She never got bullied.
Yeah, maybe once or twice they called her names. But her parents taught her that names didn’t hurt, and she did her best to believe that.
She was always the last one when they chose teams at sports, so she told herself she didn’t like sports anyway.
People looked at her judgingly. She could stand that. Or so she thought, she didn’t notice how she sucked it all up in her sysem.
She started to build her flawless protection system, as early as kindergarten.
Did it start with the jungle gym, where the big boys didn’t make room?
Did it start with the first boys calling her names, with a ferocity that scared her? (She couldn’t even imagine why they would do such a thing)
Did it start with the buttons she couldn’t fasten, as only kid in second grade? (Eyes piercing through her back)
Did it start with the works that were both boring and not very useful, but still obligatory?
Someone forgot her to tell the secret rules of this new society. She had to pay very good attention.
She built al list of all nog go areas. It got bigger and bigger.
She also built a list of things to do. It was shallow and boring, but it fortunatly (?) included something she was very good at: doing her best. And she was smart, so she could pull that one off easily.
She became invisible. She flew under the radar. She ticked enough boxes to keep everyone happy.
She kept this up till the age of 55. No one ever noticed she was a girl. She even forgot about it herself.