The Story Of My School Days. (warning: Long Story Ahead!)But I want to vent it all out. This has taken me almost three hours to write, so it's going to be long. I am absolutely terrified of people and what they might think of me. I'm extremely skittish and paranoid, and I seldom talk to people unless they talk to me (in which case I'll simply respond with a "hello" and awkwardly look around). I know people probably wonder why I act so weird. I never like talking about it because I start to cry when I do, but I'll go ahead and say why I think so lowly of myself.
In elementary school, I had some issues with depression and weight, but I was still ok with myself, even if I was a little quirky. I would sing karaoke at this little Greek restaurant every Saturday, I liked talking to new people, I viewed myself as very intelligent... All in all, I was fine with myself, even with my weight problem.
It all changed in middle school (this is the part I don't like talking about). I was pretty nervous about being around so many different kids to begin with. It immediately turned into a nightmare. I remember kids throwing food at me in the cafeteria and calling me a whale. They would punch me on the way to class. People would laugh at me because of how fat I was, and call me an ugly b****. Nobody wanted to be seen around me.
My worst memory was one day, on the way to class, a bunch of guys gathered around me in a circle and started pointing at me and laughing, calling me a cow and a fattie. I tried to run away, but they circled me in. I starting to cry and begged them to stop, but they kept laughing and calling me names. Finally, I fell down, curled up in a ball and started screaming and banging my head against the floor. They were still laughing at me, and no teacher was around for any of it.
Another crucial moment that defined my view of myself was when a teacher WAS around. We were on a bus, on the way back from a field trip. I was sitting right across from one of the guys that would make fun of me and hit me. He was talking to another girl, when he turned around and handed me an empty plastic Sprite bottle. He bent his head down so his afro was facing toward me and told me to hit him with it. I had so much hatred for that guy that I wanted to take out, but I was too afraid. He and that girl kept telling me to, so I finally hit him on the head with it. (not hard. I just 'bonked' him, I guess.) Right when I did that, he started acting angry, snatched the bottle away from me and began smacking me in the face with it. Everybody on the bus was laughing and singing the "Hit That B**** With a Bottle", like they'd all planned it or something. The teacher was only two seats behind me, but after he told her that I hit him, I was suspended, even AFTER I explained everything. From that moment, I suddenly felt like everything was my fault, and it was that moment when it was finally planted into my brain that I was a completely and utter loser.
It got to the point where I was too scared to go to class. Some days I would go hide myself in the bathroom until the school day was over. I would randomly break out crying in class and at home every day. I just wanted to die. I remember screaming at my mom how much I hated her, and writing how much I hated everything on my wall in Sharpie. I was officially convinced that everybody was out to get me, and they hated me because I was so fat.
I really, really wanted to change that image fast. I knew losing weight would take too long, so I decided I was going to take a different path. I started to do really crazy things, like eat chalk in front of the class and slam a textbook into my face. I would rather people think of me as "that psycho girl" than "that fat girl". It got to the point where I would bang my head against the wall whenever the guys that would make fun of me walked by. I didn't want people to hate me anymore. I kept telling people how ugly and fat I was, because I didn't want them to beat me up anymore. I did it for them. For a while, those guys thought it was funny, but pretty soon it started to creep them out. It seemed to be working.
The only problem: the few smart kids that I was around who DIDN'T tease me for the way I looked had also now been convinced that I was nuts. I remember all the popular girls stayed away from me. One guy called me "that lesbian psycho *****" in class one time (which made me run out of the class crying. And I'm not a lesbian). Fortunately, I had a few friends who were able to see past the mask I was putting on and would talk to me. Even though they weren't good friends, they thought I was funny and clever (I'll admit: I have a weird personality by nature). I still had that bad reputation, though. When the end of the 7th grade rolled by, I had turned into "that fat psycho girl" again. And that "mask" I had put on had now morphed with my face.
