I love watching Glee. I also used to love watching Dawsons Creek and Buffy.
And it's not because I'm stuck in my high school years. It's that I didn't get them. Not really.
Someone once told me when I was at school that it was ok for me, I liked being alone. Incorrect. There's nothing I liked about being alone. But sometimes in life we don't get a choice. And I take alone over being ostracised any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Because you can pretend that it's your choice. You know it's a lie. But a good book can dull that lie's sharp edges. I spent most of high school reading.
I am naturally shy. But that's not why high school was hard. I forced myself to put myself out there. And no matter which way you spin it I was rejected every time. It was not a happy time. It's not an exaggeration to say that if it weren't for the grace of god (if I believed in god) that I made it out alive. I was lucky. The ingredients were there for me feeling so bad that I could have done something stupid and permanent.
People were cruel and oblivious. I would walk the long way round just to avoid them. It was hard to psyche myself up to go to school every day. Terms stretched on forever. I was sick more often than most because any excuse not to go was a good one.
It was brutal. And it didn't turn me into the woman I am today.
It didn't make me a better or stronger or more resilient person. It weakened me. It convinced me that there was nothing about me of any value. It convinced me that who I was as a person was not good enough. And it made sure I knew, beyond any doubt that I was a fundamentally, unlikeable and unloveable person. There was no silver lining and there will never be any silver lining because it was brutal.
After awhile it was just easier to be invisible. Something I still do pretty well. I'm like wallpaper.
High school didn't just break my spirit, it shattered my soul. And whenever I see people fondly remember their high school days I'm incredibly jealous on what I missed out on. Because what I got? There were no memories without ridicule, no adventures without bullying, no time where I entered the school grounds without freezing up in anticipation of the inevitable.
I was called weird. Freak. Nerd. Weirdo was the worst. People can't say that to me now, even in jest without me being reduced to tears. They don't always know that I've been reduced to tears because I'm the master of wallpaper but I always am.
I survived the brutality. Just. But it stays with me like a bad memory. And it's always easy for me to believe that people would sooner burn my arm off than reach out their own hand in friendship. Because I know lots of things, but friendship isn't one of them.
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