I think every child gets a rude nickname at one point or another.
I’ve had a few over the years, though the one that really stands out to me was “Witch Girl”.
Now, this all started before Harry Potter, so I couldn’t really play it up like “YEAH BITCH. I’m goin’ to Hogwarts!”
When I told my father about the name, he didn’t have the “oh, they’re just jealous” response.
Instead he said when I was old enough, I could get my nose fixed.
He meant well. He assumed the problem (and was wrong) and just kinda ran with it, desperate to fix everything for me.
Mind you, I did need my nose fixed in order to BREATHE but...
No, I was called this name based on shit I totally had control over, and fuck those kids.
I looked like this:
I had my unbrushed giant-wad of a rat’s nest for hair, I wore all black all the time, I had a necklace made of various keys and keychains (even Donald Duck), I was never standing up straight, and I mostly just wanted to be left alone.
Quite frankly, my general lifestyle probably didn’t help either.
I was at that point in my life where I just wanted to feel like I was in control of something.
So I was absolutely curious about all things occult.
This is not to be confused with any Wiccan traditions.
I read up on that too, and that is MUCH nicer than the shit I was actually aiming to get into.
But you know what?
The kids making fun of me didn’t actually know anything about me.
Eventually, I got fed up enough to explain that I’d start turning people into frogs if they didn’t stop.
That seemed to do the trick, actually.
Now, before that all got settled, I should note that I was still having Halloween parties for my birthday.
With the exception of the Troll party, they were ALL Halloween Part Two.
To have this particular one be extra fun, my mom thought it would be a good idea to get a piñata.
Children waving around sticks while blindfolded seemed like a brilliant plan.
Mostly unaware of the Witch Girl problem, she chose an appropriate Halloween-themed thing to whack.
I remember just feeling kind of hurt by it.
I remember thinking, “What makes Glinda prettier than the Wicked Witch of the West? Who decided what was good and what was bad?” and so on.
Well, children did as children do and eventually it was smashed open.
It just seemed so much more violent than any other piñata before.
I begrudgingly took some candy, not wanting anyone to know what was going on inside my head.
I didn’t want anyone to feel bad, and I didn’t want to be made fun of either.
After the party was over, my parents threw out the piñata, since it was… you know… garbage at that point.
And I fished it out of the fucking trash like a lunatic.
And I hid it in my closet, on this upper shelf area.
I kept that thing for YEARS.
Every now and then, I’d forget it was in there, and find myself remembering enough to feel guilty.
I did this.
I made this thing get hurt.
This was because of me.
This was because I was the Witch Girl.
It would look out with half a face… Literally empty.
In essence, I was torturing myself on and off for a damn long time over a piece of garbage.
...Which isn't a bad metaphor for obsessing over a childhood nickname.
I remember the day my mother finally found it.
She was understandably confused.
She was SO SURE she had thrown it out. …So why was it-
Watching the sad realization slowly cross her face was humiliating enough that it felt like my tiny bedroom was filled with strangers.
There was a vague lecture.
Vague because neither of us really understood what was being said, or what needed to be said.
The conversation ended with me keeping it a little while longer, as a way to say goodbye.
Then I threw it out myself.
I wanted to bury it. I wanted to give it some dignity.
I wanted to know that being a Witch Girl didn’t have to be an ugly, bad thing.
Believe me, much worse bullying had happened, but none dug so deep as this strange concept.
Years later, the boy that started the whole Witch Girl thing admitted that he had a crush on me at the time.
NOT the greatest way to win a date, dude.
…Should've just turned him into a frog.