Dare to tell – Day 28
I was a small kid. But I was strong. They used to tease me so I got stronger. They would shove me up against the wall in the yard when the teacher’s weren’t looking and say really terrible things.
I don’t remember the words but I remember the pain in my stomach and the bitter taste in my mouth. It made me want to throw up. It made me want to strike out but I knew they were much stronger than me.
I don’t remember when it was that I realized that I was much smarter than them. Especially the biggest ones, they were just thugs and they were kind of stupid.
I realized that I could torment them with my words, show them up and make them feel really small. They stopped hitting and shoving me. They began to show some respect.
That’s how I survived school. It’s how I survived being small.
As the words came out of my mouth, I saw what happened to her face. It was as if a light switched off. All the openness, the possibility just died. I wished it wasn’t so familiar.
It’s happened again and again. I get close to a girl; she opens up and starts trusting me. I lose interest and let my mind take over. I talk smart, I protect myself. She gets hurt and runs away. I never see her again.
It was quite a useful way of managing my love life. I never had to take any risk.
Then she came along and it all felt different. I wanted her to stay. I wanted her to be open. I desperately wanted to stay too.
But this time I got scared by her openness, I got caught up in her vulnerability. Without even realizing it, I opened my stupid mouth. I said what I always say. I shoved her away, as if we were back at the school yard wall.
I’ve regretted it ever since.