My mom kept sending me to therapy, but it didn't work. I was pretty much permanently screwed up. I was convinced that everybody hated me, and the people who talked to me only did it because they felt sorry for me because I was so fat and ugly. I would look into the mirror and punch myself until I bled, calling myself a fat c**t and tell myself I deserved to die. I whipped my thigh with a belt until I cried. I no longer wanted to lose weight, because I now hated EVERYTHING about myself. Losing weight wouldn't change that. I would scream at my mom and tell her how much I hated her. I only had 3 actual "friends", and I would be mean to them all the time (looking back on it, I regret not feeling more grateful that they stuck with me for all those years). Deep down, I wanted people to hate me. I wanted them to think I was a bad person, because I knew I was a bad person.
Middle school ended, and I found out all three of my friends were moving to a private school. I would go into high school all alone. When the first day rolled around, I was absolutely terrified. I didn't want anybody to beat me up or make fun of me, so I simply didn't talk to anyone. Fortunately, nobody messed with me that often (occasionally somebody would yell or throw something at me from far away, but it wasn't as bad as middle school). Unlike middle school, classes were now ba
However, I still couldn't let go of everything that had happened in the previous three years. I was completely convinced that everybody hated me, and didn't want me to talk to them, so that's exactly what I did. I made myself into a recluse. I would sit in the corner and doodle in my notebook. I sat at a lunch table alone. I never went to any parties or hung out with any kids. I thought I was doing everybody a favor by not talking to them. I knew they thought I was a loser, and they were probably thankful that they didn't have to deal with such a hideous freak. Contact with my friends began to fade, until I eventually had only one friend that I had met through group therapy (she was committed to a mental hospital for three years at the end of the 9th grade, so I never got to see her).
My social life wasn't the only thing my hatred was affecting. I had an English teacher in the 10th grade that I really loved (as a person). So did the other kids. He was probably the best person I've ever met (I still miss him). He was the only person I could talk to about my problems. We would sometimes talk during lunch or after school about random stuff. Most of the time teachers/students avoided or approached me with caution because of how quiet or ugly I was, but not him. He talked to me like a person. I had finally found somebody I could trust. After realizing how few friends I had, I was scared he might start to hate me too. I still hated everything about myself, and that included my writing. Suddenly, I stopped turning in my papers because I was so afraid that he would see my writing and think I was stupid. That was the only class I ever failed (with a 33...)
Even though I was always silent and self-conscious, there was one thing I liked to do. Perform (contradictory, I know). Whether it was with my trumpet, singing, or acting, I was no longer "that creepy quiet girl" everybody thought I was. I was a trumpeter, or an extra in Pippin. When I was on the stage, it was the one moment where I could forget about myself and everything I hated and be in a state of bliss. Hearing applause was the greatest sound on earth, because for that one brief moment, I knew people liked me. I started to crave that feeling. I suddenly wanted to be the best, because it was the only time I could truly feel happy. I had to be perfect, because I finally had people liking me for something.
Even though those moments where I sounded great made me happy, they made me miserable in the long run. Whenever I made a mistake in an audition, performance, conversation, etc., I would punish myself. I would go home and say vile, horrible things about myself. I would look in the mirror and tell myself I was a worthless piece of trash that deserved to be slaughtered, then pull my blade out and make huge gashes across my stomach. Then I'd put the blood on my hands and rub it all over my face so I would be humiliated. It gave me a feeling of satisfaction, like justice was being served.
In the 11th grade, I was lower than ever. I was SO upset when I got my SAT scores (1270, or 1920 if you include writing.) The other kids in my class had gotten 2000+. I wasn't good enough. I had another Lit class (different teacher). I had grown to be self-conscious about all of my writing, and now I didn't want anybody reading it. If it even had a single flaw, they would think I was stupid. My stepfather was also dealing with cancer at that time, so I was really stressed out. I started to fail that class, too. By the end of November, my grade was a 21.
