Women do not like me, since they cannot trust me. They are wise and they are worse. Their rejection came long before I gave them reason to push me away. By junior high, I was friendless. Sometimes I found myself in company, but none would claim me as a member of their prepubescent tribe.
After isolation, came open hostility. Soon, the death threats began, and while I never believed my life to be in peril, that someone could so easily speak of ending my life, affected me profoundly.
One early afternoon, I found myself in the gymnasium locker room, shyly undressing in front of girls obviously developing into women, while my own body clung to its childhood. A small band of girls marched in my direction, stopping in front of me. The leader began to scream words I struggled to understand. They were there to fight me, they said. I recited a silent prayer to a God I spoke to only in dire straits, pleading for it to end the world. Instead, a tall female came to my aid. She must have been no more than fifteen, and already possessed the kind of beauty admired by the young and old alike. A virgin goddess defended me, and gained my admiration. Her bravery changed me. That was the day I began to kick back. So it was that the world kicked harder, bruising things said to be muscle, but never to be of any use to me.
The phone rang. “I want to kill you,” a young girl’s voice said. “I am going to shoot you,” came through bursts of laughter.
My father decided it was in my better, but not best, interest to pick me up at the front entrance of school. I felt like a flower plucked when I was not yet done blooming. No chance to grow to defend myself. Instead, this reaction to my all too common adolescent experience left me a subject to further ridicule. The hole widened not to let in light, but to allow for more space to feel the misery of loneliness. It has always been me and my thoughts. It is said not to trust them, but how dare I silence the only voices that come through? My thoughts were there when no one sent me candy grams on holidays. When the boys and girls gathered around teacher during homeroom, I sat at my desk, hoping I would go unnoticed. Hoping no one saw the friendless child with a hard face, made that way to hold back tears that strangled vocal chords. And when I ran for student body treasurer, not a one voted for me. I was an unfamiliar name to some, and a hated name to many.