Thursday, June 10, 2010

Growing Older is Not Growing Up

I'm sure I've mentioned before that growing up I was an outcast in elementary and high school. I was not an ugly child at all. I was both pretty and smart. But most everyone bullied me. Mostly it was teasing and name calling, having paper wads thrown at me, chewing gum thrown in my hair, and occasionally I'd get my ass beat up. School life was miserable for me and I could never go home and tell my parents about it because I was embarrassed about it. Every day, from the moment I got on the school bus until the end of the day it was like this. They made fun of my clothes, my car, everything.

As an adult I finally realized that I was treated this way because kids realized they could really get to me. I was very sensitive. (I still am, unfortunately.) Also, being a "gifted" student didn't help. It seems like my problems started when I got put into a gifted and talented program at my school after having taken an I.Q. test.

Anyway, all that is beside the point. The point I want to make is that many of the people I went to school with have not changed. (A few have - in fact, two people have apologized to me for the way they treated me growing up.) To prove my point, below is a quote that comes from one of my high-school classmate's Facebook wall today. This woman is my age - 31, and this is what she had to say about a little girl at a playground today:

"Saw the craziest unibrow on a girl at the playground. Their parents won't have to worry about teen pregnancy, so that's kinda nice."

This is exactly what I had to deal with from about third grade until my senior year in high school. They were almost all like this. (And some of them still are, judging by what they say on Facebook about other people.) My senior year in college I was voted onto the homecoming court, because many people at school liked me and I had lots of friends. I always wondered why there was such a dramatic turnaround from high school to college, from being a victim of constant cruelty to being popular. I still wonder.


Kordo said...

Indeed, most of us never grow up.
Most of us grow old.

Some of us are grown up already when they are born. And some of these will never grow old though they are already grown up.

Sometimes it is difficult to live in the world of children.
However, they need us.

Cold As Heaven said...

The world of children and YA can be brutal.

Being a smart and clever kid is sometimes not seen as positive, unfortunately

Cold As Heaven

Don said...

Confrontation is discouraged nowadays, but sometimes with a bully that's all that works, or else one just keeps getting stomped into the ground.

Sophia said...


That's a good way to put it. Maybe they do need us.

Sophia said...

Cold As Heaven,

I guess in the end it was worth it. Because I would rather be me than them.

Sophia said...


I have disliked confrontation and conflict my entire life. I probably don't deal with it as easily as most people. It seems a lot of people can easily brush it off but it always causes me intense emotions which take a long time to settle down.

Cold As Heaven said...

Same with me, I always try to avoid conflict too. I know I shouldn't but it's damn hard to change ...

Cold As Heaven

Don said...

I think that there's a lot of difference between someone with a chip on their shoulder, who seeks out confrontation, and someone who is picked on and defends themself. But maybe that's just me. Some famous personality did say, "Turn the other cheek". Me, I just go by gut instinct, but it gets me in trouble.