– Amir fangirl
Life was perfect when I turned 15. Like any other teenager, I was on top of the world. Amir Khan’s latest movie had just been released, my friends and I were dying to watch!
We were a big group of teens in an all-girls school. I was not topping the popularity charts, but I was somewhere in the comfortable middle. Which meant that I got to tag along to all the slumber parties and was in on the latest gossip. I never thought much of gossiping.
It seemed pointless to hate on anyone when you could just love Amir instead. But my friends were into it big time. Who-said-what-to-whom was a constant thing with the girls around me. I would listen, sometimes nod, and make the appropriate sounds and that was it. My best friends were the most active gossip queens. And I soon realized that gossip, malicious gossip was headed my way.
One day I suddenly felt that I was being ‘canceled’. Nobody wanted to sit next to me, eat lunch with me, or even look at me. I was so confused, what’s wrong with everyone! I never had any guts so instead of confronting people I just sat by myself and took it all in. Over the next few months, it got worse. I would walk down the corridor and my friends, well my enemies now, would look at me and say the most vicious things about my appearance. They’d giggle when I was around, whisper to each other, and just laugh.
I ignored and ignored, but they just kept at it relentlessly being cruel to me whenever they had the chance. These girls were prettier, teacher’s favorites, talented, and they all hated me. I lost my appetite, my grades were bad, and I just did not want to face anyone anymore. What hurt most was that they used our private conversations and made a mockery out of me. There was even a scrapbook that I was given where they had dedicated pages and pages to how much they hated me.
Hurt, and emotionally battered I looked for comfort in food. I ate and ate till I could make myself numb with sugar. Things got so bad that I had to leave school and go away to boarding to start fresh. That was perhaps the best decision of my life because I really enjoyed my time in boarding, but I always dreaded coming back home. Some of my tormentors were family friends, and any interaction was painful and sent me on a spiral of eating. Some people told me that it was a feud between two powerful cousins who used me as a scapegoat to say malicious things about each other and pin the blame on me. Some said they were just mean girls venting it out. I still can’t understand why even after so many years, I still get sweaty palms when I think about them.
It’s been over 30 years, why can’t I trust friends around me? Why do I always look for their ‘agendas’? Is it too late to go to therapy now?
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