I remember when I first truly realized other people experienced just as much as I did. I was a child, and I had just seen the Devil. There was a boy, and he had bumped into me at school. I felt, for some unknown reason, a fear more real than anything else has been since. I screamed at him, and, before I even realized, I had struck him. He wasn't any bigger than me, wasn't posing a threat. I remember people laughed at him for getting beat up by a girl.

I realized it when he came to me, and asked me to let him punch me in front of some other kids. To show everyone that he was still tough. I gently reminded him that hitting a girl was just as undesirable as being beaten up by one, and that seemed to bring him out of it, but something about it felt so... silly. Silly in the way I could be, where I would believe something illogical as a quick comfort. That's what made it click for me, that he was as much of a person as I was. That night, when I tried to sleep, I had a panic attack.