This is the sequel of the Life Of a Tom Boy
THE LIFE OF A TOM BOY
That was pretty much when I started going over to ‘the dark side’ of boys. Growing up with them, I was used to handling their bad sides, and all my experiences with girls thus far had really dimmed down expectations for any good relations.
As young girls, females pretty much always used me towards their own ends as their own devices. I’ll admit it was pretty much harmless – but that was really never the point. They never valued me so much for who I was, but rather for the services I could give to them – my amiability, for one. I’d always had decent enough relations with boys – even if they were always based on jokes that were fun jabs at each other.
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We always competed with running, exams and wit, and even if we weren’t exactly friends that hung out together, we respected each other enough to put each other on our radars. And when I could finally eventually come together with them to be happy with them, I was uncomfortable with it and I was not used to it, but I enjoyed it.
The difference between the sum of my relations with boys and girls up till then was that the boys never used how much they liked me and how much I reciprocated that sentiment against me to try to keep me in their lives as an occupant of the role of ‘person to make me forget that I’m lonely when I’m alone’ – they let me be who I wanted me to be. The girls didn’t care who I was – they just wanted me to be there for them.
I didn’t exactly blame the girls for it, I wasn’t quite aware enough to realize all this at the time, but I always found a liberation in being able to happily be myself around the boys. The fact that I had a natural aptitude at being natural around them due to the two brothers I actually still had around contributed to this.
After that, I began my secondary education at a new school where I met my closest best friend of almost a decade, Natasha. She was a very similar girl to me, and she was a kind enough girl to never consciously take advantage of anyone. On the rare occasions she took advantage of me, it was usually out of ignorance than out of any real maliciousness and she was always willing to hear me out, even if I’d burst out into tears because of her, and showed remorse too, shedding tears herself.
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I’d had an amazingly good best friend-ship with my very first true best friend, Rachel, before that, but I won’t get into that now. Natasha was the first girl I ever loved having around to talk to, even if we didn’t get up to all sorts of activities the way I used to with Rachel. It was a different kind of intimacy. However, Natasha had her own issues too – and her issues were a very different set from mine.
When my mother slit her wrists, popped her prescription pills and drank it down with a lot of alcohol in what appeared to be a suicide attempt, I was quite unsure as to what to do – so I called Natasha. I told her of the situation, and all I got was an ‘… – oh.’ Dead silence for half a minute. Decided to then tell her I’d handle the situation and got on with it. I felt like a fool for even trying – it’s not like I expected her to be able to do much for me, but the lack of a response I got simply broke my heart.
That was the moment that I realized some people simply are not equipped to even begin to try helping you handle a situation simply because of a lack of exposure to similar experiences. I have never been the kind of person to go to another person simply for comfort when I’m going through a tough situation or an emotional time – I used to think it was quite useless.
I never received the empathy I might have emotionally needed because I went through most of these things at a very young age at which most of my friends simply responded quite awkwardly when I would bring things up with him, so I always made a point to only approach people for conversation regarding these issues or topics if I had something to work out and I believed they could usefully contribute some kind of help.
I made a vow never to rely on empathy because, sometimes, you’re just fooling yourself into believing it’s true because that’s the feeling you need to get by. When I see that happen to myself, it’s something I really don’t like.
When a female begins to rely on a relationship, it’s important to understand that she might very well try to work the situation to her advantage, and even if she’s not a bad person, she could very well end up trying to manipulate you to be the person you need for her simply because you’re the easiest and best person to conveniently do it to.
And for someone to need you, that can perfectly fine, but when it comes to females and understanding how empathy works, we need to realize that if someone isn’t strong enough to know how to rely on herself in her own times of need, she will always rely on somebody else to get her through no matter how selfish they may be. And sometimes, being a true friend is doing what’s best for your friend to grow – showing them that they need to know how to handle things themselves.
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Natasha couldn’t never help me when it came to the many issues my family faced at the time – but she’d travelled through all of our time together with me by her side and with her by mine because I had her back and she decided she would have mine any way she could have it. Female insecurity is a crazy thing – you wouldn’t believe how it can drive and influence so many of the compulsive behaviours, attitudes and habits we have.
There are many nuances in how a woman decides to debilitate these insecurities, and I’ll admit many can be quite fucked up, but I always draw the line when it comes to using other people for my own devices. There might be nothing more disrespectful and (somehow) annoyingly blameless, so I do my best to keep away from those behaviours.
Moving on. After my first secondary school, I moved to a boarding school in a nearby county. These people were a very different crowd – definitely much more liberal and sexualized in an understated way. In a strict boarding school in the middle of nowhere where you all practically live together, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
I had one friend when I moved there – one girl I know. She moved there from my old school a year before I did, and she always encouraged me to move over – and I was so depressed with my life back home, I really didn’t see why not.
But she wasn’t a girl who knew me, my character or my personality very well, and after a short time of me being at this school, she started spreading rumours that I was ‘acting cute to make boys like me’.
I have a certain personality that comes out when I’m trying to sublimate my discomfort in new social situations such as being immersed in a life full of strangers, and she was the only link I had to familiarity, so to see such blatant judgment and lack of understanding regarding the type of person I’ve always been really broke my heart.
Her spreading the rumours scared me from making friends with boys – from wanting to even try making an outward effort to, at least. In spite of that, most of the boys always treated me with respect they deemed to me based on their appraisal of how genuine my positivity for them was and for the person that I am. Tried not to think of what everybody else thought.
