Sweet Revival | Teen Ink

Sweet Revival

February 7, 2015
By wethevirginiacreepers SILVER, Austin, Texas
wethevirginiacreepers SILVER, Austin, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 3 comments

 No one wants to hear a middle-schooler say they hate themself. It’s such a scary concept that people all around that middle-schooler deny it, avoid it with all cost. They loathe the idea, and therefore loathe the child.
When I found myself at age eleven crying every day because my best friend was manipulating me, I grew up far too fast. I knew something was wrong before the adults in my life. Those adults are why I didn’t find help sooner.

I was being emotionally tormented. I tried to keep it quiet, just between me and that friend, but my mom eventually was the wiser. A long spiral of painful events later, and my relationship with that friend, my mom, and myself was permanently damaged. The friend had forsaken me. My mom wasn’t on my side. She condemned me for not telling her I was hurting, and that was the last thing twelve-year-old-me-with-no-friends needed.

So I shut myself off. No one would ever see that vulnerable side of me again, the one my mom knew, the one I’d entrusted to my friend.

I didn’t talk to anyone more than I needed to for two years. I tried to get as far away from other people as I could, I didn’t leave my house, and I felt very alone. But, I reasoned, being alone is better than being hurt. Detachment wasn’t enough, though - I still lived with myself. I started making drastic changes to everything about me. First I dyed my hair, then I got ‘interested’ in pop music, wore different clothes, then I went as far as to shave all my hair off. Each time, I’d get better for a month. It was a shallow kind of better, it distracted me from my thoughts, but for the meantime it worked. Each time, I thought, “this is it. I’m happy again.”
It was in spring that I realized. I hate myself.

Summer was torture. I had no one left to call a friend, and it was my fault. The remaining tie between me and my mom was snapping thread by thread. I was fourteen.

Suddenly at the end of the season other kids enjoyed so much, I decided to leave my school. For many people this wouldn’t have meant much, but you have to understand that my whole life, I’d been homeschooled. That was all I knew. Every person I’d known had known me for years. I was terrified. I severed all ties with my old life, without knowing what was ahead of me. New clothes, new makeup, I started walking differently, I put on a new expression and a different tone of voice. Most drastically, I stopped laughing.

Public school went just as expected. I didn’t know anyone, so I sat alone. And that was amazingly refreshing. No one had any idea who I was - that random girl who popped out of nowhere. I had a chance to completely rebuild myself, and I took it. My grades and relationships with teachers flourished, but I was still alone. And I was convinced that’s exactly how I wanted to be.

I should’ve expected it when someone came and shook my life in their hands; but the last time that’d happened, I was left for dead. I tried everything I could to keep people at safe bay. But things were too comfortable for too long.

I’d seen you once or twice. A kid with long hair, glasses, wore shirts with gothic crosses and names of metal bands on them. I thought I had you figured out. You sat next to me and started talking, mentioned how you’d seen that I sat alone and wanted to make sure I was okay. I was cold to you. I’m sorry. I thought you seemed too angry, too honest; I was worried that would be a sign of pretentiousness. I knew where this was all going and it terrified me. You were so nice to me, so accepting, and I was looking for an ulterior motive that wasn’t there. I found myself daring to hope that you’d be the friend I’d been looking for for the past five years. You must’ve seen the look of horror on my face when you asked me out; sorry about that. It wasn’t you, I promise. I was just scared. Scared because I was convinced that you didn’t know what you were doing. I hated me, and I figured you’d hate me too once you knew me.

No one wants to hear a middle-schooler say they hate themself. And no one wants to hear a high-schooler say they hate everyone else. You saw the side of me I had been hiding for years, and I saw you in that moment you called your worst. But you said I was special, you made me believe I was worth something. Hell, when I fell in love with you, I started loving myself again.

I cried when you told me I was the reason you didn’t drop out of school, again when you said I’d helped you to be more courageous, but mostly when you said that I saved you.

I, ME had saved YOU.

Then we realized we were in the same boat all along and I looked at you with a happiness in me I could barely remember.

And Jaden, you made me laugh again. And I can’t thank you enough for that.

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