Posted: September 14, 2015 in Prose
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September 13, 2015

I too was once ostracized. I too was once—no, multiple times—isolated. I was misunderstood. Misinterpreted. Misjudged. The “me” I’ve always been for the past eighteen years—they didn’t like it. Not really because it’s morally wrong, but because it doesn’t fit quite right in with theirs. They were all going north. I was going, well, north-east.

So they didn’t like me; didn’t forgive my faults, didn’t overlook my flaws. I’m not saying they should have. I was just hoping they tried to understand. But I was shunned away.

My imperfections were too highlighted. I was labeled too many things for too many times. I was too serious, too selfish, too aloof, too indifferent, too picky, too proud, too this, too that. Too horrible of a person to maintain friendship with. Too locked up in my own world. Too smart. Too self-centered. I become everything every one of them detested.

I too was once ostracized. And that time I felt like I was the heaviest burden in the world, ever. I felt like my community was the ship, and I was the cargo they had to get rid of in order for them to survive the storm and see the shore by dawn. I too was once ostracized, and at that moment I felt like I was the dead weight hindering the entire team from moving forward.

But you know what I felt most at that time? I felt that I’m not worth other people’s time. I felt that I don’t deserve the blessing of human companion. I felt that the world I live in would have been better off without my existence. I felt that if I would be invisible, everything would turn out okay. That if I would leave, if I would retrace my steps and retreat to the confines of that library desk, it would be for the better.

Because at that time, I felt like a leper that does nothing good to the community, a malignant cell to a healthy body. I felt worthless, someone who doesn’t have any right to live. Someone whose very existence is the reason why nations degenerate and fall.

At that time, I tell you, I felt too ashamed every time I opened my eyes in the morning. I felt too guilty every time I drew my breath and continued breathing.  Life felt like a constant struggle to keep my face straight and my chin up.

I too was once ostracized. And if it hadn’t been for those people who cared so much that they were willing to break through the isolating walls just to hug a crying, heartbroken girl and just to whisper in her ear, “You are loved. You are worthy.” If it hadn’t been for those people, I don’t know what I would be feeling today, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be doing okay. I wouldn’t be able to stay with others in one room and not feel guilty of being a burden. I wouldn’t be able to look into someone’s eyes and not feel broken for simply being who I am. And I surely wouldn’t be able to smile without aching severely inside.

I too was once ostracized. I know how all of those isolated people felt. I know the pain, the heartache, which words may cause. I too was once trapped inside the walls built up by words spoken too hastily, by judgments given too rashly. I too was broken, seemingly beyond repair, all because of first impressions. And even after these walls broke down, even after I’ve been spared from further pain, I’ve already lost too much because of words too few.

Nobody could bring back the bygone times, the lost moments, the wasted opportunities that should have been mine to smile at and cherish. Nobody could erase the painful memories, nobody could wash away all the heartache. And no one could ever bring the persons I’ve lost because of the walls I’ve been trapped into. Those moments, those people—they have simply slipped away from my very hands, and now I could never hold on to them ever again.

I too have once been ostracized. I have once been a witness, first hand, of how destructive words can be. I too have suffered much. I have been well acquainted with the pain. And I’m not asking you to take it all back and heal me. I only ask that you make nobody else suffer from the same fate as mine. I too have once been ostracized. And it’s just a lot to go through, that I pray to be the last one.


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