I am sixteen years old. I go to school, get good grades, and on the weekends I like to hang out with my friends. For most of my life I’ve lived in Washington. I have naturally dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, but I’ve dyed my hair burgundy and acquired grey contacts. I’ve come to believe that my insecurity is because boys are dumb. It was only five months ago when I realized that boys are extremely dumb. I decided this was true when I was sitting in my room one night. I was suddenly aware that my friends were really not my friends at all.
My dad is one of the meanest people a person will ever encounter. When my sister and I were about six and eight, we were in the garage, and my dad pulled out his switch blade knife and held it to my sister’s throat. I started crying. He told me to stop being a baby, and that he was holding the dull side of the knife to her throat. My dad has always bothered me about wearing my jacket in the summer. At the end of sixth grade, my family and I were going to my sister’s middle school graduation. When I told him I took my jacket off in class that day, his exact words were, “Did they say, “Whale ashore!?””.
Every day for three years, three boys made fun of me. They made fun of my body and how I talk. They were only nice to me when I had gum, but the next day they would say things like “We don’t buy gum because we’re not fat”. I went out with this guy named Tyler for almost two years. He flirted with other girls, but I stayed with him because he told me that no one else would ever go out with me. After what I heard from my dad and from what those boys, I figured it was true. Finally, he moved away and I haven’t talked to him since.
I don’t remember having a real friend that was female. During high school, I hung out with friends that I’ve known since kindergarten, like Ethan. He was a football player and so our group of friends was boys and one girl. I had fun a lot of times. We invited each other to hang out, play video games and to people’s birthday parties. I went to their football games and track meets. Although I am a girl, I did fit in with that group… until I got another boyfriend. They started to get jealous of me having a boyfriend. When they threw parties, I didn’t go because I’d rather go to the movies. They said I never had time for them, even though I came to school thirty minutes early to talk to them in the morning. I ate lunch with them every day. Eventually, they started calling me “AIDS” and other inappropriate names.
This has affected how I see myself. Every time they make fun of me it lowers my self-esteem. I barely talk to anyone, because I always think they will judge me on what they have heard. I don’t want to make new friends because I don’t want them to be mean to me like my old friends. I believe boys are dumb.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.