I sort of miswrote to the ABC Challenge prompt. I focused on what I wanted to remember from where I was and for whatever reason, I dipped into a memory from childhood that wouldn't let go. So it isn't September 11 or John Lennon's death or the start of Desert Storm.
It was when a stormy period of my life happened, long before I had a grip on my place here in life.
I remember when I was dumped by my friends when I was in the seventh grade. For unknown reasons to me, the majority of my closest friends started to shun me. They didn’t walk to school with me, they ignored me, they acted as if I was a social pariah.
This happened once before, when we started fifth grade and middle school, all my best friends from fourth grade dumped me.
Both times I had no idea what I did wrong, so I figured the dumping was core deep: something was inherently wrong and unlikeable about me.
How many of us go through this at some time or another?
How many times does this happen, when we seem to vaporize from the memory of those we once believed were our closest friends?
The years between fifth and eighth grade were by far the most difficult for me. There was a time in eighth grade when I hid in my closet for four days straight in order to miss school. My parents didn’t know I wasn’t going to school until the attendance office called to check on me.
I got a talking to and I remember Mom visited the school psychologist. She was scared for me.
Nothing changed, though. I was being bullied by cooler kids, I was being bugged about my appearance. I was compared to my thinner, prettier sister and scoffed at, “Why aren’t you more like her?”
I remember when my daughter Katherine was dumped in fourth grade as well. I was horrified for her and grateful when in fifth grade she was suddenly, inexplicably popular again. Emma had so many problems socially it made her sick to attend school. I talked to the principle about her anxiety, to see if the school culture could be, somehow, improved.
She gave me nothing except, “Take her to the shrink”. She does go to group therapy now and loves it and she is in high school now and whenever I visit her, kids are all over here with greetings. “Hi Emma!” or “EMMA!” or “Hey, Emma….” Or whatever expression they might have.
I remember the pain of being dumped by friends.
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Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield.
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