Friday, August 20, 2010


I can only tell you what it feels like, and right now there's a steel knife in my windpipe. I can't breathe.

If those words sound familiar it is because I borrowed them. Or stole them. Or copied them. Maybe I plagiarized them. I don't know. Ask Purple Cow. She wrote a blog all about this and seems to have a handle on it. I want to get back to the topic at hand. Oh yeah, I borrowed them from Marshall Mathers. It is the opener from his song I LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE. Which is about abuse. Well that is appropriate for this blog. Moving on...

I wrote this blog on Wednesday. It was about my first day of school at Wilson Junior High School. I also wrote this blog a while back to help you gain some understanding, if you want further understanding, of all the things spiralling out in my life and making me feel like crap back then.

I have spent two days trying to get a handle on why my junior high school experience was worse than other people's experience. I have decided that it was not worse than everyone's experience, obviously. Wilson was just the worst junior high school in my town. There were two other junior high schools that didn't spit out kids who felt like they walked through a war zone. Why? All of those kids were, more or less, living at the same socio-economic level. In other words, they were more the same than they were different. It was only at Wilson that they took kids from the bottom of the food chain and kids from the top and threw them together. It was like expecting community fish and piranhas to live in harmony. Ha.

I think I mentioned that I wrote several blogs about junior high on facebook and got this unexpected backlash of comments and emails. It turns out that it was torturous for everyone that went to Wilson. The kids from Lincoln and Roosevelt were like, "Whatever. It kinda sucked." The Wilson kids aka adults read that, got drunk, and sent me crying emails. So, no, this horrible, miserable, three years were not just mine. The pain was spread around. However, I can't own other people's pain, and I don't know how it affected their futures. I can only speak for me.

So, Robin, what did Wilson do to you?

1) It gave me a certainty that I would never be enough. I would never have enough. I would never be able to keep up. Even if I saved and saved for the right brand of jeans to fit in, as soon as I bought them, they would go out, and I would be wrong again. Or they wouldn't matter because my shirt would be all wrong. Or my shoes. Or my coat. Or my hairstyle. It didn't really matter, because there was nothing I could do to ever be enough. I was all wrong and I couldn't change it, fix it, or accept it.

2) As a non-person at Wilson, that also makes you unpretty. Your wrong clothes with your wrong haircut combined with the glasses you have to wear... that all adds up to unpretty. Even when you get contacts, the unpretty feeling remains. Once unpretty, always unpretty.

3) You are not good at anything athletic. This is because you are small and unpopular. You are unpopular because of #1 and #2. You are small because you are small boned and naturally a small person. The super athletes at this school are not going to give you a chance to see if you can play any actual sports. Instead, they will knock you down to get to the ball. You get knocked down enough times, you are smart enough to step aside and let them play your position and theirs. The gym teacher never once calls them out for this behavior, because he thinks that you can't play sports either. This is confirmed by being picked at the end or near the end for teams. In the beginning, there was this thought that ran in my head, "If they only knew I am a gymnast and I can out play their ass if they would let me." That thought lasted until I picked myself up off the ground the fourth or fifth time. Then it became, "I suck at sports." Don't ask me to play sports, because I really do suck at sports now. I hate effin sports.

4) Fear. I learned all about fear at Wilson. Unfortunately, I didn't learn what to do with it. I worked on my invisibility skills without a lot of success. There was this one girl who I thought was just bullying me. Turns out it was her mission to terrorize as many people as possible. (That was one of the things I found out on facebook.) It was daily. Pokes and jabs. Small things. The irony is that I never saw them coming until they hit their mark. How do some people do that? Her best ones were always when I thought she would overlook me that day. Or when I thought I was in a safe zone like class.

We were in Home Ec. In hindsight, I should have taken Shop. Careerwise, it would have served me better. It was the cooking day. We had made our Whatever. It was all up at the front and there was a line. I already had mine and was sitting at my table. Kellie (yeah that's her real name), my tormentor, was walking back to her table with food and drink and decided to stop right behind me. Not good news. I only knew she was there because she started talking to me. She was holding her cup of red juice over my head. She says, "I could pour this whole cup of juice over your head and nobody would care." She gives that a long pause to let it sink in. The nobody would care part and the fact that she's contemplating such an act. The cup is still dangling over my head. "You're no one in this school." She let that sink in. Cup still dangling. "I could say I slipped. No one would question me." Finally someone came back to my table and she moved on. She and her cup of red juice. And I said nothing. Not to her. Not to anyone at my table. Maybe not to anyone. Well, probably to my neighbor, Robin, who got to hear about each and every horror that I lived through at Wilson. Not sure anyone else. Well, all of you who are reading this.

It probably wasn't long after that I read THE OUTSIDERS and it changed everything for me. And I wrote about that in this blog. Matter of fact, on my trip to the library today I checked out that book again. I haven't read it since I was a teenager and I wanted to see if it would read the same now. Probably not quite.

Wilson. The place I lost my voice. The place that a whole lot of people needed to be told to fuck off (pardon my language, but there really is no nice way to say it). I wish that I had seen PRETTY IN PINK sooner. Of course, that was impossible, because it hadn't been made yet. However, there was my answer to problem #1. If you can't keep with The Jones's you don't try. You think about this problem and decide on YOUR STYLE and then you create it. It might mean you spend some time in Goodwill and places like that, but you get creative.

