It’s midnight and I have a chemistry test I’m going to fail in the morning. I’m not excited for that. I’ve been coughing this past month — God, yes, I know, that is just as terrible as it sounds — but this post isn’t about the illness that has ravaged me for the past four weeks. No, sir, this is perhaps the most personal post I have ever written anywhere. I want to say this, but I don’t want to tell my rl friends (yes, I do follow some of them on here and they follow me back, but they can know about this, w/e, I’m so beyond the point of caring) and I have to get this out.
This all started a few weeks ago when a freshman friend-person thing was picking on me. Normally, I wouldn’t give a shit. I tried to ignore it. It happens. People are douchebags; sometimes those people are in close proximity. But then he mentioned an age old insecurity — one that I hadn’t really thought about since about high school — and then when I saw him today, and he started at it again, I fucking exploded.
"Well," I said. "It works out, because I don’t even like you as a person."
Now, let’s take a step back here. I know the kind of image I’ve been promoting on Tumblr. I know. I actively try to be the nicest fucking person; it doesn’t come natural to me. I’ve had months of forcing it (but more on that later) because there is really no need to be a dickbag, there isn’t, but something in that moment made me go back eight years or so, when I was in middle school and the girls in my choir class bullied me.
To them, I’m sure, they were just “jokes.” Jokes about my acne (to this day, I am uncomfortable if acne or facial scars are brought up in conversation. I will straight up freeze you out and I’m not kidding.) My hair. (dandruff). My voice. Just my general person seemed to annoy them. I begged my choir instructor with my eyes to HELP ME HELP ME HELP; I begged my friend with my eyes when she stood by during recess and watched, heard them pick me apart. I’m fucking nineteen years old, and I’m still not over it. That’s the thing about bullying, you see. It fucking sticks to you. You think you’re okay and then someone makes a “joke” and all of a sudden you’re twelve and you’re screaming into your mother’s chest that you want to die because you’re so ugly.
That, I think, started me on the path of Old Konnie. To put it bluntly, Old Konnie Did Not Give a Shit. That was me in high school — when I had amazing friends who also didn’t give a shit. When my best friends were my totems, my equals, and they wouldn’t let me give a shit, they pulled apart anyone who dare to reach for me, and I was on top of the fucking world. Sure, Old Konnie lost friends. Did I care then? Maybe. Did I miss them? Sure. It happened irl; it happened on Tumblr. Hell, maybe some of the people I cut off still follow me and I don’t know it. Do I care now? No. I hope, wherever they are, that they’re having the time of their lives, but I really want them to stay the hell away from me. No, I don’t forgive them for the shit they’ve done to me. Oops. Hidden anger is bad, Konnie. You should relieve yourself of it, Konnie. Nope. Old Konnie never evolved. Old Konnie could walk away without ever looking back and I was so proud of myself for doing that. “Wow, you’re proud of being an asshole?” You might be saying to yourself. “Unfollow.”
Okay, sure. I’m proud those people walked out of my life and I never went back to them.
And this is where New Konnie comes in.
New Konnie appeared during my first year of college, when my closest college friends sat me down and told me how horrible of a person I was. I made them feel bad. I was hurtful. I was hateful. I was too rough. I joke around too much. Hearing them, I felt as though I had become the person I hated, the kind of person whose jokes meant to hurt, and I had never wanted to be that kind of person. I can leave you if you’re a dick to me and I won’t care, but if I care about you, I don’t want you to hate me.
But after that night, I hated myself a little. I cried for hours. It was the worst night of my life. I contemplated suicide many times, looking at the bottle of pills over my desk, and I thought about it. I thought about it. I am such a horrible person, I thought. I deserve to die. I don’t want to cause people pain. Why do I even exist?
But I thought about it some more, and then I came to a conclusion that still stops me:
There is no fucking way in Hell my mom is getting me home in a box.
No fucking way.
I hated myself, yes, and some days I still do, but even if I’m shitty to her, my mom loves me more than anyone will love anyone ever. I don’t deserve to have such a fantastic mother, such a caring mother, who holds on despite everything and tells me every day that she loves me. I’m scared of having kids because I think I’ll never love them the way my mother loves me.
