“I Don’t Want You Hanging Out with Her”

That’s what this girl Erin said to my friend, Jaime, about me, when I was a kid.

I didn’t realize it then, but you can tell this is something she heard directly from her mother and was repeating.

On more than one occasion, my mother had tried to arrange a play date with Erin and me, and it never happened. And now I know why.

The funny thing is, I was never a naughty kid. I wasn’t a trouble maker. As far as I know, I had no reputation. Most of the parents who really knew me loved me.

And Erin had some pretty naughty friends.

Erin was the girl who, at Allie Tanner’s slumber party, told me, “I didn’t like you last year because I thought you were weird.”

She said that same thing to me at someone’s slumber party every year, actually.

I know the other kids thought I was strange, but it never occurred to me that even some of their parents did.

It’s kind of heartbreaking, to think that there are actual grownups out there who exclude. I mean, I know it happens. I’ve seen adults ostracize other adults. But kids?


I’ve just been thinking a lot about social Darwinism lately, because of an episode of Parks and Rec. It was supposed to be funny, but there’s a grain of truth in there.

Because of the way Quality Lady seems to pounce on me.

But I think, maybe I’m taking it wrong. Is it really that I’m “the weak,” or is this just the way she is with everyone? And I shouldn’t let it bother me so much when people aren’t nice? Is it the fact that it bothers me that makes me “weak”?

Why, even in adulthood, are bullies so attracted to me?

Because “weak” is not really how I see myself. Even if some other people do. I see myself as having been through a lot of rough waters and a lot of pain, especially in my youth, and having emerged from it in one piece, with a pretty good head on my shoulders.

I see myself standing up to bullies on a regular basis 100% of the time, although it is difficult for me.

I see myself having survived my mother’s tortured life and untimely death.

I see myself continually getting stuck in hard places and working tirelessly to dig myself out of them.

So, no, I do not see myself as weak. Despite all appearances. Despite how others might perceive me.

I see myself as strong.

I see myself as still growing, still developing into who I will become. Gaining more strength.

I also see myself as loved. As supported. I have a network.

There are Quality Cassies and Honda Marlenes and NoMail Dales everywhere, and some places I’ve been are dominated by them (*cough* Blahban).

I’m in a really good place. Is it good for everyone?

Is there ever such a place?

It’s good for me. I feel blessed. ❤️

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