I’ve found a lot of my childhood classmates on Facebook, and they’ve taken to posting up pictures from that period – birthday parties and the like. I think I begin to understand why my mother never encouraged me to have birthday parties.
I’m not in any of the pictures. I’m the only one of us who’s not in any of the pictures.
I’m sure none of them would’ve come even if I’d had a party and invited them. And it really shouldn’t matter. It’s so very long ago that it shouldn’t even be on my radar. Kids will be kids and that’s an end to it. But seeing those old photos brings it all back, and the hurt is just as fresh as it was then. I missed so much. Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t been the "brainy girl." I wish I hadn’t been blessed with intelligence that made me different. I wish they hadn’t hated me so for my differentness.
And even still, it affects me. I don’t make friends easily. Oh sure, I’m pleasant enough to be around, but it’s rare for me to trust anyone with friendship. I remember too well overhearing snide, stinging conversations when they laughed together about how they were pretending to be my friends so I would help them with their homework. I remember the horrible things they said about me when they thought I couldn’t hear them. It makes me somewhat anti-social – I dislike large social gatherings and will generally find any excuse I can muster in order to avoid them. My wedding day, while it was the happiest day of my life, was the most horrible also. I was the center of attention all day, and I hated it. I hated the thought that everyone was watching, passing judgment, and finding me lacking, just like when I was a child.
It shouldn’t matter. I shouldn’t let it matter. But it still matters, and deep down, I’m still that horribly lonely little girl who never got invited to a birthday party.