What They Have Done to Me

Josh Pridgen - Farmington, Georgia
Entered on September 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I couldn’t wait for my mom to come pick me up that afternoon. As soon as I saw her car, I began running towards it as if I hadn’t seen her in years. I can only imagine what thoughts were going through her mind, or did she even see me? When I opened the door, I threw my book bag inside, climbed in, and jumped over the back seat of her suburban. She could already something was wrong, but she didn’t know what had happened today. Earlier in the week I had climbed into the back and began to cry; she asked me what was wrong and I screamed at her as if it were her fault. She knew why I was back there, and that it wasn’t her fault, but she didn’t know who had said it that day.

I remember their faces when they said it and when they looked over me to pick teams. I don’t remember all their names, but I do remember what they said and how it made me feel. They called me names like “shortie” and “midget,” but what hurt the most is how they treated me as if I wasn’t human. Just because I was less than their size didn’t mean that I deserved less of their respect.

The days went by and I heard every joke that they had. Like knife wounds, they penetrated my heart and left me to bleed. I cried the whole way home some days and not at all on other days, but as it went on, I began to build up a resistance to it. Eventually it wouldn’t hurt me anymore, or at least that’s what I told myself. I stopped crying, and everyone thought that the people had stopped making fun of me, but it never stopped. I had just reached the point that no matter what happened I wouldn’t cry or get sad, but instead I would get angry and aggressive. I was like a bomb with a short fuse. At anytime I could explode and it would become a hurricane of fury and pent-up aggression.

As I got older, I became colder and meaner. It took years for me to realize that I had become what it was that sent me home in tears so many times. It affected how acted around stranger, friends, and even my family. I had become so against crying that in twelve years I had been to three funerals without doing it. Instead of getting sad when someone made a joke or a loved one passed away, I just got angry. I have tried so many times to become a happier, kinder person, but each time I fail and begin to make fun of someone else so that I don’t feel as bad. Sometimes I wonder if the people I have hurt could ever forgive me. I wonder if I could ever forgive myself, but above all, I wonder if there is any hope for me to change. I believe that people can only be around something like hate for so long until it becomes part of who they are.