Thursday, April 2, 2009

The horror

Today we received a package from my parents. It contained Easter presents for the girls, and a variety of memorabilia from my junior and high school years, including five separate yearbooks.

Oh my. I knew things were bad, but I didn't realize HOW bad. I found the most horrific sayings scribbled across those pages; words which I didn't think a seventh grader in the mid-1980's should have known. I found pictures labeled with, "jerk", "b****", and much, much worse. As I glanced through the photos, names jumped out at me.

The girl who pinched my ankles and called me a whore in fifth grade.

The boy who grabbed my rear and made me scream all through junior high.

The kids who taunted me, teased me, made fun of me and insulted me.

The friend who's heart I broke, by dumping her for another crowd in high school.

My best friend, the girl who stuck with me through thick and thin.

The chauvinistic, abusive teachers.

The teachers who made me think, who made me learn.

In the end, I suppose I gained a few good things, but the vast majority of my school experience from age 9 on was one of exclusion, bullying and sadness. Viewing those yearbooks brought it all back, and it wasn't a good thing. It made me realize, that no matter how hard life may get as an adult, it has NOTHING on the horrors of middle and high school. Yet, at the same time, it gave me hope. Because many of those pictures labeled with anger... I can't even remember who the hell those people are! So as much as I may have hated them 18 years ago, I can't even remember them now, and that gives me hope. Hope that our worst experiences are over-comable, and that in the end we can define for ourselves who we are.


Cristina said...

um, DITTO everything you said. it's amazing the kind of people we were and who we are today. and i fear for my own daughters going through that!

Christina said...

Right there with you Cristina. If I could keep my girls from ever experiencing the horror that is middle school and high school, I would. I can only hope that their experience is different from mine!

Jess said...

Whoever said that middle school/high school were the best years of your life, they were smoking something. I know that those years, for me, were uncomfortable at the best of times. I hate to think of my kids being bullied by other kids and the emotional roller coaster that is the adolescence of our lives. I shudder thinking about it!

jae said...

OH man, been there done that too. When I was moving books out to be packed in Australia, I ran across my freshman yearbook, which had a lot of people blacked out in it too. I could only remember about half of them! Some could argue that that was because of a long history abusing mind altering substances, but I'd like to think it's because I've halfway grown up ;)