May. 17th, 2016

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This year is the 25th anniversary of my high school graduation, which does not mentally feel possible. High school was not the best time of my life (though I do remember being very concerned because some people I worked with told me that it was, and I was worried about what the rest of my life was going to be like if this was the best). I was bullied/teased/tormented in high school, but it was actually better than my junior high/grade school days, if for no other reason than that the class size was 10x larger. I was the pariah of my class in grade school and junior high, and we had a total of something like 30 kids in my class, so you saw all the same people every day. In high school there were more than 300 kids in my class, and so even though there were more jerks around, they were also spreading around their jerkiness to more people.

A few years ago, a gal from my junior high attempted to put together a gathering for all the folks from our 8th grade class. I ignored her facebook friend request and RSVP'd "no" the instant I got the invitation. I told a friend of mine this and he told me that it was messed up that I was still angry about something that happened so long ago, and that I should just get over it because I wasn't the same person I was in junior high and neither were they. He said it was a sign I was holding on to the past and I should really learn to let it go.

I had a lot of feelings about this that I attempted to explain to him, but at the end of the day, it comes down to this - there are a lot of things I could be doing with my saturday evening, so why on earth would I choose to spend it in an uncomfortable situation with people I don't have any interest in seeing and spending time with? For this same reason, I won't be going to a high school reunion, if we have one. I know some people reconnect with folks from high school at reunions, but I'm actually still in touch with just about everyone that I'm interested in being in touch with.

Also this kinda laid things out in a way that makes me feel even more strongly about not not wasting my time at things I don't want to do (now if I could figure out how to not have to work anymore... ;)).

In a semi-related note, a friend of mine who has young kids knows about my history being bullied and asked me what I would have wanted my parents to do about it when I was a kid. The truth is... what I wanted more than anything from them was to be believed/understood. My parents had both been wildly popular all through their youth, and when I told them kids at school teased me, they would always say things like 'boys only tease you because they *like* you' and 'girls only tease you because they're jealous' and even as a kid I would think 'maybe that's true for some people but that's definitely *not* what's happening here.' I didn't even really want them to talk to the school, because I felt sure that it was something that would backfire and make things even worse for me. I just wanted my parents to believe me that it wasn't cute or fun or a sign that people liked me or were jealous of me. Of course, if they *had* understood and believed me, they would have wanted to talk to the school and/or my teacher or maybe even the parents of the other kids. I don't know what the answer is for everyone, but for me, having a home environment where I felt believed would have made a big difference for me.


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