When I was seven years old, Alyssa told our teacher I was bullying her and I should be punished. I was confused. All I remembered saying was, “No, I don’t want to play that game,” when she approached me during recess with some lame request to feign princesses locked away in a castle.
The teacher took us aside for a mediation. We told our sides. Mine, the truth. Hers, that I was mean and deserved immediate punishment. I couldn’t understand what exactly was mean. The truth? That I didn’t want to play her game? That I wasn’t into princesses and fictitious games about being a damsel? Alyssa sought me out. I wasn’t asking to be involved in it.
We couldn’t get to a place of compromise, so I just apologized. It was easier that way. She hungrily accepted my ‘sorry’ and I learned how to appease girls who didn’t like me.
I’d just say sorry. Even when I wasn’t sure what I was sorry about.
And so this carried. I apologized when girls were mad at me, rarely for reasons I understood.
Sometimes it was about my interactions. They didn’t like the way I carried myself or the way I interacted with the opposite sex. Slut was a nickname I earned as a virgin. Wasn’t sure what to make of it.
I dressed how I found comfortable. I was friends with lots of boys and never found discomfort in approaching them. This made me a target to other girls. This made me different, otherly, a threat.
Truth be told, I wasn’t doing anything. I was just being myself. I was making friends and talking to people and couldn’t help that my ass and tits had grown exponentially. Still, I was at fault.
Girls didn’t like me just because I was…me.
And the thing is, that kind of feeling, that alienation stays with you. I began to think I wasn’t welcome with girls. I felt I had no other option but to stay buddies with boys. They never made me feel bad for liking what I liked or talking how I talked. They were just my friends. Sometimes gross, sometimes idiotic, but they were my friends. I felt safe with them. Safe to be myself.
I have fought this feeling my entire life.
I fear I’m something women do not want. That they will find issues in my appearance or attitude or lifestyle. Even the close girlfriends I’ve gained, I have moments of wondering if it’s some high school prank despite high school being over for a long time.
I never understood what I did wrong and it’s taken me this long to realize that’s because I didn’t do anything wrong.
Often, when girls blindly hate other girls, jealousies are involved. An insecurity is being called upon. They see someone represent something they wish they could.
I spent so much of my youth desperate for female friendship. I wanted to be accepted and liked. I wanted to be normal.
But I’m not normal.
I’m loud and opinionated and not afraid to try something ridiculous. I want to wear the weird shit. I want to be a spectacle. I don’t shy away from eyes on me.
That’s taken a long time though. It’s taken a long time to recognize who I am and that others not taking the time to get to know me is their loss, not mine.
Judging a book by its cover is easy. Opening the book, even if it intimidates you, that takes guts. And that’s often when you discover the best read of your life.