Hello. This is a stupidly long, hideous rant by my 25-year-old self. I’m quite embarrassed at how scatterbrained and insecure I was at such a supposedly mature age. I genuinely hated myself during the time when I was writing this, over half a decade ago, so much so that I put this on my eponymous blog and shared it over my Facebook. A lot of people read it, including a number of the people mentioned in it, people from school, and the girl I perceived to have “pushed me over the edge” into writing it. I embarrassed myself further instead of finding the catharsis that I hoped I would gain from its creation.
This week I’ve broken it down into small, bite-sized pieces for you. At the time of writing, I left in individual’s names as the thought of being sued for defamation of character had never crossed my mind. I’ve since removed them.
Recently I stood at the end of Walkabout’s bar and cried on CB’s shoulder. Apart from my granddad’s funeral last year, nobody has seen me cry since I was about 18. But I have done many times, alone. Usually before sleep comes. Something must be wrong. I keep putting the issue off, telling myself that it’s no big deal. Am I a fucking moron?
Let’s start from the top.
The move from primary to secondary school was a shock. The new place was massive and archaic, and the whole experience threw me totally. I got these strange urges to freak out and be horrendously absurd. I assumed that no one would recognise me- after all, I never recognised them- but then, no one else had memory difficulties like me. People spotted me when I didn’t have a clue as to who they were. As a result, word got around that I was a bit weird, to say the least.
It’s difficult to explain what the urge is. Imagine an inflated balloon inside your ribcage, next to the heart. Now imagine someone is squeezing the balloon. You can hear their fingers straining on the balloon, until it pops. This is what caused me to piss people off. I’d snap, but I wouldn’t be aggressive- I’d just be weird. It wasn’t long before people started to react.
In retrospect things could have been worse- I know people who say they got beat up every day in school. I rarely got anything physical. But because I was different, and small (I never got taller than 1.73m) I was an easy target and I was asking for it. Verbal abuse came on a daily basis for pretty much five years solid. I almost became numb to it. Like most victims, I tried to make myself invisible for years. I went through whole days only speaking for the register. But it didn’t work: there were still tiny things that I did that stopped me from fitting in. I couldn’t help but encourage people to hate me.
I did grass people up every now and then, but my school’s policy on bullying consisted of looking for reasons why the victim might be encouraging harassment and making them feel like the whole thing was the victim’s fault. Admittedly, I was partly to blame.
The general relentless death threats that I got from numerous guys were never fulfilled, although for the last few days of school I was watching my back. And in all fairness, there was something else preying on my conscience. Girls. Girls generally don’t fight with their fists. They fight with words. We all know this. In this school fighting got you in a fair bit of shit, so even the guys bitched and gave tit-for-tat threats. But girls didn’t threaten, they just criticised. They probably wanted to tell me that the way I behaved was annoying, but I guess that takes a bit too much brainpower. Instead they found it much easier to criticize the way I looked. So I left school feeling like no one would ever look at me.
Girls did put a lot of effort into making me feel like shit from time to time. They would ask me out for their own amusement and dump me after a few days. And I would fall for it. One particular girl had the biggest effect on me. HC was a bitch that I will hate until the day that I fucking die. When I was 14, the effort she put into bringing me down during I.T. was ridiculous. Her and GH2 (an actual prostitute at the age of 14) spent a full hour repeatedly asking me out. It was some kind of team effort to humiliate me, and GH2 was actually putting in about 70% of the effort. This was after a year of me fancying HC and her giving me daily verbal abuse to stop me eying her up. I asked her if it was a joke. They both said no. When I eventually agreed to “go out with her”, nothing much changed.
I think most people would agree with me that this ritual of going out was bullshit, whether it was a windup or not. I think teenagers across the country- the world, even- look back and think, What the fuck was all that about? I just don’t think people took the brunt of it like I did. I was a scapegoat for the whole school. At the time, My Granddad was dying. I was struggling with GCSE’s. And of course, I was in the middle of adolescence. It wasn’t an easy time. I’ve thought about it thousands of times and I’ve traced it as being the moment that had the worst knock-on effect of my life. That week in December 1996 was to cause me massive emotional problems for the rest of my life. Bare in mind, I was fourteen, I didn’t even know I was dyslexic and was under pressure.
2013 correction: I am not dyslexic. I was misdiagnosed by 2 separate people and I may be suing them both soon.