I found myself completely alone, lacking a soul to call my friend.
It sounds melodramatic, but that was my reality. I didn’t choose it, nor—in my view at the time—was there much of an opportunity to escape it.
Essentially, the group of guys I had become friends with through association in elementary school and the beginning of middle school started to see me as something different than a friend. I became a punching bag — the recipient of every joke. That’s how it started and it quickly spiraled into an incredible social exclusion that pushed me into near isolation.