Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Month of Me :: Eight

Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I had to reach waaaaaay back for this one. It totally sounds trivial even to myself. But the only folks I could come up with for this were the other girls in my 1st grade class at my Catholic school. And who does not have a memory like that lurking somewhere back in their past?

I was kinda' funny looking as a kid and also was cursed with a very present case of eczema that mostly manifested itself in torn up hands and lots of inflamed skin all around those visible areas like ears and mouth and eyes and elbows. It hurt, it itched and it was far from pretty. The thing about little people is that they have no censor, no filter and lots of innate self preservation. Especially in a school yard that houses lots of kids in uniform that go largely unsupervised.

It's not like they were overtly cruel, just lots of things like "Ew, I can't hold your hand". My standard by-line in school was "It's not contagious". I tended to prefer having reading contests with Rob Littlejohn at recess rather than navigate the waters of girl play out there on the blacktop.

(What is a reading contest, you ask? Why, it is when you both get the same book out of the library and then see who can read it faster. All on the honor system, of course. There is great integrity in reading. And yes, I was a total unabashed nerd in school.)

I do think my early exposure to this type of behavior from others just gave me a bit of a tougher skin. A little more empathy too. It also made me realize that folks can only make your life a living hell if you let them.


If you take that power away from them, they just become people. People who do not have the power to do anything to you that lasts longer than the seconds it took for them to push that energy your way. And I like to think if you let that energy bounce off you, it redirects itself squarely back at them. I think we call that karma, right?


Anonymous said...

i think we've lived parallel lives, i too have experienced the meanness of catholic school girls growing up. although, i didn't have reading contests, i did practice spelling for our annual spelling bee, i was the champion of our 4th, 5th, and 7th grade :D

jillian said...

Great thoughts. Your post reminded me of a favorite quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission".

Goddess in Progress said...

I am loving this series of posts. Know that I'm reading, even if I don't manage to comment on all of them.

It's amazing how long some of these seemingly trivial hurts can stay with us, isn't it?