When I was in elementary I had the biggest crush on this boy in the year above me. It was elementary so of course I don’t even think I knew much about the guy but I was completely convinced that I was in love.
Back then, MSN was the “it” place to hang out after school. I remember one day, I got a request to chat and when I asked who it was, to my surprise it was him. I couldn’t believe it, he had to have sought out my email and that must have meant something.
We chatted for a couple hours every day for about a month until he finally told me that he wanted to date me. There was one catch, I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. But he was my first crush, and I liked him so much so I didn’t ask any questions.
I didn’t want to ruin what I thought was a real life fairy-tale.
We talked, and talked for a couple more months and I even said my first “I love you” to him. One day, he told me that he wanted to introduce me to his friends as his girlfriend. He told me that during lunch recess, I should meet him by the back fence where him and his friends would be and say hi.
I braved my nerves, went up and did as he said. And to my surprise, he was clueless. I know that he knew who I was because our school was small, and we had even shared mixed graded classes in earlier years. He was nice enough to say hi back, but he quickly carried on with whatever game it was that him and his friends were playing.
It was then that a group of boys laughing in the corner had caught my attention. I made eye contact with one of them and they all came running over. “We got you!” they called.
My so called ‘fairy tale’ had all been an elaborate prank. My crush had never noticed me, I said my first “I love you” to a bunch of his friends (who were pulling this prank without his knowledge) and worst of all, now that the secret was out, everyone knew.
Just imagine that cliché movie scene of a girl walking through a school hallway after a rumor had started about her, and everyone she walks past whispers and laughs.
Now I don’t know if I’m just recalling this a little dramatically, but that’s how it felt. I’m sure this speaks to my insecurities more so than my fear of commitment but whenever someone expresses interest in me now, there is one looming thought that sets up camp in the back of my mind that feels impossible to shake off, it’s all a prank.
And looking back, in most cases this doesn’t even always stem from how the guys treats me. I’ve dated guys who literally check off everything I’ve always wanted in a partner and somehow I’ve always convinced myself that it’s impossible for something this good to be happening to me.
I wish that I could me the type of person to not let the actions of a bully change me because I’ve always thought that once that happens, no matter what the events prior were, all of your power is given up to the bully. He/She/They win. And I think that is what gets me the most. The fact that I let what happened change me.
I wish I could offer some sort of support or advice as to how to over situations like this but the truth is, I’m still struggling with the effects of bullying. The only thing that I feel like I can do for others is share this story, and try to help people understand the effects they’re actions and words have on the people around them.
I only experienced a few months of a “prank”, but I’ve had to deal it every day since then.