my “best friend’s” attack on the young naïve freshman, I was tormented with the guilt of making a girl cry. The image of her sopping wet face penetrated my innermost thoughts and demolished my sense of morality. No one knew how insecure I truly was, knew about the nights when I cried myself to sleep picturing living alone and being hated by everyone because I never learned how to deal with my insecurities. It made no difference to me whether someone said something sarcastic with snide undertones or whether they blatantly criticized me; my self esteem was at an unparalleled low. The tears were the raindrops of my soul, an unexpected but undeniable occurrence that could be predicted beforehand by everyone around me.
Being the child of a single parent was enough turmoil for me to grow up around. The mental disorders did nothing to make the aforementioned situation any easier. My mother was a diagnosed schizophrenic who was cared for by my maternal grandmother, an undiagnosed bipolar. My younger sister was the black sheep of the family; she had a perfectly clean bill of mental health. Everyone believed that I did as well, but little did they know the voices in my head never ceased to advise me in times of utter peril. The only treatment that I found worked the majority of the time was taking the wayward advice, thus quieting the voices until my next outbreak of mental incapacity.
A sudden loud crash brought me back to the dark eerie foyer in which my latest escapade was about to take place. I had been walking back to one of my classrooms to retrieve a forgotten object when I digressed to reminisce about the events that caused me to grow up in the manner that I did. The clamor revived me from this dreamlike foray into the depths of my mind.
“Uh, hello?” I quizzically asked no one in particular. “Who’s there?”
I became dejected when there was no response. With not a soul approaching me from either direction, I left the building completely forgetting about the already forgotten item.
“What were you doing in school so late? Trying to finally pass a class?” asked a voice that I found unnaturally familiar.
“Whoa, Jen, you scared me! Where’d you come from?” I exclaimed after a momentary pause; I had no recollection of Jen appearing. It was a routine action for me to pay no attention to the world around me when on a mental tangent, though, so I paid no mind to this.
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” she said with a smug expression on her unfriendly countenance.
“And what was with that line about me trying to pass a class? You know that I hate it when people talk about my grades.” While trying to be as friendly as possible saying this, all of the rage that I had pent up inside of me was beginning to show. My fists began to clench, teeth began to chatter; a sign of the adrenaline rushing through my bloodstream. With not a soul in sight, it could finally be my opportunity to put Jen in her place.
“As if I even care what you think?” Jen stated exasperatedly. “The only reason I keep you around is because you have no problem telling people off so they hate you instead of me.”
This was the last straw. After years of the torture that Jen caused me, both physically and mentally, I was finally about to teach her the lesson that she deserved. I knew that no one would wonder what happened to her if she disappeared; something as trivial as a blemish on her perfectly defined face caused her to remain in the sanctity of her room until it disappeared. Sometimes Jen would lock herself away for days, even weeks, until the imperfection vanished.
Stammering, I asked Jen one final question. “If you died, do you think anyone would miss you?”
Her response was absolutely unexpected, but all of the rage pent up inside of me ceased to keep me calm. “They would miss me as much as they would miss you.” It was such a simple sentence; not an ounce of sarcasm or cruelty emanating from her mouth as she said it. It was possibly the most sincere statement she had ever uttered. However, it had disastrous consequences.
Seeing a rusty pipe nearby, most likely discarded by a janitor too lazy to find a proper trash receptacle, I reached for it and began to mercilessly beat Jen. I have no recollection of the events transpiring from this point forward. The only thing I remember, the last memory I ever had, was looking into the face of Jennifer Daniels and watching it transform into my own. I finally realized that there was no Jen, no tormenter and no beauty. It was always me; my own worst enemy was myself.