So I kept living, but I changed.
This is New Konnie. Soft Konnie. I’m always full of compliments, bad jokes, cute noises, etc, because I’ve had “nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy, nice = happy,” in my head since that night a year ago. In the beginning, I forced it. I forced it hard. Eventually though, like now, it’s not forced. I like making people feel good. Yes, it is inherently selfish. Yes, I am reaching that point where I care for people more than they care of me and I don’t even fucking let them walk away.
That’s when I knew I had changed, because something like that happened to me not too long ago. A friend wanted to cut things because of… something, she never even told me. All she said was she thought I hated her and that it was better if we weren’t friends.
Old Konnie would have waved her off. The fuck do I look like, clinging onto people who don’t care enough about me to tell me why they’re fucking mad? That’s like you don’t even want to fix what’s wrong with us! Fuck no, Old Konnie would have said. No. Bye. Sorry you don’t care enough about me to tell me why you’re acting this way. You ain’t throwing me away; I’ll do it to you first.
But I didn’t.
I begged. I pleaded. This went on for long minutes. Toward the end, I could feel myself giving up. I felt pathetic, like whenever I did when I messaged that guy I had a huge crush on and he didn’t respond to me. What’s the use? I thought then. Me now, I’m always fucking giving people so much of me, and they don’t care. They don’t. No, you don’t really care about me and I’ll say it again. No, you don’t care. That’s fine, you know. You’re not obligated to care about me. I won’t yell at you to love me; I’ve done enough of that. But if you don’t care about me, don’t pretend to be my friend. Nope. That’s not how this works. Tell me straight up or just leave. Don’t keep me here, thinking that we’re okay, when you really couldn’t care if you never saw me again. I’m still not that kind of person.
But the friendship persevered. Of course it did. I made sure of it.
Days like today make me realize… who the fuck am I? Old Konnie? New, nice Konnie? I don’t know what it is about me that makes people think they can walk all over it (is it my face? is it my smiley usage?) but I will not put up with your fucking shit. I was not raised to cling, to beg. I was raised to stand tall and whoever wanted to stay in my life would stay without me having to do any of those things.
"Wow," you might be thinking to yourself. "Konne, I don’t… I don’t know how I feel about this." It’s okay. I’m not sure how I feel about this either. I couldn’t sleep because my head was too full, and now I’m here, writing the most personal thing I ever have. Will some people be unhappy with me after this? Some might. This isn’t a post meant to bash anyone. Actually, this isn’t a post for everyone else. This is a post for me. Me, me, me. This post is all about me. I have acne scars and hairy arms and belly fat and my hair curls even when it’s straight; I will fucking not kiss your ass under any circumstance. I’m nice, yes. Of course. Everyone should be nice. Make the internet, and life, a better place for everyone, yeah? You never know what someone is going through.
That’s the phrase I repeat to myself over and over, you know. Whenever I feel my detest for someone rising. God, I hate weakness in everyone, but most of all myself. Those middle school bullies have nothing on the shit I’ve said to myself in my life, and I feel like that won’t stop. I’m trying though. Hard. I’m trying to get over it. I’m trying to learn how to balance Old and New, hard and soft.
Do you know the quote with, “Be soft, do not let the world make you hard?” I think about that all the time. I can’t find myself to regret the friendships I’ve lost, but I don’t want to lose any of the ones I have now. I guess that’s where I cherish the New me. Yeah, I kinda had to force myself in the beginning, but then it became natural. I try hard not to be a douchebag. I coddle people more now than I ever have before. It’s nice, you know, to be liked. That’s all people want at all times — to be liked, to belong. That’s what Social Psych is teaching me.
Ever since middle school, I’ve been terrible at taking “jokes,” especially those aimed at my physical appearance. There’s not enough foundation in this world to make me feel like people aren’t looking at my skin. Would I have been this way, I wonder, if I hadn’t been bullied over it? I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer to that.
Well, it’s late. I don’t want to keep my roommate up. Thanks for reading through this, I guess.
Cheers to failing my chem test.