What people say, what people imply about me. I don’t give a shit.
One girl in my life made me cry. There I was balling my eyes out at the school nurse telling her i had an upset stomach and to call my dad to come pick me up early. I had no upset stomach, i just didn’t want to go back to a classroom that laughed at me for a solid good five minutes because one girl decided to completely humiliate me by calling me as many crude names as possible. There was no way in hell i was going to go back.
Half an hour later my dad shows up at my school, a little annoyed for having to pick me up and leave work when we both knew we needed the money. He grabbed my backpack and threw in the bed of the truck as i hopped into the passenger seat. We sat in the parking lot in silence. He asked me plainly, “are you really sick?” I put my head down and looked out of the window and replied, “no.” He gave a deep sigh and took the keys out of the ignition. He wasn’t going to take me home, and i wasn’t going to get out. I told him what really happened, that an asshat of a girl teased me and i didn’t take it so well. At this certain moment, i’m pretty sure my dad wished he had a son rather than a daughter. He never knew how to talk to me about these situations and be sympathetic at the same time. Sympathy was an unknown emotion in our house hold.
He thew his truck keys on top of the dashboard and said with a blunt voice, “so what?” I looked at him in rage, “what do you mean so what?!” He looked at me with a stern face and said, “so what? Someone will always be mean to you. There are a shit load of unhappy people in this world and they will make it their mission to squash every single happy person along their path. That’s life. Stop giving a shit about what people say about you and start giving a shit about what you say to yourself”. At twelve years old, hearing this coming from your dad kind of makes you feel worse. I knew what we was trying to do, but he wasn’t doing what i wanted him to do which was coddle me. And that’s exactly the lesson he was trying to teach me right then, fuck being coddled.
I sunk deeper into the seat. Nothing was going right for me and there i was being given no support. But then he hit with the question that changed my perspective. “Do you believe what she said is right? Is that why you’re upset?” I sat straight up, raised my chin and looked at my dad as if he were the enemy, as if he was that girl in class and changed my tone, “she knows nothing about me! She is more than wrong!” My dad started to smirk, “thats my girl,” he said proudly while grabbing the keys from the truck to start the ignition. “If you know who you are, if you’re confident in knowing who you are, what people perceive and say about you in a negative way doesn’t matter. Because we don’t give a shit about what people say. We’re a not giving a shit type of family, you hear me?” I shook my head in confirmation.
"So what do you want to do? I can drop you off at home with your Oba or you can tell the nurse you were feeling better" he said while both of stared out the window into bus filled parking lot. I looked at him and took the same deep sigh he released earlier to this conversation and said, "i don’t give a shit." I hopped out the truck, grabbed my backpack from the back and started walking toward my school. I got half way up the stairs when my dad rolled down the window and shouted, "you’re a great kid, no video games when you come home for cussing, love you" and drove away.
I’ve carried that with me my entire life. I’ve carried that through bullies, relationships, friendships, and even family. If i know myself, if i know who i am and i’m okay with who i am, what people, even you, have to say about me negatively doesn’t hurt my feelings. One girl got tears from me. One, was enough. Because like my dad taught me at twelve, i’m from a “not giving a shit” type of family. And that’s saved my life plenty of times.
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