I never had many friends, usually there were one or two kids in my neighborhood who were tolerant of me, but I can't recall many kids showing me that same kindness in school. So I spent years without friends, dreading heading off to school, finding any excuse I could to stay home or leave school early, dread over not knowing if today would be a good day. Particularly bad days involved physical abuse. I was told "boys will be boys" and I guess as a girl I didn't understand why there was such a distinction between how girls and boys were, this statement never made any sense but I didn't protest much. That was part of surviving, I learned ways to avoid drawing attention to myself, which often proved detrimental to my understanding of the coursework being taught, but as long as I could understand enough to make the minimum passing grade, I got by unnoticed. At home, my grandmother, my sole caretaker, could hardly handle raising a child, given her failing health etc. I slipped through the cracks in a lot of ways, I think, I might not be using that phrase correctly.
See, I have Asperger's syndrome, but no one knew back then, despite my utter lack of social skills, my inability to communicate effectively under stress, there were a lot of indicators but I was seen as lazy, unmotivated, anti-social, awkward, etc. By the time I was in middle school, my second hand men's clothing was mocked not only by students, but on a few occasions, OPENLY mocked by teachers along with my fellow students. I did a lot to ostracize myself, unwittingly, but the older I got, the worse things seemed to get in terms of being able to go unnoticed.
My freshman year of high school was the worst yet, I didn't have a single credit by the end of the school year, my GPA was literally .14, and what should've been my sophomore year was spent again as a freshman. Sophomore year was a significantly worse, this is when everything went down, this was when my high school career ended and this is really where the story begins in a lot of ways. There were a group of girls that I had a lot of classes in common with, they first mocked me because when asked if I was a Christian, my response went something like "Not really." and further prodding revealed to them I had no religious affiliation or beliefs to speak of, which is not something I realized I might've been better off lying about in a North Texas high school. That's where it started. They began asking if I was a lesbian, if I was a "devil worshiper", if I had sex with animals, et al. Being forced to deny things is a good way to have rumors started about oneself.