I Survived You: An Open Letter

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I thought of and typed out a title for this post before I actually got to writing it. I almost never do that, so I guess this a big deal LOL. (Do we put the LOL before the full stop or after? Whatever… I’m just going to finesse it.)

True-Fiction.

Today I saw one of your friends in school. The one I crushed on briefly; Remember her? She and I had this very awkward conversation once upon a time ago. We “shaded” each other on Twitter a bit and then she made fun of something that was very important to me so, yah, guess its safe to say that crush is all the way gone now. Anyways. I saw her in school today, or at least the back of her head and then I logged on to Twitter and I saw something you retweeted and I remembered how for a very long time I both hated and was awed by you.

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You were a terrible person to me chaley and constantly without cause. All I ever did was exist in your presence. Literally.

Yes, I know I sound like a whiny bitch saying this but dude, it was with you that I first realised all those hair-pulling things that girls are notoriously stereotyped for just as easily happens with boys. The Bro-Code and boys boys something – It beans pass.

Do you remember the first time you spoke to me? We were behind the Abruquah dorm washing our clothes. You said, “I heard you are the person who wants to compete with me for W.O.O.T” I asked, “What is W.O.O.T?” You rolled your eyes, “ Writer of Our Time”. Then you went back to your washing and proceeded to ignore me the rest of my school life.

A Writer of Our Time was never crowned though right? But then again my poem never made it into the School Magazine even. – You know? The one you were editor of? You point blank told me it did not make any sense. I still have it, unscathed and unedited, with all of its nonsensical flaws. I hate it, I don’t know why I still keep it, but I will attach it to this rant.

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You were always such a bitch to me. First, I thought it was like some competitive spirit or something. Then I realised you were just a bad person. Honestly. Its that simple.

Have you changed? You seem to have a lot of friends now; all of who seem to have a lot of positive things to say about you. It sort of makes it hard to tell. Maybe you lot are birds of a feather. Who knows? But tell me, how do you encourage someone to call you up when they are sad when for the longest time you were all of what made me sad? I really don’t understand. How does someone call you. I mean, YOU, her savior? Have you changed or have you always just been selective with who you choose to be nice to and who to destroy.

No, destroy is not an exaggeration, not really. Destroy is what you came close to doing to me chaley. Already naaa fragile self-esteem then you have someone constantly channeling negative energy in your direction. All this, but heyoo. I’m still here.

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Do you remember that one time after Dining? I was walking with Aikins and we caught up with you and a couple of people from your school. We were all huddled up complaining about being thirsty and broke and Benjamin was trying to convince you to buy water for everyone. You gave him the money, counted every single person there, slowly, meticulously, your eyes on me all the while, and left me out. Then told him to buy water for the people you counted. I am ashamed to say I actually pretended all of that was not intentional – that maybe you had just “forgotten” to count me. Maybe too I didn’t want to believe such pettiness existed. Again, who knows? Point is, I actually swallowed the little ego I had left and expressly asked you. You said no. Then proceeded to carry on a conversation without me. I stood there, staring at you like a fool for all of 62 seconds then slowly turned and walked away – unnoticed.

Looking back at the whole thing erh? I actually cant believe that happened though. Like, Teen Drama much? Ei! Boys School paaaa chaley. Forget your biases, men, women, we are all the same.

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I really hope you remember mome because I kept what happened all through prep into lights out, and when I was sure everyone else was asleep, I cried like a baby.

I think I’m writing this now because your friend just so happens to remind me of you a lot. You are both completely delusional on what it means to be good people, and yet think of yourselves very much as such. You tag yourselves as feminists, you are quick to check people on things like privilege and sexism and racism and yet you are absolutely lost on what kindness and empathy means. Sometimes, I feel like you have both channeled your inner bullies into some Radical Liberal Corrupt Police Force that gets to treat people any way they want, say whatever they want no matter how hurtful and get away with because badges and stopping crime. Because you are defending the right cause.

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I wish I could say I steered away from you from that moment onward but I didn’t. I pretended nothing had ever happened and I continued to treat you with all the decency I could muster. My mother always told me if I kept allowing people make me feel terrible about myself, I would never be happy. But I’ve never been able to be as mean as I want to. I care how people feel.

I cared that your face always contorted when people called you faggot under their breath while you passed.

You were the first person to teach me that sometimes the abused person is also an abuser. That a suffering person is not necessarily a good person. I wonder if their words really stung you as much as I thought they did.

I always double-check the door when I’m gossiping.  Not to hide necessarily, but to avoid hurting Xs feelings.  It sucks because people barely ever check the door for me. What I have come to believe though is that  I shouldn’t let negative people turn me into a negative person.

After that “incident”, I overheard you many times touting GLEE for how it addressed LGBT issues and bullying and how it was just Gods own rainbow on earth. I never saw GLEE because of you. Whatever songs they sang on there, I knew it was as haf-assed as your self righteous hypocrisy.  I couldn’t believe you were the same person.

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 Is it that you do not know who you really are or you have your head too far up your own ass to see?

