I went through a lot of things in high school, as every teenager does. Maybe my experiences were better than some, and maybe they were worse. I’m not here to compare, rather, I just want to write about these things that I’ve been holding inside for the past 5 years. So here goes.
I was in private school from preschool to the day I graduated high school. Up until 2007, I went to this teensy tiny little place that called itself a school, but was really just a church. I loved my time there. The entire 4th-6th grade consisted of 8 people, and since it was so small, we were all pretty much forced to get along. I was allowed to dye my hair blue, and we read books about dragons and fairies for class. I was a smart kid, I got straight A’s and ultimately skipped a grade, going straight from 2nd to 4th. My reading comprehension had always been through the roof, and my teachers knew it. As a result, I was a teachers pet. They secretly brought me gifts from time to tkme, such as books or movies they thought I would like, or homemade snacks they wanted me to try. I’m grateful to have had such a great childhood. I still remember those teachers fondly and I thank them for helping to shape who I am today.
But, as I’ve mentioned, the school wasn’t much of a school and my parents decided to take me out and enroll me in a bigger private school for the start of 7th grade.
I was excited to go and meet new people, considering my best friend at my current school was also going somewhere else the following year. However, I quickly realized how badly I fit in at this new school. See, I had been completely and helplessly sheltered my entire life up until that point. I had no idea what clothes were cute and what was fashionable. I didn’t wear any makeup, hell, I barely even looked in the mirror. I didn’t even know any curse words outside of “Damn” and “Hell” (Can you tell I went to private school yet?.)
As you may have guessed, this is when I first started to experience bullying. It was mild, but I suppose it was bullying all the same. I remember one particular day where I was wearing my Crocs, complete with the little beads you could stick in the holes, and brown gaucho pants, that I realized that I was being made fun of. I excused myself out of class and went all the way across the school to the gym to get my tennis shoes out of my locker because I was too embarrassed to keep wearing my Crocs.
After that, I started to change, and the things around me eventually started changing too. My grandmother started buying me Hollister and Abercrombie and my mom took me shopping for makeup and eventually, I fell in with a group of friends.
This was also around the time where I started hurting myself. When things weren’t going so great at this new school, I decided that it was my fault and I started “disciplining” myself. It started out as turning on the shower as hot as it could go and seeing how long I could stand it, then it moved on to scraping at my skin with a stretched out paper clip, then it was using a sharp piece of obsidian from my rock collection (which I quickly learned isn’t something to go around telling people you collect) and actually trying to cut and make myself bleed. I still have one scar from the paper clip, but you can only see it in the summer when the skin around it starts to brown. Anyway, By the ninth grade, I had found my place in the school.. which was naturally with the nerdy/uncool kids. However, I was also no longer being made fun of and got along well with most of the popular kids. Probably because by that time, my entire wardrobe was made up of brand name clothes, and I wasn’t necessarily bad looking either.
Despite everything, something had still started to creep into my life. Something deep and dark. Something that made me hurt myself without a second thought. Something that I later learned was called depression.