Aching and Alone

February 23, 2012
It’s a time old tale, the girl singled out from everyone else, made to feel like she has not a friend in the world. Everyone has seen the story told on the television and movie screen at least a dozen times, you write it off as a typical plot line, nothing new to talk about. Never once while watching those scenes play out do you give more thought to it, thought about how that person must really feel with everything going on. Try as they may, no director has ever truly caught the essence of what it does to a person to go through an experience like that. Nobody cares about the clichéd middle school drama, there are too many more extravagant and horrible events going on throughout the world to focus on some thirteen year old girl and her catty enemies. As they say, you never pay attention until it happens to you.
Alone, to me, is one of the most frightening words to ever exist. To be by yourself, and have too much time with your head is never a good thing. The mind is a scary place, and given the right situation, it can turn on you in ways you never expected. Five thirteen year old girls started the ban against me; one by one each turned their back and ignored my presence. Not a word was said in explanation, just glares shot at me and incredulous expressions. The only thought that raced through my head was, what did I do to make them hate me so much? Hate, another word that the world could do without. Hating someone is a strong emotion, one I am ashamed of feeling. Those girls didn’t hate me; they simply found too much joy in creating a miserable atmosphere for me to live in. Selfish would be a more appropriate word for that group of girls. I became their game; I became a form of entertainment, like a comedy show in which the character continues to face embarrassment and failure. This all brought me back to feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness. I had friends, I had plenty of friends, but none of them could understand what I was going through. Each and every one of them wrote me off as being fine, saying “She’ll get over it!” I learned quickly that it’s not too easy to get over something when it haunts you every single day. The mutual friends that I shared with those girls chose them over me. It hurts, to know that you aren’t desirable, that you are and always will be the second choice. Physically, I was surrounded by people, but mentally I was locked away in a cage, stored deep in an abandoned building.
A silly pastime in the eighth grade led to a girl’s inability to fully trust her new friends, to fell included without having the constant fear of rejection. Those five girls had once sent me a list of every flaw they found in me: brags too much, bad friend, conceded, clingy, liar… Those bullets on the list never leave my mind, nearly three years later I fight the urge sometimes to break down when a friend makes a joke, “No need to show off!” or “Just can’t get enough of me, huh?” Each bullet on the list has made a cut in my heart, stinging whenever it’s brought into the light. I changed myself under the belief that every bullet was true, that I was an awful friend and nobody would ever want to have anything to do with me if I didn’t fix myself accordingly. In my mind, those girls were right, and they were doing me a favor by pointing out all my defects. The mind is a scary place, and given the right situation, it can turn on you in ways you never expected.
There was nothing wrong with me. I had imperfections, I still do, but those girls were by no means without blemishes and some role model of perfection that everyone should envy. I have experienced, first handedly, how it feels to live in a seemingly heartless world, without hope and without people you believe you can depend on. I wish that upon nobody, but I would not go back and change my past, because, as they always do, being ripped to shreds made me stronger. I might not be completely healed, but one day I won’t feel that ache in my chest, I won’t feel worthless with just a glance from one of those girls in the high school hallway. There will come a day when I feel merely a ping somewhere inside of me with a mention of a so-called defect in who I am, or a brief reminder of what happened. With that, I will remember how far I have come from being that stereotypical screen character that you pay eight dollars to go watch while reaching for a handful of over-salted popcorn. Far from alone, full of love instead of hate, and as far from selfish as I can get; I am a survivor of a time old tale.

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