I have listened to you so many times. Your poetry, your songs… I have heard you talk about depression and heartbreak and my heart has boiled and I have steamed and I have been told consistently, “Why do you dislike him so much? You are just a hater” I dislike you because it is my resolve that you sing and you write on these deeply personal things only for aesthetics sake. Your voice falls into a whisper when you sing about pain and you cry and the audience goes quiet and then they applaud but everything, everything you do is for you. You turn these real issues that you have never suffered before, I repeat YOU HAVE NEVER felt before and you milk all of the shock effect and compliments you can get out of them

Someone who has truly felt shame and rejection will never look to make another person feel the same way about themselves… ever. You were a hypocrite then and your friend sure is one now.

You are the worst kind of abusers. The kind only the victim gets to see.

 

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An autistic boy walks into a school; first day, new kid, and a rally is being held to raise awareness on autism. He sees three very attractive people on a stage. One guy, three girls. All attractive, all nicely dressed. They are singing and dancing and the whole school seems behind them. They are popular. They are fun. One of them sees the autistic boy and calls him up on stage to join them. He climbs up on the stage, he joins them in a weird choreographed dance and it is literally the best day of the boys life. After the show, he is with them backstage and they are discussing where to go eat at. They are laughing, having a good time and this “awkward” looking boy in really dirty clothes walks in.

“Hey. Good show guys!”

They all fall quiet and mutter inaudible thank yous. There is a brief moment of silence as the stranger stares at them and they stare away. The stranger laughs awkwardly. “See you around,” he says, and they all nod. After the stranger leaves the one boy in the group shakes his head. “Ah… this guy dierrrr. So weird” The autistic boy stares at the back of the departing stranger and he is confused. What is this weird school where my autism is celebrated but an ordinary boy is shunned for being different?

This is who you are, friend. You are the awareness group, the autistic boy is the so called cause you fight for, the weird boy who walked away is the things you don’t do because no one is watching or not enough “relevant” people are talking about. You’re a timeserver.

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I am done with my small rant now. LOL. Its interesting that life should take me back as hard as it has today. I mean, major throwback right? But then again, I am glad for these memories. I am glad that I see directly through people now. I am glad that I am sensible enough to know that there are things about me that I will probably never know but I should appreciate all the same. I am glad that I see through your act which I know now, you most probably don’t realise is an act even. I am glad that every time I look back at my past I am emboldened by the strength and resiliency I have shown in the face of mockery and criticism and rejection. They have never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. I am glad that I am aware now that not every social circle can be mine to fit into, and that its perfectly fine being comfortable with the small number of people who actually appreciate my existence.

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I have learnt to stop complaining (at least to people I am not close to) – it is annoying and no one cares.

I have learnt not to dwell on the past and especially human actions – Everyone is on their own path. You do yourseff if you let someones stress slow you down on your journey.

I have learnt to reduce the time I spend on twitter – Ghanaian twitter is a cesspool of complaints and frustration. The self-righteousness is fast coming and the laughs are far between.

I have learnt to support people unequivocally and without expectation – Don’t expect people to share your work and give feedback because you do same for them, otherwise nothing you ever say is really genuine.

I have learnt not to force friendships, conversations and relationships – Only be with people who want to be with you. Save yourself the stress. End the conversation if it has to end. Don’t reply if it doesn’t have to be replied. Be comfortable with silence.

I have learnt to enjoy myself – The creative process used to be fun. What’s all this trying to convince yourself you’re great? Do you want to be a writer? Do you really? Either ways just learn. Don’t expect. Learn.

Most importantly, I have learnt to be kind to people – If you don’t have anything good to say, then say nothing at all. If there is no constructive help inside the criticism then don’t criticize at all. Surprise people with kindness.

Oh and lastly – Drink water and mind your own business.

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Fin.

 

The poem you told me made no sense.

The funeral dirge that played too long

Had a sting to its song

Though it was calm and it was sobre

It brought goosebumps, a  painful nausea

And I sat behind the widow

And listened to her many wails

And smiled at the plenty chatter

From the spirit seeking drunkards

And the children who did not know

And cried only because their mother did

And the adults who knew

And cried because they knew this

The greedy, greedy brother who lived

A fifty – fity mood swing

The angry saddened sister who could

Swear she knew who did it

Who both stared without a sorry

Who both stared, lust, anger, rising

And I walked towards that coffin

Wondering who it was that lay in

Was it honesty or was it pity

Or could it be reason that would be buried ;

In a small petite gathering of characters who have known mourning

Who have tasted the bitter sweet and seek no more than the harvest it reaps

Could I have been the only eyes ,

That did see beyond , beyond ?

And I stared into that coffin ,

For whoever within I did feel sorry,

Evil had risen in his / her sleep

And to go back, a blurred intention

                                                                                                    One that sense refused it keep.

 

It was my eyes that stared back ,

For only in death had I seen ,

That sorry tale of the beyond,

That lays in wait beyond beyond .

Alvin Akuamoah – Beyond the hanging Tear

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