Throughout all my years of being bullied since elementary school, there are only two people I know of who stood up for me.
1. My science teacher in 6th grade
Shame, I can’t remember her name or what she looked like, but I still remember her words. We were ordered to pair up for a team project. I always hated these moments in school. It always made everything awkward. The teacher might as well have said, “Hey, let’s see how fun it would be to separate the cool kids from the lame kids and see which loser doesn’t get picked!” There are two scenarios that always happened when this occurred:
A. I would quickly get picked by someone to be on their team, but the only reason they picked me is because I was known to be smart and they wanted me to do all the work. All throughout school, up until I graduated high school, I was known as the “smart girl”. I read every book in the school library, I wore glasses, I watched anime, and had no friends- this, to my peers, equated into intelligence.
B. No one would pick me and the teacher would be forced to throw me into a group with someone.
This time, things got so bad, the teacher was forced into doing the latter. She picked a short, pale girl with big, poofy curls who looked as if she were of mixed descent. The girl began to yell, “I don’t want to be on her team!” Both her and the teacher bickered back and forth which quickly turned into a yelling match of why I should be on her team. “You’re just jealous of her!”, the teacher yelled and the girl rebutted, “Jealous of WHAT?!” while pointing at me. The whole time I just stood there and the whole class watched. It was rather embarrassing on my part. The teacher ended up winning and, in the end, I was forced to be the poofy haired girls teammate for the project, but it was very awkward being the teammate of girl who just got done competing in a screaming match with the teacher of why she doesn’t want to be your teammate. The oddest thing is that I didn’t even know this girl at the time, but she clearly seemed to know me. Of course, I did most of the work and whenever I handed the paper to her, she strategically grabbed it with the very end of her pencil like the paper was infected or some weird, unknown bug species. If it helps, we passed that project.
2. My team leader in AmeriCorps NCCC
I lied in my last post. There is one person who always stood up for me in AmeriCorps (that I know of anyway). When I think back on it, I feel like a bitch because I never acknowledged it or thanked him while in AmeriCorps. About a month after AmeriCorps ended, I felt so bad I sent him a message on Facebook thanking him.
Once was in Indiana and the other was in New Orleans. The New Orleans moment stood out to me most. I was sitting on the sofa in the living room of our small two bedroom volunteer housing unit or the “love making couch” as I would call it because, seriously, so many possible babies could have and would have been made on that couch at odd times of the night. Of course, I wasn’t sitting there alone. Both Matt, my love interest and, Kayla, his love interest sat there as well and our team leader sat afar at a table doing team leader things and another teammate, Joz, sat afar doing Joz things. It was late at night; The usual time when Matt would text me to come out and fool around with him. He would never talk to me in the morning when the other teammates were awake. He wanted to keep me hidden.
But this particular night, he didn’t pay attention to me at all. Only Kayla. We sat together on a small couch, but there was so much room between us. He sat so close to Kayla, he was practically sitting on her. I could hear everything and in that moment I became a ghost. I wasn’t there. All I could do was put on a fake smile like I didn’t care. But the team leader noticed everything and Matt had flirted with Kayla so much to the point were someone else even had to intervene.
“Matt, why are you all hugged up with Kayla?! I thought you and Courtney [me] were together?! Don’t be like that, man!”, he yelled in the most angry voice. It was the most direct and confrontational thing I had ever heard anyone say. He took the words right out of my mouth, but I would never dare say them and, in a way, I wish he hadn’t had said it. I appreciate him standing up for me, but I wish he hadn’t pointed out the obvious because I didn’t want to hear Matt’s answer.
Kayla stepped in, “Why are you always making them out to be a couple?”
“Bitchbitchbitchbitchbitchbitchbitchbitchbitch,” I repeated it again and again in my head.
“Because Matt and Courtney used to always lay on each other…”
I sat on the couch wrapped in Matt’s blanket, still with that stupid fake smile plastered on my face and I wanted to cover my ears and scream. I wanted to scream and cry and hopefully drown out the potential of hearing his reply. I didn’t want to know why Matt picked Kayla over me. I didn’t want to know the truth even though the truth was so blatantly obvious that even a stranger could point it out.
I wanted to cover my ears, but it was too late. Matt looked him in the eyes and said in the most serious tone of voice, the voice I had always loved, the same tone he used on me when he asked me to kiss him for the first time, the tone that lets you know he is completely serious and speaking from the heart.
“Kayla is the only girl in my life.”
Instantly, I could feel the tears run down my face, but I threw the blanket over my head to hide. In that moment, I wish I could disappear, but I didn’t. I just sat there biting my lip with wet puddles forming down my shirt and snot drizzling down my nose. It was the most silent cry I had ever done. I should win an award for that. It was so silent, no one in the room had even noticed I was crying and thought I was sleeping instead because, you know, it’s perfectly normal for someone to be fully awake one second and completely knocked out dead sleep the next second. Matt tried to pull the blanket away from me, complaining that he needed it to sleep that night, but I wouldn’t let go.
I wouldn’t dare to let go of that blanket. That blanket at the moment was a force field. It would kill to let him pull the blanket off revealing me crying. I wouldn’t dare let him see me cry so I held on for dear life and wrapped it all around me. No matter how hard he pulled, he couldn’t pull that blanket off of me.
Eventually, I had to give him back his blanket.
But I made sure to rub off all my tears and all my snot before I did- strategically placed onto the spot where wet spots are hated most on blankets. It was that important spot near your face that you loved to snuggle in. I wanted this spot to be the most annoying random wet spot in all blanket history. I wanted it to be so fucking wet and annoying that when he slept in it in the night, he would have trouble sleeping and yell, “What the fuck is this wet spot?!”
Not surprisingly, this scenario plays a huge part in my nightmares about my boyfriend cheating on me. The girl in my dreams always acts exactly like Kayla- the overly confident bitch- and the guy (being my boyfriend) acts exactly like Matt- the spineless man whore.