I sat down and reflected on it. I remembered how disappointed my 10th grade English teacher was when I failed his class. How ironic: I'm sure he was far more disappointed in me for failing than he would have been if I turned in a crappy paper. Hating myself had made one of the only people who truly cared about me think lowly of me. I finally made myself suck it up and try to turn it around, so I turned in all my papers. I passed that class with a C.
I was finally going to try to change. I auditioned for two school plays, and got decent roles in both of them. In one of them, I even got a solo. I was still very quiet and reclusive in class, but I made an effort to respond when people said hello. My self-esteem was still extremely low and I would regularly cut myself (it had grown into an addiction), but I was no longer going to school for myself. I was doing it because I didn't want the few people who cared for me to be disappointed.
Finally, my senior year came along. I found out that my teacher in the 10th grade was teaching the AP Lit class for the 2nd semester. I had heard horror stories from other kids about how ridiculously hard his class was, but I didn't care. This was my last chance to prove to him that I COULD do it. I was finally changing. I could talk to other kids, and I was making new friends. Some people invited me to join their ultimate frisbee team. I actually started HANGING OUT with a girl after school, which was new to me. I started to cut less and less. I was doing o-k in my classes. Hell, I even joined a GYM and started to lose weight!
When the second semester rolled along, I was ready. For the first month, I turned in all the work on time. I found out I'd been accepted into the college I'd always wanted to go to. Then, the feeling started coming back again. "This writing is AWFUL! It would be better if you don't turn it in and get a 0 than if you DID turn it in and get a 25. At least he wouldn't think you were stupid."
I stopped doing the work in his class. I was doing fine in my math class (which I've always been bad at), band was satisfying (even though I was upset about losing my 1st chair spot), and I'd gotten a decent role in my school musical with 2 solos. However, he was still the person I respected the most. I was doing so well proving myself to everybody else, so he was the last person I wanted to view me as stupid.
All throughout the semester, he would pull me aside and tell me that my work was late. I would always make up some lame excuse and say it was coming, when in reality I was too scared to turn it in. Even though I didn't want to admit it, I still hated myself. I was just in denial.
Finally, the end of the year was drawing near. I had a 30 in his class. If I didn't pass, I wouldn't be able to graduate AND I wouldn't be able to attend the college I'd been accepted into. My parents and friends would be disappointed in me. Even worse: my teacher would be disappointed in me. He knew that I was taking his class just to prove to him I could do it, and I didn't want that all to go to waste. FINALLY, I did it. I worked my *** off for the last two weeks, and turned in every paper that I owed. Do you know what grade I got on my thesis? The one I quickly whipped up in 2 days while studying for 3 AP exams? A 91. I was shocked. When I asked him if he did it just so I could pass, he told me no. It was truly a decent paper (and he's the most honest guy I've ever known).
I remember the last time I talked to him. It was the last day of school. He told me how much I've changed and how proud he was of me. I told him he was the most influential person I'd ever met, and he helped me realize that hating myself was going to get me nowhere. I think it was then that I stopped hating myself. I was finally proud of myself. I'd lost 20 lbs in 2 months, I was graduating, I was going to my dream college, I'd made some friends, etc. I was finally happy.
Now, quite a bit has changed since then (but that's a WHOOOOOOOLE different story). I've gained a lot of that weight back, and my self-esteem is still very low. I'm a lot more stable than I was at the start of high school, though. Even though I'll slip back and cut myself occasionally (probably once every 2-3 months), I'm a lot better about it. I start college and move into my dorm in January. We'll just see what happens from there.
Still, no matter how much better things get, everything that happened in middle school will always stay with me. Deep down, I always have a little voice telling me that I'm a whale and a psycho b****. Whenever it talks to me, it sounds like those kids in middle school. Even though I may not hate myself, that part of me does. That will never, ever go away.
HOLY GUACAMOLE, THAT WAS LONG. If you're still awake by now, I applaud you. Anyway, that's the end of my story. I've just been writing whatever comes to mind for the past three hours, so it was pretty scrambled. Good night.