You probably have learned from experiences in my other blogs that my high school years have been a nightmare for me. I was isolated ever since I was in the junior high, I was teased verbally, but I was never physically bullied by anyone. I’m guessing that was because I was taller then everybody else in school, and they thought that I would try to do something to get revenge back at them. During my years at Freeport High School, I was verbally harassed and isolated so much that I didn’t really have that many friends in school. I didn’t really have the skills of making and keeping friends, and because I was bullied so much, I didn’t really have the confidence to reach out to people. When someone would say something to me in the hallway, regardless of whether they were being friendly or mean, I would just walk by and ignore them. I tended to generalize about people, and think that all of them were going to try to do something that would embarrass me, or cause me to be verbally harassed even more. That contributed to my depression and social anxiety quite a bit. I also had trouble understanding who my real friends were, and who my real friends weren’t. In the second paragraph, I will mention a guy named Eric, who I thought was my friend, but turned out not to be. In the third paragraph, I am going to mention Aaron, who I talked about in my last blog entry.
Eric and I were in the same homeroom together ever since we started junior high. He was in my homeroom since we were in the junior high, and we also went to the same gym together. In eighth grade, he would repeatedly talk about me in front of his friends, he would call me names like f***in retard, and just say tons of other horrible things about me. During freshman year, I had a my space account and he added me as a friend, I accepted, because at the time I assumed that he matured some and grew out of the whole gossip thing. I would chat with him on aim, and he seemed like he was being friendly to me, and not making fun of me. A few months passed by, and I sent him a message asking if he wanted to hang out that weekend. He replied saying something like “I’ll see, maybe.” I sent him a message a few days reminding him about it, and he said “No I can’t, I’m too busy.” A few weeks passed, then I asked him if he wanted to hang out again, then he answered with a flat “no.” After that, I would try to instant message him, and he would either ignore me, or tell me he didn’t want to talk. A month passed, and it was the start of summer going into my sophomore year in high school. I sent him a text message the next morning asking him how we was doing, then he snapped at me and said “you woke me up at twelve forty five last night”. I asked him what he was talking about, then he said that I text messaged him in the middle of the night and it woke him up. I looked in my sent messages, and it said that it was to him. I realized that I meant to send it to somebody else, but I accidentally sent it to him. I told him that I sent it to the wrong contact, and he just said “whatever”, then ignored me. I got angry about it, and started sending nasty messages to him. That obviously wouldn’t make him interested in being my friend, which he wasn’t interested in it when I first started talking to him. It was obvious that he didn’t want to be my friend in the first place, and I shouldn’t have escalated the situation by sending rude comments to him on his phone and his Myspace.
Aaron and I, however went to my summer computer camp program, Computing Workshop. As I mentioned in my last blog, he was a real laid back, and shy type of a guy. I worked with him periodically during the first two summers I was in the workshop, but I never really got to know him. During our summer 2008 program, I got to hang out with him and have some social time with him during the camp. I sat next to him on the couch, and I noticed him pull out his phone. He showed some of the pictures and the ringtones he had on it, then I asked him if I could have his number. He gave it to me, then I gave him my number. I remember after he gave me his cell phone number, he very nicely said “you can call me anytime you want to talk to me.” Going back to Eric, I asked him if I could have his cell phone number, and he made an excuse that said something like “I can’t give you my phone number because I get prank called a lot.” I thought he was joking around at the time, than I later realized that he was trying to avoid me. When I asked him if he wanted to hang out, he would give me answers like “too busy, sorry” or even just a flat “no”. Aaron, on the other hand promised me that we would be able to hang out, and he would explain to me why he didn’t have time to do it. He would not give me general answers like Eric did. This past summer, we did get a chance to hang out. We would go out and buy ice cream, and he also invited me to his house. That was something that nobody has done in a long time, and I am very happy for that.
I have a better understanding now of who is my friend and who is not my friend. I am better off without people like Eric anyway, so why should I even worry about him? Since I’m not going to Freeport this year, I won’t have to see him in the first place. Like I have said in almost all of my other blogs, I won’t let mean people get to me and bring me down. I won’t let them interfere with what I go to the Lenape VO Tech school for, which is getting training for a job I will enjoy in the future. Also, Eric wasn’t interested in being my friend, so he obviously didn’t appreciate me for the person I really am. What kind of a friend wouldn’t appreciate you for who you are? A quote from Arnold H. Glasgow states that “A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.” A true friend goes out of their way to help you, and does not use other commitments as an excuse to not help you. Aaron is not able to spend time with me all three hundred sixty five days of the year, because he lives about thirty minutes from me. When he tells me that he’s not able to spend time with me, he does a good job explaining why he is busy. After that, I would suggest that you ask them what other day they are going to be available. But remember, if you are in dire need of help with something, be sure to explain that to them. Also, if they say something like “too busy, sorry”, they are obviously not a true friend. A true friend never makes excuses like that.
One more tip to remember, everybody is different. Not every person in the world is going to be your true friend. You might show interests in being their friend, but they won’t show it back to you. If they don’t show interest in being your friend, don’t take it personally, it’s their loss. Best friends are rare, you will only find them once or twice in life. And again, make sure that this person accepts you for who you are. I hope you find this blog informative, and I hope that you will show it to someone who may have trouble making friends in the future.