My point is this: I thought I kicked that negative tape loop when I went to high school, because I loved high school, and I have an awesome Kellie story (later gators). BUT... somewhere in my head that tape loop is still running. Or it was. Or it can. When I feel under pressure or something makes me feel like I am back at Wilson for some reason, that switch gets flipped. I need to burn that tape once and for all.

and before I make any more copyright infringment mistakes....
all images found at


  1. I think I would have tripped her. Her and her red juice. And then said...'You know, Nobody is going to believe I had the balls to trip you.
    I was evil. My tormentor was Kathy green.
    Wow, that place was a giant suckfest.

  2. Giant suckfest. Excellent description. You want to know something that burns my ass? The girl down the street that was such a shit when were kids... well we moved past that and became friends as adults. I ran into her when I went back home and I would go out of my way to see her when I went back home. Well... that was all great when she was married. She is now divorced. I don't know if that has made her crazy or if she would have acted this way anyway, BUT she is on facebook and I was scrolling the school directory. Kellie is on facebook. I only have 2 friends from school who are friends with her and I have A LOT of hs friends on fb. Out of curiousity I clicked to see who would possibly be friends with her. You guessed it... the girl down the street. I could not believe it!!! Then I saw my old music teacher popping up in my sidebar saying that some of friends were friends with him. So, I clicked just to see. Yep. The girl down the street is friends with that a$$hole too. What is up with that???? I know to send her an email would not get me anywhere so I am keeping my mouth shut, but it makes me think that she has lots of space between her ears....

  3. lol, on facebook I am 'friends' with a girl who, in highschool, was the biggest b*tch in the world...but then had a little girl with special needs. I figure that can change anyone so I am giving her a shot. Maybe the girl down the street is still trying to fit in? Who knows.

  4. My tormentor was Leah Ringwald...The juice thing happened to me only it was orange and she spilt it on me because I accidentally bumped into her and nobody did care (well, nobody who was there, mainly her friends). She'd thump me, tread on my lunch, steal my books that I'd find after class in the toilets...juvenile things. To my parents I pretended everything was great but resented them for not figuring it out or even noticing the huge personality change (they thought it was a good thing cause I was boisterous in primary and suddenly clammed up). I was so stressed that my hair began to fall. And still, nobody realised. Hormones they thought. Lucky for me Leah was a crappy student and left early so that I could enjoy my senior years. Nobody knows what happened to her. Only I remember her as a bully. Most people think she was meek (and that makes me feel even worse...) My favorite place was the library. I'd read for escape and just keep to myself. Back then, like you I said nothing to anybody cause I thought it was my fault. And indeed it was cause I could have easily stopped it just by answering back to her and having more guts rather than being such a whimp! These days I have little bullies like her for breakfast. Yes, of course I could have tripped her and indeed I was smart enough to answer back, but for some reason, I didn't. Stupid me.

    If ever I write a book it would be to do to Leah Ringwald what Wes Craven to Freddy Kreuger by naming a villain after him. Cool revenge, huh?

    So that's my story. I guess we all have one.

    Oh, and I went to one of those good schools. Run by nuns, with nice long uniforms and leafy grounds. so much for that! It's not up to the school. I think parents should be more alert to their children's happiness rather than their grades. Mine cared more about the grades and my manners.

  5. PS That said, I would probably accept a FB friends request from Leah. Out of curiosity, mainly. Nobody knows her whereabouts and I'd like to know how my tormentor fared in life (if the bad karma got her in the end). When I see her in photos I feel a strange feeling - "Like Freddy Kreuger is in the room" - and I would really like the opportunity to speak with her, figure out why she behaved like this, what it was about me that made her single me know, closure. She was wicked, cruel, but still a kid. Maybe her dad was raping her at home. For some reason it would make me feel better to know WHY!

  6. Oh man... did this set my memory banks off!! I have a story about a student that goes back to junior high... that lop-eared son-of-a-bitch!!!

    I did get my chance to get back at him... many years later...

    This may be my next post!

    I am sorry, Robin.. people can be such dicks...



  7. I was a loner when I was in school. So no one picked on me. I was invisible. Until I got on FB then suddenly everyone knew me. I have hardly anyone from school on FB. I didn't know them then, don't know them now. Sorry you had such a tough time.

  8. The sad thing (in a sea of sad things) is that this happens in exclusive private schools, in Catholic schools, at camps ... it never mattered where I went, or how many true friends I had, there was some sort of magnet that attracted bullies. Maybe my sister passed the word along that it was fun to abuse me??? We went to different schools, etc., so perhaps not. Did her abuse leave some intangible mark upon me like blood that a hungry animal can detect??? Absolutely ....

  9. The best thing that ever happened to me is my grandmother told me I was special and very smart. Then no matter what happened, I repeated that to myself and worked hard.

    It is a miracle that we grow up and become adults. If you asked people who seem to have hate and anger in their hearts against people unlike themselves, you will find a story like this.


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