This is not a story, nor an essay. This article will be a mere amalgamation of my many experiences mashed together to create some semblance of sense.
Most of us value our own interpretation of things above that of others (and rightfully so). In order to believe something, we must see and/or hear the entire thing unfold before us. Though there are many amongst us who thrive on rumours, quite a few are of the former kind.
And though I am a strict follower of this school of thought as well, I have experienced its flipside more times than once.
The first was in sixth grade, when I was made the center piece of many unflattering rumours. Oddly enough, my colleagues (and even teachers) soaked up these stray words and dismissed my protests as lies. How could I summon proper proof about me not being in an unhealthy relationship? How could I produce proof of me not cheating a test when we were all given the same answers to memorize? My words couldn’t even prove me non-guilty of hurting a fellow classmate, who ‘cried’ and hence gave adequate proof that I had harmed her. Subsequently I began to be bullied, but no one believed the same. They’d see me sitting at the middle of the bench, but little did they know that there, I was treated as a wall.
The second time was when a teacher began to be especially mean to me during my higher secondary days. She was a master manipulator, who was kind and sweet in front of others and took care to show her true dislike only when we were the only ones engaged in conversation. At first, she began to cut off my marks stating silly reasons. Later, she rejected a story I had submitted for the school magazine, claiming that she was ‘sure’ that I wasn’t the real author because my english wasn’t that good. Then she chose a favourite student to go for a recitation competition over so many others who were obviously better qualified (the girl went on to suffer an embarrassing defeat, which is a story for another time). When questioned by the few teachers who actively cared on my sudden decrease in ‘extracurricular’ activities, I could not say anything. After all, I was my only witness.
Things carried on to college. A person I’d once depended on used me as a means to vent his frustrations. He pushed me deeper into the darkness which I had never known existed inside me. But this was all in secret, conveyed through messages I deleted because I was in fear of accidentally seeing them again. Only later did I realize the folly in doing so, as I once again had no witnesses or proof by my side. Even now, after he has repeatedly shamed me in public, there are people who side with him because I have no ‘proof’ of his actions.
Just recently, he completely reworked the script of a drama I had been working on for our class. It was done with utmost secrecy, the day before we were to record the dialogues, and he had managed to convince our class teacher that he had had the whole class’s blessings. The result was that a largely female cast (which had been designed so because we have girls two times the number of boys in our class) became reduced to a male dominated pool, where ‘surprisingly’ he played the main character. The story-line was a shameless rip-off of the ‘Cursed Child’ and many characters were dumbed down.
If he could act, I would’ve understood his narcissism. But the boy has the emotional range of a brick.
I resigned from the drama, unable to tolerate this bullshit and how obediently most people were going along with it. And all of a sudden, I turned from victim to villain. Here I was, the little girl who let personal feelings get the better of her. The creature who wasn’t able to suffer a little ‘sacrifice’ for the sake of the glory of the entire class. No one cared to ask why I had done it, rather they assumed. And they assumed not that I had simply lost all love for the script- but that I was a being over-ruled by my ego. The very few who had poked the story out from me again asked me for ‘proof’. And this time, I was prepared.
And then I found out that no matter how much proof you provide people with, they can choose to become blind to it. -_-