I Don’t Know When It Started, But I Can Finally Say “I’m Used To It”
Katherine Barker, Grade 11, Merrimac State High School
I used to be a social person, happy and lively. I would always go up to people and start a friendly conversation. Everyone who spoke to me would be smiling. It was just the look on my face that brightened everyone’s day, my happiness was contagious. Even as a small child people would talk to me, and laugh with me, or tell stories with me…
… Now, times are different. I’m not exactly sure when it started, but the world became colder. Not the kind of cold you feel on a mid-winters morning, no, this type of cold is the kind that puts you in a bad mood from day dot. And like a disease it sticks around, sucking away your happiness and making you bitter. Perhaps for me it started when people stopped coming to my birthday parties, or the time I started high school… Either way, I became a lot sadder. I smiled less, didn’t stay happy very long, I became an introvert.
To this day I still don’t know why people stopped talking to me, being my friend and being nice to me. Those people changed, and as a consequence, I did too. I became colder…
… It’s been years since I’ve genuinely laughed, or smiled. I’m always sad. I’ve grown so accustomed to the loneliness and solitude that people inforce upon me that I don’t know what it feels like to be happy anymore. I have become aggressive, some people fear me, whereas others take joy in seeing me mad and angry. I hate being angry, but it’s better than being upset. Now that I think about it, these people have changed me in two ways… On the outside I’m as hard as stone, proud and strong and with a heart of steel and a will of iron. But what people don’t know is that it’s all just a cover, a way to protect what’s inside and what is vulnerable. I’m built like a fortress, charged to protect to my last breath what is inside. I am strong, sour, mean and angry because that’s how I protect myself, what they have forced me to be…
… No one knows what I hide inside my heart, and I bet no one ever will. None of them care enough to find out anyway. All the teasing, the bullying, the yelling, the criticism, the hatred, the laughing at my expense, they have no idea how much it hurts me… how much it hurts to be abandoned by your best friend. It hurts to bottle it up. They tease me because of what I am, what I have become, but they don’t understand that it was all caused by them.
I’ve been disappointed so much that I can reveal that I’m afraid of being happy, I’ve been hurt so much that I can say it doesn’t hurt that much anymore.
I’ve been abandoned by my friends so many times that I can finally say “I’m used to it.”