I don't think I realized I was an outcast or the proverbial "punching bag," until middle school. I don't want to say my parents were poor or anything, but being eleven years old, they weren't going to spend hundreds of dollars to buy me a new shirt just because it had some sort of a logo on it.
We were on vacation and we had stopped at an outlet mall to get me some new school clothes. I remember we went to a Guess outlet, and I was able to get my first pair of Guess jeans and a shirt. I was so proud of it that I wore the outfit just about every friday, for football games, because that's what you do in a small town, you go to football games.
I thought I was so cool wearing those jeans and that shirt, but soon I felt the first "punch." I remember one of the so-called "popular" girls, coming up to me one day during lunch and said "Is that the only shirt and jeans you own or something?"
All of her friends laughed, and all the people I was sitting with at the table laughed too. I never felt more low. I remember going home and putting that shirt, that same shirt I was so proud of just weeks before, in the back of my closet, never to be worn again.
That was just the first of the worst of my time in middle school. When you are overweight, have bad teeth, and you'd rather play with toys than watch MTV, you weren't looked highly upon. I remember so many times just coming home and crying throughout middle school, I hate it so much.
But the thing that sticks out to me the most, was that first "punch," just by one girl making fun of what I wore, I let myself be torn down so much. I wish, now, I could go back to my eleven year old self and say "It's really going to be okay, we turned out alright."
And I guess this is the way that the punching back fights back. Instead of trying to defend myself then, I sat quite. I would write in an online journal, or just escape to my books or even online role playing games. The pent up anger and frustrations really built up, and made my high school experience even more hell. I didn't know who I was, and the people I hung out with weren't who I should have been hanging out with. I always seemed to be grasping for acceptance.
But now instead of being that punching bag, I'm here to say to all the punching bags, you don't have to take it. There are always going to be mean girls, but when those mean girls grow up. They are the ones serving you the drinks and begging for your tips, instead of you begging for their acceptance.