The Slut

It wasn’t easy being a teenager. I had moved so many schools that it was difficult forming an identity, which is what everyone is doing as a child to “fit in”. but instead of finding it for yourself, you were given one- Being good, bad, naughty, nerdy, stupid, funny..it never ends.

Not so strangely, I found myself to be very different from how my peers perceived me to be. At 13, my teachers joked with my calling me a “beauty queen” when I got a haircut. At 13, the boys began noticing me because “you developed a nice rack”. At 13, my friends tagged me as “the flirty one”, the one who “sticks it out just to get closer to him” [ a friend made this jingle ripping off some Linkin Park song, thanks, Z] and thanks to a false rumour, I was one of the “sluts”. [ The rumour didn’t stand for too long which was when I uncovered an ugly truth, nobody cared about the truth.]

Eventually that was all I heard. Forget trying to create an identity, now, I had to strategise and try to scrape the word “slut” off my forehead. Here’s what started happening. It was obvious that I wouldn’t be too bright and my peers found it strange if I scored well. It didn’t matter what I wore or not simply because it was established that I was someone who “craved attention”. I found myself fighting a lot of people and the rumour mongering and the name calling just didn’t stop. It didn’t matter what my opinion was one something, because I was obviously stupid. I was never picked for debates or competitions- in my school, you couldn’t just apply. The teachers would walk in and pick their pets. So I’m assuming the pet will write an article about being “The nerd”. 😉

I’ve mostly removed each person who harmed me in this process from my life. I’ve taken every action in my quest to change this perception. But what I haven’t lost are those awful memories that make me cringe each time they come to mind. In my current social sphere, I’m guarded. I never let my guard down and as each drink goes in I become quieter or happier to discuss any subject but me. The ghosts of my childhood haven’t gone but keep reappearing in different forms. I find it exceptionally hard to trust someone. There are some awful friendships I cannot get past, some relationships that were straight out of hell, and the hate I have received from people I absolutely didn’t know, really hurt. My rational mind keeps bringing up past data the minute I feel threatened in any way- to be hurt, to be judged etc. and I draw conclusions adding up all that. Conclusions that are extremely negative and I act upon them.

My defence mechanism is so polished thanks to a lot of encounters I’ve had in the past, that it attacks anything resembling vulnerability. Over this, I have no control. Maybe writing about it will help? There are too many instances I recall where I am unable to understand what even happened. Unfortunately, those who let me down outnumber those who didn’t and my mind simply registers everything with a hint of cynicism.

Victims of abuse don’t become better people. They don’t “learn to be better” just because they were once subjected to it. In fact, I only notice myself reacting in certain ways to protect myself- what I don’t notice is how that reaction is perceived by the person opposite me. I may sound rude, I might even sound like a bully. It never ends. It’s a circle of viciousness that basically alienates everybody. People become bitter and repeat it. They do exactly what was done to them. What do the words “forgive and forget” even mean? Nobody forgets and certainly, nobody forgives.

Where does it begin? Why do people do this? They’re insecure. Most assume this would mean you have something they don’t. Jealousy? Sometimes. Others, it’s because their lives are, well, shit. They don’t feel complete in themselves and they only project that on to you. They feel safe knowing they’ve managed to reduce someone else’s self worth, momentarily, and it gives them a very temporary power rush. “See? I’m better/smarter/more attractive/richer/hotter/thinner.”

If somebody calls you a fool repeatedly, you will soon start believing that you are one. You will then spend a good amount of time fighting a phantom only to realise that it never existed. If you feel your friendship is being abused, end it. If you are the one doing it, a virtual hug for you, you are suffering.

Why She Won’t Have Coffee With You

That titillating feeling you get when the cutest guy you ever saw walks past and for the tiniest fraction of a second, your eyes meet, the shortest fleeting glance, but it’s almost electric. The breath that follows is always full of anticipation and then, it subsides and your mind drifts to other things and tasks. But that feeling is powerful enough to turn a bad mood around, for a romantic at least. You see him again, you sense him hovering, should you strike up a conversation? Talk about music or books? That would seem fairly cultured, yes? Good thing you decided to grab a quick coffee at the cafe today.

Quite the romantic, though my mind often tricks me into thinking otherwise, I love feeling of butterflies fluttering about in my tummy, how alert and conscious I feel about each and every action of mine and most importantly the whirlwind of thoughts that crop up, sending me into a tizzy and end up increasing my heartbeat; all of this within seconds and from the outside, my body will show no signs of any change ever having taken place. I’ll look as bored as metal-heads would in those extra-large, neon coloured hipster shades.

Taking a look at relationships or ‘courtships’, they are well on their way to becoming painfully futile. Just like the term ‘courtships’, its customs have now become outdated and quaint. Initially, courtships allowed individuals to sail through infatuation and sexual attraction to the more permanent emotion of love and finally towards lasting holy matrimony. However, thanks to Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears, we know is no longer applicable to the world. Assisting them in this annihilation of relationships, are thousands of people who marry for convenience and marry quickly before the birth of the otherwise bastard. The destabilization of marriage is a worrisome topic as unlike failed courtships, it has very serious implications upon the current state of society. There is a separate hall of shame for those who marry as per customs or others wishes and are thus playing Russian Roulette with married life. This happens only too often and being worse of the two devils,  more often ends in ways other than divorce; murder, torture etc.

Thus, fortunately/ unfortunately, we are subjected to various ‘potential mates’ instead of finding one and sticking with him/her. Relationships these days have no common goal like they used to, not marriage nor love. A relationship is now a construct of individuals who decide whether the relationship is ‘working out’ or ‘good enough’ to continue. Couples do not look at themselves as a whole, but instead recognize themselves and therefore their role in response to their not-so-significant other. Thus, relationships are significant only when they enrich the self and therefore are majorly to enhance the self including others. Back then, people courted one another with a common goal being it resulting in marriage, however, nowadays it is quite the opposite, and marriage is now defined by the dynamics of the relationship.

Thus, relationships these days are built on sexual attraction like before but have no particular direction, nothing beats the initial feeling one gets, there is no common goal. Therefore meaning that most of the relationships we have are bound to perish, painfully, usually because most of us do not know what we are getting into since the stakes are no longer defined.

You claim to be in love, no denying that this love lasts for a long period, however when the love begins to become inconvenient and in the dynamic world of today, it eventually does, then it begins to die out. Soon, you find yourself ‘in love’ with another individual and so on. In the end, the emerging pattern of courtships/ relationships/dating is solely to satisfy the self. 

However, there exists a small percentage of people who are able to beat the cultural shift, get married and stay married too. We look upon them fondly, call them ‘lucky’ etc, this in turn proves my point all the more. There was a time when all relationships had this outcome and it wasn’t “impossible to think of it”. Come the changes in law, economy and technology, you say the global warming is the worst thing to fall upon us as a result? The implications on society are far worse.

So, if you’re wondering why your relationship failed, and whose fault it really was, I hope the article answers your question. Personally, I don’t claim to have beaten the tragedies of a relationship but simply find it easier avoiding them and thus being selfish, just like those in relationships, but without the tempting poisonings of one. (I think)

Also, an afterthought, don’t strike up a conversation with him, just feel satisfied with the warm and fuzzy feeling you were left with after the whole “..and our eyes met” moment till another one, inevitably, comes along.