You just got called anti-social.
But what, you ask, can you do about it? Who knows. But why, you ask. There’s got to be a reason, right? You can’t stand being called anti social: a tag associated with all this loneliness and depressing crap that you think of as pointless drama.
You hold it off for now–it’s a thing you don’t want to deal with at the moment, but, eventually, it will become a reality; or is that another misconception? Is being social all that great anyhow? So you’ve learned to chat, Cathy, and the people you surround yourself with are new and colorful and vibrant, otherwise known as the words used to describe a box of Crayola colored pencils–how much of it is touching you as a person, as an individual? When you look into the mirror, do you see you for yourself, or–you for someone else?
You mull it over, take a nap, eat some food, the regular routine. Next day: you’re back at that one place, be it school, or work, even your own home, where you were tagged anti-social. Maybe the accuser isn’t there. They’ve gone off to do other things, but, you’re told, they’ll be back soon. Soon translates to you as never. They will never come back through those doors, into that room, so you can ask them, “What made you so curious as to what I look like on the outside, but you could care less about what I’m like on the inside, where it matters?”
Confusion takes hold. You start questioning, yourself, others, the world–and what does it all amount to but a tiresome headache and a conscience that has trouble forming cohesive thoughts? Anti-Social. The words are in your dreams; 24/7 you’re plugging your brain away at figuring out what the hell that person was trying to say. You lose sleep. You question your morality, who you’re meant to be. Frequent questions to yourself are, Am I a good person? Am I supposed to be here? Am I–it goes on and on.
The world folds in, it feels as if you’re drowning in a placid lake, no tidal waves or whirlpools to suck you down. You alone are sinking yourself to the bottom of the abyss, a weight tied to your ankle. And always it’s those words–anti-social. They’ve become so common in your thoughts, you’ve formed a stigma around them. Anti-social, to you, is all you can be–but, then, you realize, it’s not.
Perhaps you never talk to people as often as you’d like; and perhaps you never talk to people as often because–well, you don’t like to talk. Does that mean, however, that you have to wear a binding around your mouth because you’re a little on the silent side of life? Not quite; in fact, not talking to all those people gives you, individually, strength.
Your solitude feeds you.
It comes, at first, as a shock. How could you, the one who never talks, never voices their opinion, never laughs at jokes, be more correct than the one who labeled you?
But with all shocks, there is a numbness–and in this numbness you reflect, drawing your mind back to the happiest places and the memories you formed from being who you are. You remember life didn’t used to be so bad, it was a game you loved to play everyday. Sure, there were storm clouds on sunny days, rain drops on your umbrella of smiles, but you turned out fine.
You become whole, reinventing inside a palace of glee and laughter and purity that overshadows the darkness of your former shell. With this spirit, you step once more into the world and look around, identify those struggling from the same self-inflicted disease, the massive, horned bull named Doubt, and, ripping the page out of your book, the page someone decided to write in for you, when, in truth, it wasn’t their responsibility, you take on the crushing weight of the demon that has plagued you time and again, that has chewed up your courage and spit it across the universe as a warning, a warning that you are dangerous, considered highly toxic; and everywhere, from the deeps of the dark to the climes of the miraculous, people stray from the phenomenon that is you.
Then, after it sinks in, you know they’re right.
You are dangerous.
All should steer clear, all should tremble when they hear your name, because you, unlike any other human in the existence of anything, are weaponized, armed with the hidden secrets of your self–the source of power no one can attack if they can’t find it.
You are a weirdo.
You are a freak.
You are the unknown that frightens people so badly, they have to give you a name, and it is–