Apr. 6th, 2014

ceiphiedknight: (OUAT - Belle cup)
There are times when you must make a conscious decision to stand up for yourself.

There are several times in my life when I've had to reach down deep and find the strength within. It's so easy to allow yourself to believe that others are better than you, or that you deserve to be berated. But it's important to remember that no one has the right to harass or demean you, and that you are allowed to fight back.

The first time that I truly fought back was really the most important time, because it changed me as a person. I had started school early because my reading and writing comprehension was ahead of the game, so by the time I hit high school, I was still a month from turning 14. I was small, underdeveloped, and ultimately still very naïve. All I wanted was a friend or two to sit with at lunch, but even that seemed to elude me.

Finally, I met a small group of people who were also fish out of water. A boy who was new to the area, and two girls.

We were what I'd call "lunchtime friends" because I didn't have any classes with them, but we would sometimes meet up in the hallways and pass the occasional note.

I don't remember a lot about what went wrong, but eventually one of the girls became very angry with me. The whole group stopped eating lunch with me, and I was back where I started on the very first day. Except now I had to eat at the "loser" table with all of the other alienated kids. I had a certain view of myself that didn't involve being a leper, but that's how I felt.

The girl who was angry with me started harassing me. She threatened me. She said she was going to "kick my ass." So of course, as a small, mousy person who had never been outright threatened by such an abrasive person before, I had no idea how to react.

At first, I ran. I stayed home from school for three days. I kept telling my mom that I was sick, but I know she didn't buy it. She did, however, know that something else was wrong and let me stay home. On the third day, the girl actually called my house and accused me of avoiding her. I assured her that I was just sick, but that I would be in school the next day. She threatened me again.

And in that moment, something inside me snapped. I realized that I didn't like how it felt to run, and I decided right then that I would never run again.

As it was early 1996 at this point and I was a teenager, I listened to music constantly. I will never forget the song that I put on repeat and pulled strength from to face this girl the following day at school.

It was "Case of the Fake People" by TLC.

Goodbye, goodbye
To all the fake people in my life
I never wanted you around me
So be on your way now
You better think twice
Before you let people in your life
Because when you put down
No one is around you
You got a case of the fake people


I knew then that these people had never been my true friends if they were so easily swayed to turn on me without first coming to me with their issues, or even speaking with me in a rational way; and I have never been one for pointless drama.

So I decided I was going to let them know how I felt about them.

The next morning at school, all three of them came up to me in the hallway and the girl in question started pretending to come at me. She was yelling, "someone hold me back!" in a most dramatic fashion, but no one would get near her. She was yelling and flailing...and then I did something that set her off even more.

I laughed.

I realized that she had been all pomp and posturing, and that she wasn't really going to hurt me. So in my own dramatic teenaged fashion I quoted a bit of the above song to her. With a smile on my face and a hand on my hip, I waved my other hand at her and said, "goodbye, goodbye, to all the fake people in my life."

And then I walked away.

That is what true power feels like. True power is taking your fate into your own hands. True power is not letting someone else control you. My fear of this girl and what these people thought of me had controlled me to the point where I had lost sight of myself.

Every once in a while, I make the mistake of letting the wrong people into my life again. But as a tiger never changes its stripes, bad blood will always make itself known before too long. Even people you've known for years have the ability to morph into someone you don't know anymore. But just as I did on that morning so long ago, I never let them win.

I will always fight, because above all else, I choose me.

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ceiphiedknight: (Default)
Knight of Ceiphied

March 2016

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