This one is likely one of the most personal & honest posts I am ever going to write.
I had advice given to me when my daughter was born & it went like this:
'Always be able to say your sorry. Not only for the moment at hand, but for the wrongs you have done in the past.'
And this has stuck with me.
When 13 hit, I was a mess.
Between hormones, death of a loved one & a mother who created a non nurturing world, I was a lost kid, & I took it out on the people around me.
I am sorry, & this is why!
I started Jr.High (Grade 7) with so much anger, hate & confusion. I did not understand what was going on with my body, or why my life was different than others, & I certainly did NOT care who I hurt in the process of feeling misplaced.
With the passing of my Uncle, the changes that just came with being a teen & with a mother that did not seem to want to explain the world of being a girl, it was amazing I made it past 13 at all.
I recall the horrifying anger within me & how dominant it was.
When Jr High started it was in a new school, with more people & I had found a little sense of freedom with transportation as an example. All of this compounded into a new sense of independence that I did not have before. I am confident that this helped enable my disgusting attitude. When feeling captive for so long, it is only understandable that having some privilege to move around free created an attitude in me. The chip was a very large one that hung out on my shoulder. Everyone knew it & could see it.
Being able to breathe without my Mother hoovering & make choices on my own enabled my attitude to be very gruff & nasty to others. I had been sheltered for so long with the inability to make decisions that it was like seeing the sun for the 1st time, but without any happiness.
This however is no excuse.
From September to December that school year, I lied when I could, I stole when I could & how I treated the adults in my world was just deplorable.
The lying started because I craved positive attention from my parents. There was NONE!
The only time I got any accolades was in my marks at school. But beyond that there was nothing. Not you look pretty, not that is funny, no I am proud of you, it just wasn't in her vocabulary. So in order to get the wow factor from them (or my mother) I started making stories up. Simple little lies like I knew the answer to a question in class & the teacher commended me for it. Or how I was an amazing runner & wanted to do cross-country. Both of which weren't true. I just wanted her to be proud of me & love me. This I now know was the wrong way to do it, but at 13 I had no clue how to get their attention any other way. My need for their verbal affirmation was fierce. So I found it where I could, & it satisfied my need somewhat. Although they were lies it still felt good. For this I am too apologizing.
Admitting that you did things that are not perfect is so very hard for most people. But as I say to my children, ‘if you hide the truth, the truth will eventually come out & it may hurt you & the people around you’. This is my truth & it is one that most people would never admit too.
I babysat a lot when I was this age. However, most of the money I babysat for was taken from me. The parents would not allow me to keep it. Considering I was having a hard time feeling that sense of belonging & desire to fit in at home & at school, them taking my earned dollars was like they were preventing me from finding my place. I did not want to be any different than my friends or anyone else. So being that they (parents) took my babysitting money & placed it in an account (so they say), I helped myself by taking money from their wallets. I wanted cassette tapes, I wanted make up, I wanted the brand name clothes (Levis. Varnet, Club Monaco) like others had.
So?? When you don't have any funds to do that stuff, what do you do? Steal!
You may wonder why I just didn't ask for my money. Well of course I tried this, but it usually went something like this; 'I will discuss this with your father & we will decide if a purchase like this is even appropriate'. So ummm NO!
You know when you were young if your parents said 'Maybe' to a question you asked the answer was either really a Yes or a No & not really a Maybe? In our home now if I say maybe, my kids cheer. Guess that means my Maybe is a Yes. However, when I was young, if I got the response above or a Maybe, I knew it was a firm NO!
I am not justifying my actions & to be clear we are not talking lots & lots of money I took from them & I am confident that my parents thought that they were assisting me in financial education by keeping my money. However, what I saw & felt was them taking my money & keeping it from me, so therefore I was taking from them to have what I wanted. I stole & I own it. Years later the damage that was done from my poor choice that I could not reverse their thoughts on who I was as a responsible adult. I partly did this to myself. My fault. I am sorry!
The lying & stealing are honestly nothing compared to the way I treated people.
This is where it becomes very clear in the unbearable person I was back then.
I had a huge problem with authority (duh?) & anyone that questioned me made me feel like I didn't belong or have a place. One person that did this was my Grade 7 Social teacher.
He, I felt was being too hard on me & I kicked a garbage can at him. I do not remember the reason or why the garbage can, but I did! People think this is a funny tale, & it might be now but back then it was pretty serious. Down to the office I went & got suspended from the school. It was only a little bit before the winter break in December & that is when things changed dramatically. My behaviour removed me from the people I have always known in school to & a world that I did not want to be a part of.
After that holiday season my parents moved me to a private Christian school.
I fought, screamed, yelled & cried to try to get out of it. I promised I would not be like this anymore, I told them they could basically have my soul.They pretty much already did. However, when those 2 had made up their minds there was no going back.
I went to this school with a huge distaste for them before I even got there.
That 1st day I remember so very clearly.
