Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another day for you and me in paradise

I warn you. This post is a little darker than our norm. I blame Mama Kat. It's her assignment, after all.

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Bound by professional ethics, I am not permitted to screw with your taxes. Much as I would like to. And that is the cross I bear.

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I was an unpopular kid. A bookworm and a tomboy who enjoyed classical music and excelled at math and creative writing. A late bloomer with crooked teeth, big glasses, and unfashionable clothing. I didn't make friends easily. At one time friendly and outgoing, I ended up withdrawn and shy.

Trust no one. Don't try to fit in. If you put yourself out there, you only get it worse. Just duck and cover.

Some days, it feels like a war zone. But with fewer guns.

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I had a couple of close friends. We'd met when I was about 4 years old. They were at all my birthday parties growing up. We played together on an almost daily basis. We sat together in classes. We were inseparable. My two best friends. I loved them, and I trusted them. But they were boys, and I was an awkward and gawky girl. Suddenly, we were teenagers. Suddenly, all bets were off. Suddenly, they didn't want to know me. And more to the point, they joined the others. But they were even worse. Crushing insults and cruel violence. Thanks for the memories.

Betrayed. I trusted you. I believed in you. I had higher expectations of you.

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I was not an athlete. But I remember spending a lot of time running. Trying to get away. Hiding in bathrooms. Tears. Feigning illness so I wouldn't have to go. I couldn't face it. I couldn't. Please. No more.

Oddly enough, the mental anguish stands out more than the physical abuse.

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Oh, how you would laugh. No opportunity was ever wasted.

"She's ugly and has funny teeth."
"Are you pregnant?"
"Hey sweetheart, anyone ever tell you you're flat?"

Teachers couldn't protect me. They tried, but they couldn't. Bullies are creative, and they find a way to get you. If insults don't work, they escalate. And escalate, and escalate, and escalate. First, they're tossing barbs, telling you you're stupid and ugly and untalented. Next, they're excluding you from participation in group projects and suggesting you can't sing and must have slept with an instructor to get into choir. Soon, they're vandalizing your artwork. Now, they're chasing you down at the annex and hitting you, just to see if they can make you cry.

Yes, you were all just lovely. Good times. Thanks for that.

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But it's just a typical day. A part of growing up. It's just junior high. Forever burned in my memory.

And you.

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Many years have passed, and I think of you often. I wonder what's become of you. I look you up, but when I see your name, my eyes burn. It appears that karma has not yet caught you. You are wealthy. Admired. Respected. And I wonder if you beat your wife or kids, as you did me. It seems something you might be capable of. I hope not.

I see your name on a file, and I have it sequestered. I cannot work on your file. I can't even see it. I recognize that I am not unbiased, cannot be unbiased, and I am always a professional. So I grit my teeth, and I protect you. Because I know that this is the right thing to do.

This is the right thing to do. And apparently, I will always do the right thing. I did it then, and I do it now. It's who I am.

I never gave you reason to mistrust me. I never gave you reason to fear me. Why should today be any different?

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Yes, I know this post has a sad, heavy kind of tone. Don't blame me. It's the fault of Mama Kat over at Mama's Losin' It. She picked the prompts.

So head on over and check out this week's writing assignment. What speaks to you? And for heaven's sake, try and have some fun with it!!

20 comments:

The Stiletto Mom said...

Wow...just wow. Dark but what a great read and so very true!

Diane said...

This made my heart hurt.

Momma Trish said...

It's an unfortunate turn. When I started writing it, I really wanted it to be funny. But it took on its own life and humour apparently wasn't an option. Sorry about that. I must be in a brooding mood today.

Stiletto Mom - Yeah, I know it's dark. Thanks for reading it anyway.

Diane - I'm sorry. I don't like it when my posts make people sad.

Michelle said...

Can I just take a minute to say sorry to you and all of the kids who were teased and felt like an outcast during JHS.

Kids are so self centered in JHS that I'm not sure most realize how much hurt they are causing others. Even the kids who you thought were popular had their own set of painful moments.

JHS sucks!!!

Sheri and George said...

