“Hey John,” he said, “You get picked on a lot, at school, don’t you?” For a moment I paused. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to answer his question. If I chose to be honest, maybe he’d show some compassion. But in my fourteen years of living, I came to understand that compassion was not an adverb that was commonly used to describe teenage boys. If one existed, he would surely have to be placed on an endangered species list.
I rushed home, buried my face in my pillow, & began to cry... I felt as if I was losing control. I felt alone. I felt less-than. I felt shame. I wasn’t supposed to feel this way. Why me? I was trapped in a shell of perpetual fear.