I started after lunch on the 1st day, & it was Gym class. I was introduced by the principal to the Gym teacher. The Gym teacher stuck out his hand to shake mine & all I did was look at his hand. I can even feel it now; I do not need you to accept me into your world & I sure as SH*T do not want to be here. The gym teacher then introduced me to the rest of the class & they all sat there with big eyes, & all I wanted was to go & cry somewhere by myself. The kids just witnessed my hatred for them & the school & all of this was the 1st 30mins of being there.
These kids in my class now were exactly what I had left from my previous school. They have all grown up together & they all had their friendships established. Here I am the outsider trying to figure out how to fit in. I already had this issue at home & now in my 'formative' years in teen-hood I was going to have to do this in my social world too. I look back & I know I was so very lost & just wanted acceptance. This was not what I portrayed.
Although this time was confusing & somewhat traumatic for me, it does not ever just justify the way I treated these people.
I was MEAN, belittling, dramatic, a bitch, & just plain down right rude.
How I treated these kids was something that is truly unforgiving.
I was at this school for 3 and a half years from middle of Grade 7 until the end of Grade 10 & I did not get any better in the length of time I was there.
I had my insecurities, & I could not realize that these other girls had their own also. There was one girl who was beautiful & maybe I was intimidated by it as I never had or still do find myself amazingly pretty. But this girl was striking & she wore a lot of makeup, & because we were all young & naive in the cosmetic world her make up did not blend well into her face. Me now I would just let that person be them, but back then I was cruel & nasty with my words & mocked her behind her back all the time.
I acted out in classes all the time too.
There was our Science teacher who was not overly generous with his washroom breaks,& I was very guilty of abusing that privilege anyways. However, one time I asked to go & he said no, I told him to go to hell on a toboggan. Cause that was warranted? Nope, it was not!
There was another moment when I was in Religion & the teacher left the room, which in turn gave me the time to write an inappropriate phrase on the chalkboard. She came back, & although no one told her it was me, she knew. The problem kid was the one. She knew it was me.
I did have a few friends there, but most of them were also lost souls with their own baggage & trying to find their path. They too had no direction & had issues at home. We all needed the attention, just went about the wrong way.
I know I wrote hateful notes, & said shameless things.
I called one girl a whore to the principal & got an in school suspension.
I went behind other friends' backs & tore them down. Even the people who were my friends were not safe in the hurt I handed out then & the years after.
I supported friends that were making poor choices to continue to make them. We smoked, swore, lied, stole, tormented others & the list goes on & on.
I basically HURT many people.
I have often said about the time I spent at that school, that it was just a delay in the inevitable with my attitude & rebellion. My parents bought themselves 3 more years before it really got tough.
Although I was deserving of the way that the other kids treated me, there was a wound left from attending there. I was horrible & deplorable to these other students, but they were not warm & fuzzy to me either. I get it works both ways, & I definitely started it. I will give kudos to some of the girls that really tried with me, but they can only handle so much, & I was that much. The cut was deep from that place. I was unable to be who I was meant to be in my home, & at school. I merit all the issues that the other students gave me, however I was just lost & wanted to be loved. It wasn't just my peers. Also some of the staff were not overly warm & embracing & once more I deserved that. I did make sure that they knew I was mad, angry & was not interested in a pleasant relationship. I acted out, but that was the tough exterior & really I just needed one of these people to acknowledge that there was just a lost kid with no belonging in the world. That is how my wound was created from that school. They all had each other, & there was nowhere for me. Just like Home!
I had one teacher over those years that gave me what I craved. She took the time to love me, get to know me & was patient to earn my trust. She was involved in my life until her passing. Her tremendous acceptance of me helped more than she ever did know. I had no ill words to say to her. There was no hate towards her. She let me feel like I belonged in this world. She was the light in what I once called hell.
But being lost, does not mean I have an excuse for the way I treated everyone.
Leaving & moving to another school after those years was a relief for me, as I am sure it was for them. I did not like to recount my years there, & talked about it as little as possible. I think mostly because I was ashamed of who I was back then.
Adult years came with more wisdom.
When my youngest son needed an activity to do after school we shopped around until we found the perfect one for him. It was a young child theater group. He was so very animated & funny, that we thought it would be an awesome fit. He started this little theater group & lone behold another Mom of another little actor was a lady I went to this Christian school with. We got chatting one evening & she mentioned that we should go for coffee some time. We eventually did & we sat there & talked about our kids, life after the school & spouses. And then at one point she said something along the lines that I was not a very nice person back then & then recounted a note that I had written with cruel words. I looked at her a little shocked. 1st of all I do not remember writing the note, & I said as much, but (& a big but) I knew it was completely in my capabilities to write something like that back then. I told her that even though I do not recall that note, I am sorry.
I truly am sorry.
I carried the internal injuries of this school for years & not once until she said something did I realize that I too created horrible damage to so many others.
I have forgiven the people during this time that hurt me. That is easy to do!
But to ask for everyone else's forgiveness is far more difficult.
Forgive me, I am sorry!
I apologize to all of those that were scorned by my vicious words.
I am apologizing for the hurt of the past that I created in their world.
I am sorry to all of you.
Growth is harder to do than I anticipated, but I am here trying.
Do not carry the burden of your mistakes with you.
Forgive & ask for Forgiveness.
You will be able to smile once you have.