STAY AWAY, by Michelle C

~Stay Away, by Michelle C
I have a tough exterior because I have a very sensitive interior.
Both people are me, but it’s the two sides of me.
On the right is, generally, how I used to be. When I was young I was really quiet and I’ve always been the weird kid. The few good friends I ever got moved away, and I wasn’t very close to the friends I had left. In short, I felt like an outcast no matter where I was. I was bullied by a group of kids a year older than me from kindergarten to grade 5.
On the left is me now, I guess. All grades after that I was pretty much the tough girl, and I was the tallest in my class for a while, so it worked (I still got some verbal abuse, but not as much, and I knew how to use my fists to talk back and I have a strong kick). Just like any other place, living in a small town there’s the “popular” group and then everybody else, and kids knew how to bully. One recess they had surrounded a girl and were kicking balls at her and yelling insults, both of which she reflected well, but it probably still hurt. So since nobody else was stepping in, I walked over and stood beside her, catching any balls they kicked. I think two more kids came and helped me out, probably because they knew it was wrong but needed somebody else to step in first. Eventually one guy, a year older than me, came too close and I grabbed him and started punching him. Granted, I probably didn’t hurt him much, because I’m not THAT strong, but I think it surprised him and after that everybody screwed off. The girl was really thankful. Mom said I always stick up for the underdog; probably because I’m one too.  We need to stick together and help each other out!
This also partially explains why I’m really cautious around the “popular” kids. I’m defensive, and sometimes I feel like I should get them before they can get me. It’s bad, I know, but I just have issues trusting people like that after spending all of public school with kids who you couldn’t trust as far as you could throw them.
I know I’m not the only one whose been through shit like this. <4  Stay strong and help each other – you might make a new friend out of it. 🙂
Side note: Why the quotes around “popular”? Because it’s not really popularity. I’ve known some kids that are just so nice and admirable that everybody likes them, and to me, THAT is popularity. Frankly, a lot of people don’t actually like “popular” kids, so why are they called that?

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