I remember feeling alone during high school. I remember feeling like an outcast. I remember feeling like no one liked me and they all had varying degrees of dislike that went all the way up to hate. I remember my classmates finding it funny to be mean to me to my face or start rumours about me behind my back or take my words out of context or call me names because they thought it was funny to pick on me and be nasty to me. I remember being treated like I was high school’s ugly duckling. I remember how some former classmates would make certain comments because they thought I was ugly or because they thought I was lesbian (which I would like to clarify that I am not. I have nothing against gay people – just I myself am not attracted to people of the same sex. I do not know why people thought that about me. I think it may have been because I didn’t date until I was 16 and enrolled in another high school. Considering the way the guys I went to school with treated me, you can’t blame me for not being interested in dating any of them).
I remember living in small towns at that time and wanting to get out because there was nothing there. They were felt too small for an angsty teenager who was being bullied, I even felt that the high school I went to was too small as well (it had about 400-500 students from prep up to year 10. It wasn’t until they year I was leaving that they introduced years 11 and 12). The only way I thought of being able to get out from there was changing schools and my mother, sisters and I moving to another bigger town (we’ve since moved to a much larger town now) because I couldn’t think of any other way I could get myself out of there without any money or means of getting out just by myself. I had a part-time job at the local supermarket but mum was using most of the money I was earning there to pay the bills as she and my dad had separated and dad moved out of the house around that time. I was also too young to be able to drive a car unless I had a supervisor driver with me as is mandatory when you’re on a learner permit.
I felt so ostracised during the five and a half years I was at the Catholic school. I felt so belittle and worthless when I was there as most students only spoke to or about me for their own amusement. I never really stood up for myself because I thought it wouldn’t make a difference and it would cause more grief for me. I ignored it as much as I could and did my best to just get through high school. I tried convincing myself it wasn’t worth the attention and that if they were bullying me, they didn’t deserve to get to know me so I kept mostly to myself and to my group of friends.
There was one time I reported one of my classmates for bullying and they were suspended because they were also bullying other students. Their two siblings that also went to the same school turned on me. One threatened me if I ever did anything to their sibling again. The other turned around and called me a bitch for doing it, despite the fact that it wasn’t just me who spoke up against what the person was doing. I just go the blame because I was the last one who reported the person’s bullying to the assistant principle. I remember getting upset over the amount of shit I was copping because of it as I knew I wasn’t the only one this person was bullying and because no one else seemed to take that into account. I even had my supposed best friend tell me that I shouldn’t have done it because there was cyberbullying involved that happened outside of school hours. This was just before cyberbullying really took off, back when people were still using MSN Messenger (anyone remember that?). This person was using MSN Messenger to call me a lesbian and wasn’t happy when I sent back a lot of LOL’s. They had asked if I was laughing because it was true and was even more unhappy when I responded that I was laughing as it wasn’t true. I don’t know if that pissed this person off enough to continue bullying me but the fact that they got suspended when I was the last in line to report them for bullying seemed to be enough of a reason for them to continue bullying me and pushing me further away as an outcast.
I remember feeling so bad and guilt-ridden over that incident even though I hadn’t really done the wrong thing and even though there were others who had said that this person was bullying them too. Not only did my supposed friend tell me I shouldn’t have gone to the assistant principle about the cyberbullying outside of school hours, I had several other classmates tell me that I shouldn’t have done that and that was wrong. I remember how much more distance was put between me and the rest of the school because of what had happened.
I also remember my supposed friend and I being followed around the school yard by other classmates so they could ask her or me or both of us stupid petty questions. I remember how people used to say that my supposed friend and I were in a gay relationship with each other when we weren’t. I don’t particularly want to know about any other rumours that were made about us being in a gay relationship. I don’t know why they thought that since this supposed friend now has a (male) husband. Maybe it’s because she hardly dated when we were at that school either and because we were somewhat inseparable when we were at school.
I wanted so badly to get away from all those people. I wanted so badly to get out of that school and away from that town and the town I was living in. I wanted to be famous one day when I grew because I wanted to feel important and to not feel left out or alone. I wanted them to be jealous because of it. I wanted them to see that I could do better without them. I now know that was petty of me wanting to be famous to make former classmates jealous. They never cared about me. Very few of them remember who I am seven years later. I think a lot of them forgot about me in the twelves months after I changed schools.
I am glad that I got away from that as now I’m able to move on and decipher how much that has affected me and in what areas it affected me, I am glad that I still have a handful of people from that school that I still keep in contact with who weren’t like the others at that school. I am glad that I can improve myself and be a better person because of what I went through. I know I’ve never been the most nicest or friendliest person out there, but I’m glad I experienced that as it has shown me some lessons I needed to learn as a teenager and as a young adult. I don’t know if it would enlighten me when I’m older but only time can tell for that one.