I was the good kid.
My worst year I was in third grade. I told a teacher, direct quote, "You deserve to go to heck." I was upset, I lashed out.
I told two boys I would call birds down to peck their eyes out with my flute. They were threatening to shoot up the school.
Those two boys reached the TA first, the TA who didn't like me. They believed every word those two said.
My parents believed me, because I admitted to the flute. The school did not.
They got off scot-free.
I yelled at someone, fought with someone, to stop them from bullying someone else. A verbal fight in the fifth grade. The PE teacher, whom I liked and who liked me, told me to not do that, to just let it pass, that it wasn't worth it.
They say, "no good deed goes unpunished".
I am the rock, the shield, the person who is always there. It took this year for me to stop being afraid that, like so many others, I would be taken for granted. Because I had been before.
It is a moment of heart-stopping panic when I admit I'm not okay. Half of me believes they won't do anything, won't believe me, and is relieved for it. Most of the other half hopes that is the case. Every time, a small sliver breathes just a little better because love, instead of indifference, is given.
Being good, being kind, being compassionate isn't all bad. It is lonely and hard, but there's good things too. If I messed up I could get away with it. I was never asked for a hall pass; they always assumed I had permission.
(One time I smiled at her, the woman who never smiled, even with adults, and she smiled back)
Be the better person. You make your day. In elementary school I was taught that people are mean, hurt others, because they are hurting. I keep that in mind, always. I always give people the benefit of the doubt.
It is hard. It hurts. I wish, I wish, I could just be angry, feel these negative emotions directed at someone who isn't me.
But I care, far too much, about people for that. So I take a deep breath.
I keep being kind. I keep being good. No matter how much it hurts.