Jr High can be the toughest time in your life. Going from a child to young adult, trying to figure out where you fit and peer pressure is a bitch. I know, I speak form experience. I did get my payback though when going back for a high school reunion many years later. I had changed enough that my classmates didn't recognize me and thought my husband was actually their classmate.

Mama Dawg said...

That...was powerful. So wonderfully written.

Lacey in the Sky said...

I really loved reading this post. My heart hurts that you had to go through that. Kids can be so cruel. I don't think I was ever a mean kid, but I know I likely said SOMETHING that hurt someone's feelings and thinking that they may still remember it makes me wish I could go back and try again.(& that's just assuming I hurt someone's feelings at some point!) I hope the adults that these children became feel the same way I do...

La Pixie said...

I honestly cant believe that kids could be so cruel. Im so sorry that you had to go through all of that!

steenky bee said...

With all of the awkwardness while growing up you should be on par to be a supermodel right about now. Weren't they all that way? Giselle went to my high school and she was a total dork. :)

Gwen said...

Wow ~ I am speechless. I honestly am sorry for everything those kids said. How horrible for them to treat you awful. Wonderful writing however. :)

Jen said...

Oh my, there are not really words...

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

I know your pain darling....I know your pain. The best revenge is that we survived and became happy healthy adults...even if you can't forget.

Ashley said...

Wow, I'm sorry to hear those years were rough. I wish I could say I never made anyone feel bad about being who they were, but I did. It made me feel powerful. But when the tables were turned and it was I who was being picked on, you bet my attitude changed. I hope to raise my children to not be bullies, because its never worth it.

Momma Trish said...

Michelle - I ran into one of my old bullies a few years ago. Unfortunately, they did realize how much pain they were inflicting at the time. Some people aren't raised properly, and they don't learn to care. Kids can be mean, and sometimes that's how it is.

Sheri and George - Yeah, Jr High can be really hard. Glad you got your payback!

Mama Dawg - Thanks. I don't often go all dark, though it's happened a couple of times the last couple weeks. I'll try to avoid it for awhile. ;)

Lacey in the Sky - I'm sure that as adults we all can see things we did that we should have done differently. You seem like a sensitive soul. If you can't remember doing anything specific, chances are good you didn't.

La Pixie - Really, it was a long time ago. You don't forget, but you move on.

steenky bee - Sadly, not a supermodel. And why not?! I totally should be a supermodel.

Gwen - Thanks for the compliment. Sadly, some kids are just jerks. I happened to go to a school filled with these people. I guess they sort of find each other, huh?

Jen - No, there really aren't, are there? It was a long time ago, though. It just came out for the writing assignment. I'm really quite well over it nowadays.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life - I don't think we ever forget these experiences. But you're right about the best revenge. Who could really ask for more?

Ashley - I'm sorry you got picked on at some point, but glad you have realized it isn't okay. I'm sure you will raise your children right, and they won't bully other kids.

Jori-O said...

Wow, that was deep! Was jr high fun for anyone??

Captain Dumbass said...

It's unfortunate that kids don't recognize how horrible they are being until they get older. And you are a strong person, I don't know if I could be that strong.

And did Steenky say Giselle went to her school?

Momma Trish said...

Jori-O - I think Jr High is probably the hardest time of life for most people. I doubt there were many who enjoyed it.

Captain Dumbass - Yeah, hindsight's 20/20 and kids will be kids. It's tough to be strong when you're staring an opportunity in the face. But I am an adult. And my profession has a Code of Ethics, so that makes it easier. ;)

And Giselle? See, that's another reason why Steenky is awesomesauce! (I love that expression.)

Mama's Losin' It said...

Wow. My heart hurts now too...and I want more details...and I want names dammit! I know how influential our experiences are in shaping us as adults. I hope you were able to build confidence and forgive...with or without their help.

Momma Trish said...

Mama's Losin' It - You can always email me for any details you want. It was a long time ago, so it doesn't much matter now. I'm mostly past it; some days, it crops up. The name on the file was one of those moments. ;)

Momma Trish said...

Should add: I obviously can't give up their names. It wouldn't be productive anyway. :)