Growing up, I was constantly reminded that I was lucky.  I had a nice home.  I had loving parents who were firm, but open-minded and raised me to be a decent person.  I had hot food every night when I came home and I was getting an education that most don't.  I was smart.  I had clean clothes and my own room.  I was happy.  I was SUPPOSED to be happy.  I had nothing to complain about. 

But I was never happy.

It started when I was a little kid, about first grade or so.  I was the weirdo.  I was that strange little girl who never played during recess.  Instead all I wanted to do was read a nice book.  I finished my assignments as quickly as I could so that I could read.  I liked barbie, yet my favorite songs were Metallica, since my dad always allowed me to listen to his CD's.  I was a girl, yet I liked "boy things" like rock bands and tv shows like Beast Wars.  So I was picked on.  I had things stolen and I was pushed around.  I was so shy, I never spoke up until I got a black eye.  The kid was punished, but it never stopped.

Fast forward to middle school.  It got worse.  Like any teenager I was awkward.  I quickly noticed that I was different from most people.  I didn't fit into any click or group that was spelled out from the beginning.  Then came the physical violence, more theft, name calling that had me in tears.  I was pushed down stairs, into lockers, had my hair yanked, some while in sight of a teacher who merely turned their backs.  I tried to force myself into what they wanted me to be, to "fit in" so that the hurt and pain would just stop, only to suffer the pain of humiliation, the agony of being forced into a persona that is not me.  The times I tried to reach out were met with apathy.  I should be like everyone else, that was what they told me.  I should be more sympathetic to my bullies.  I'm lucky.  I don't get to be miserable.  I'm not ALLOWED.  My breakdowns were treated as though I was simply crying out for attention.

I was.  I wanted SOMEONE to see the utter PAIN I was in.  But I'm not allowed to be sad.  So I need to be happy.  Put on that smile.  Things could be worse.  Be happy that you're so lucky.  Right? 

High school.  Second verse, same as the first.  Nothing changes.  More of the same, more of the pain.  I plaster on this person that isn't me.  I staple her over my real self to make life easier.  Everyday was agony.  I was forgotten and pushed aside because I wasn't important enough to be heard.  I wasn't really suffering.  I wasn't really being bullied.  Everyone got crap.  I wasn't special.  The only time action was taken was when I was nearly raped by a fellow student, after he sent me numerous letters where he threatened to do just that.  Of course, nothing was done until he almost tried.  I had the letters but they meant nothing.  I meant nothing.  They took action because my parents found out and threatened to sue the school for what they had allowed to happen. 

My "friends" never understood me.  They bought into the persona I had stapled to myself.  I'm older now, and still suffering the results of those terrible years.  I've grown stronger though in myself and for that I am grateful, but I still feel the scars everyday, physical and mental.

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