ceiphiedknight: (OUAT - Belle cup)
[personal profile] ceiphiedknight
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.

Date: 2014-04-07 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] similiesslip.livejournal.com
Wow, what an empowering story. I'm glad you learned this so young. And yes, choosing yourself is important. Growing up, I was taught it was selfish, but that is wrong. You HAVE to choose yourself to be healthy.

Reading your entry was helpful to me. Thank you for sharing it!

Date: 2014-04-07 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm glad you got something out of it! And while it is a good lesson to learn, don't forget that it's still often hard to remember.

Date: 2014-04-07 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eska818.livejournal.com
But as a tiger never changes its stripes, bad blood will always make itself known before too long.

I love this line. Overall this piece was very lovely, and powerful. And good on you for not letting people walk all over you. :)

Date: 2014-04-07 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
Thank you! And they do still try...it's important to try and remember these life lessons.

Date: 2014-04-07 10:44 am (UTC)
ext_224364: (Default)
From: [identity profile] x-disturbed-x.livejournal.com
Good for you! The message in here is an important thing to remember.

Date: 2014-04-07 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
Thank you! And yes, it's definitely important to remember and sometimes hard to do so. Or hard to recognize that something bad is even happening before it's too late.

Date: 2014-04-07 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
Yay! Bravo! All power to you..:) well done!

Date: 2014-04-07 01:16 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-07 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-17bingo.livejournal.com

I laughed.

Oh, man, that is the harshest thing you could have done. Dang.

Although, to be fair, she was being pretty hilarious.

Date: 2014-04-07 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
Teenagers, right? :) Although this set the stage for me constantly facing off against people with either a snarky grin or blind, seething rage. There is no in-between.

Date: 2014-04-08 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muchtooarrogant.livejournal.com
What an awesome story! :) "So in my own dramatic teenaged fashion I quoted a bit of the above song to her." You told this so well that I could picture you in my mind's eye.

Dan

Date: 2014-04-08 11:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-08 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kagomeshuko.livejournal.com
It can be difficult when fake/wrong people come into your life. It is extremely difficult when they come into your friends' lives and then make you the bad person . . .

Date: 2014-04-08 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
That's why I just stay out of it and let the bad people out themselves before too long. :) It requires patience, but it's usually worth it!

Date: 2014-04-09 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kagomeshuko.livejournal.com
It's extremely difficult, though!

Date: 2014-04-08 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarcasmoqueen.livejournal.com
Good for you.

Date: 2014-04-08 11:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-09 12:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snarkerdoodle.livejournal.com
I will always fight, because above all else, I choose me.

Excellent ending to this piece. Words that many people should remember more often. :)

Date: 2014-04-09 01:07 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-09 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beautyofgrey.livejournal.com
I would have loved to have seen her face!! :D

Date: 2014-04-09 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
I believe it was some combination of shock and anger. I can't really remember...but I do remember her curly red hair!

Date: 2014-04-09 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
So much better to learn this lesson early than late, and I'm glad you did. It completely removes the power people have to bully you.

Date: 2014-04-09 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
True, but it's still hard to remember sometimes.

Date: 2014-04-09 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whipchick.livejournal.com
So awesome that you were able to give yourself that power! And it sounds like it's stuck with you, too :)

Date: 2014-04-09 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
For the most part! It takes significant effort to remember it, sometimes.

Date: 2014-04-09 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
Having the courage to fight back, especially with laughter, is so important. I'm glad you found this out about yourself.

Date: 2014-04-09 04:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-09 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mistearyusdiva2.livejournal.com
Well done ... Its always empowering to read about people who stand up for themselves .... for its much easier not to do so ....

Date: 2014-04-09 04:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-09 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-will-not-say.livejournal.com
Yay, good for you! *\o/*

Date: 2014-04-10 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solstice-singer.livejournal.com
Congratulations! It's hard to be a fighter. I'm glad you are.

Date: 2014-04-10 04:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-10 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheshire23.livejournal.com
I had a similar senseless falling-out in 8th grade (as well as one not so senseless when I encouraged a friend to report a direct suicide threat another friend had made in earshot, but mad at us > dead after all). Somehow it cleared up over the summer and I was friends with the people involved again by 9th.

Date: 2014-04-10 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
Kids are so dumb. Myself included, when I was one. I'm still kind of dumb, in fact.

Date: 2014-04-10 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jem0000000.livejournal.com
Go you! :)

Date: 2014-04-10 12:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adoptedwriter.livejournal.com
I admire how you found a way to overcome. AW

Date: 2014-04-10 04:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-10 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] itsjustc.livejournal.com
Wow, I enjoyed reading that. What an empowering story. What you did was great!

Date: 2014-04-10 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
Thanks so much!

Date: 2014-04-10 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
I loved your last line, nicely done!

Date: 2014-04-10 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
Thank you! :D
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