My behaviour wasn’t the best in boarding school. I’m sure there were a lot of rumours. Things I don’t want to know.
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Girls in boarding school were relatively untouched. Most of us there had family issues and little scandals. It really wasn’t a surprise. But most of the females I interacted with in school were the pretty, pink, polished kinds – the kinds who were loved to death growing up.
There were a lot of pains I knew they could never understand. A lot of concepts they didn’t have the experience to work with.
A lot of darkness they had never had to overcome. Some of them were superficial and vain enough to maybe be threatened by the visage of confidence that I portrayed and the fact that people generally liked me in spite of me acting like a prudish little girl that still went around making out with everybody, and while many of them stayed out of my way, there were still many that for some reason wanted me to be a friend they had in their lives – maybe to make themselves seem more approachable – even though they felt the exact same way.
I had a prudish attitude for myself but I was generally liberal on sexuality itself – the girls I hung out with were virgin prudes through and through. Nothing wrong with this, of course, but it just meant that we weren’t always on the same page – so they never talked about it to my face. Sex was never a thing I talked about.
I just never had the sexual experience to know how to, nor did I see a need to because nobody caught my fancy enough for me to want to pursue things further than the occasional sporadic make-out session when we would go back to town on weekends to party.
I found a few I could really talk to, but I hardly opened up to most of them, even the people I hung out with, because not only did I know it would be a waste of my time to get advice from people who couldn’t understand, but I simply did not want to taint their boisterous innocence with my dark, treacherous tales.
And it wasn’t a problem. But that’s why I got along so well with the boys I made friends with there that I ran with for years after that – they *wanted* to hear about the things I had to say and the dark contemplations I came up with for myself to have because they could see through the negativity and catch sight of the insights that inspired me to rise above a pain all of us had already caught a glimpse of for ourselves.
Some females are used to being emotionally ‘bolstered’ – growing up, I never had that privilege. I was a real cry-baby – people made me cry all the time, whether it was because of physical violence or emotional abuse. All I got were hateful, venomous glares – cold, disregarding glances, shouts to stop it – never once a gentle pat on the back.
The girls I knew never understood this pain, a semblance of which the typical male mind might (due to them being expected to withhold their emotions for the sake of ‘manliness’), so sometimes they inflicted pain unto others in a careless, vicious manner without much regard for analyzing semantics of the situation when they would feel personally offended or even just annoyed, even if their standpoints have no valid grounds. It was an insensitivity I never liked having to tolerate, so I avoided those girls like the plague.
After that, I gained a few close female friends who understand the way I like to be, as well as respect it, because they understand where it comes from coming from someone they know like me.
The grand majority of friends I hold close to my heart will probably always be dominated by the males, but this is simply by pure coincidence – because at the very least, the rationale for my personality has been one that I have been able to communicate well enough to males for them to have been able to understand enough for them to have been able to find a way to not judge, and rather, to appreciate for the method it stands for.
CONT – TL;DR – I’m not literally a female that has zero female friends – but I might as well be. I used to prefer hanging out with my guy friends because we understood and related to each other much better, but real feelings along with new grounds of sexual intimacy were then introduced into the picture and it stopped feeling fair to rely on them so heavily for friendship because I knew I was constantly putting them in situations that would leave them emotionally and sexually conflicted, especially with the needy, emotional kind of personality I have.
We truly tried to keep things platonic to the best of our abilities, but at some point, the dream had to end and we had to see how we had to put our healing and development before our desperation to have each other around as a growth-hindering comfort-crutch. We had to give each other space.
I had less female friends than male friends, not because ‘I didn’t understand them and they didn’t understand me’ but simply because I avoid females that I can tell might make someone go through the same experiences some of the ones from my past made me go through.
I have the female friends I have because, unlike my male friends, who will do anything to remind me that I’m loved and will help me get by when I reach out (which I love), my female friends give me the space I need to make my mistakes while always helping me watch my back and by giving me advice I don’t want to hear and by making me take note of cautions.
I’m usually too naïve to want to hear. Female friends don’t get so close for comfort that they literally cannot be there for you – in boy-girl relations, those things get tricky and hard.
Nowadays I generally caution myself against the types of girls who have no female friends and only rely on surrounding themselves with male friends simply because it’s not always the right kind of help or attention, and it indicates an unhealthy attitude in the way they decide to maintain relations.
Doing this can encourage a mindset of using sexual attraction as a basis to maintain a friendship, even under a guise – and a female might do this to bolster her ego or self-esteem, because being around somebody who is attracted to you makes it easier for you to let yourself be your worst self since they like you enough not to give a shit.
Doing this could lead to a female having male friends that never want to bite the bullet of having to tell the female hard truths she doesn’t want to hear or deal with, simply because they want to keep her around for whatever reason – reasons that might be self-serving as well.
I’ll admit that I feel bad for the girls that don’t feel like they can relate to other women in their life – but even if I’m fine interacting with them and sharing stories from my life with them, I do not make an effort to introduce them into my life as a fixture unless I see that getting to know me is something they really want. I know what it’s like to be that girl – I feel for them, I do.
And I don’t mind being a girl to relate to. But never will I prime myself to be put in a situation where I compromise my identity for the sake of amiability. And I certainly won’t decide to put up with it in a relationship. I’ll be whatever friend they need – but relationships take work. I always try to do my part, and I will not put in work that nobody should be expecting of me if it’s a detriment to me, my life, my growth and my future.