This I Believe

Christina - Westchester, Illinois
Entered on May 6, 2007

Can friendship hide?

I believe that friendship can be hidden. Either you look all your life to find that hiding spot or turn the corner and you find it. For me, the friendship was there, I was just too blind to see it. A friend does not have to be someone you constantly hang out with; it can be someone you never thought you would get to know. When I needed someone the most, an unexpected friend came into my life and changed it dramatically.

When I was 15, I had a big problem. I did not like me. Both my so-called friends and I always found ways to put me down. My friends were the girls that never showed up to school because they did not want to. They walked around our high school as if they owned the place; they thought they were better than everyone else. I clearly did not fit in with these girls. They made this very apparent by the way they treated me.

The more we hung out the more vicious they got. I was constantly being picked on about the acne on my face and the way I wore makeup. The worst was when they picked on my weight. I was not very small, and they always told me it looked like I still had baby fat because I ate too much. They picked on me so much it started to get to my head. I had no one to turn for advice. I did talk to other girls in my class but never that much that I thought we were good friends.

Weeks passed and I was still being picked on. If I drank a pop they would take it away, give me water, and tell me I did not need all those calories. I needed to do something but the plan I came up with just got me into more trouble. I formed multiple eating disorders because of this. I ate little to nothing and sometimes when I did, I would go and purge it after because I could not deal with my so-called friends picking on me. I had low energy, and never did anything.

One day at lunch, I sat and ate with a different group of girls from my math class. We had a test next period so we all sat together that day to study. I ate and then ran to the bathroom like I did everyday. However, this particular day was different. The girls I normally ate with just sat and laughed at me when I left. That day, someone followed me. She went into the bathroom, heard what I was doing, and then immediately reported it to the counselor.

Next period I was called to the counselor’s office and I knew exactly what I was going there for. I walked in, saw Ms. Carta, my counselor, and my mom sitting there, and I just started crying. We sat there for almost two hours talking, making a plan for what I was going to do. The first thing that I had to do was get away from those girls.

I had hung around with them for over two months, lost about 15 pounds from my eating disorder, and I got nothing good out of our friendship. I look back and try to figure out what I was thinking. That girl that told the counselor about me, Lucy, I do not think I could ask for a better friend. If it were not for her considering me as one of her friends, she would have never followed me into the bathroom that day. I am still great friends with Lucy. Now, because of her, whenever I meet someone new I always try to see a possible friendship.