Tag Archives: me

An Interview with IAND

2 Apr

Hello to everyone out there in the land of the Undefined,

I thought it would be a nice change of things to do an interview with a fellow blogger! The author of Thoughtful Thoughts approached me with the idea, and I thought it would be a lot of fun. I used the pseudonym Molly, so the interview she did with a woman named Molly is IAND. I really enjoyed being interviewed and I hope you find it interesting!

The first ever Interview with I Am Not Defined!

Until next time folks!

I Am Not Defined

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Depressed

19 Mar

Things started getting very difficult for me when I started questioning my mind. I wondered if everyone else felt as depressed and unhappy in life as I did. I seriously doubted all of my happy-go-lucky friends could feel like I did, and still smile and goof around all day.

Life started to wear me down, and I started dealing with long spells of deep depression, and I had no idea how to handle it. My family situation was still rough, and I felt like my friends were mostly superficial and fake. I had had a very hard time with a boy who I yo-yo dated in middle school and high school. I had never dealt with a guy who tried so hard to make me jealous, and my emotions were easily pulled down.  The guy I had seen off and on insisted on dating my close friends when we were not together, and loved making moves on them behind my back when we were together. I took it to heart, and felt like there must have been something wrong with me if he felt the need to act like that.

I was always blaming myself for everything, and I felt like people always treated me the way they did because of something I had done. I held everything in because I didn’t feel like I had anyone to share with, or knew anyone who could relate to my problems. I started feeling like I couldn’t handle things anymore, and that’s when I started to cut.

I don’t know why I thought that cutting was the answer, but at the time, I felt like it was a necessary release. I could beat myself up emotionally, but if I cut myself, I could really feel the pain. I think I was so fazed and numbed by life at that point, and it felt like the only way I could connect to something. It didn’t really make sense then, and I think back to it now, I wonder what I was thinking.

Cutting myself didn’t solve any of my problems. In retrospect, I think it made things harder for me. It was just one more hurdle to get over. Cutting didn’t fix the problems I had, or help my emotional pain go away, it didn’t solve anything. If anything, it made me feel worse about myself. It was a bad idea then, and I recommend it to no one, your body is important, you only get one, so you better take care of it. You can’t let people get to you; you can’t let life get to you.

So many people turn to self-abuse like it is a cure, but in reality it only makes the disease worse. You don’t feel any better about yourself, and it eventually makes you feel more depressed.

One of the boys I grew up with was teased like crazy for being different. He once told me he started cutting himself because it made him feel something other than rejection. It wasn’t a good way for him to deal with things, and I didn’t know it then, but his adventures in self-mutilation eventually lead to his suicide. When I learned about his death, I started to really reconsider the way I was harming myself. I didn’t want to die. Sure I had dealt with some very depressing times, but I still had hope that better things were in my future. I immediately stopped cutting myself, and never picked up a blade again.

I wish I could say that was the end of me causing damage to myself, but my adventures in substances were just starting, and I had many miles on the road of addiction. I wish I could have told myself that taking it out on my body was a bad idea, but I had to learn that the hard way.

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Sidetracked

7 Mar

I felt a lot better in high school than I had before, but things were not perfect. It seems like I always had a boyfriend, but my taste in guys was terrible. It seemed like I loved a rebel, and asshole guys were my specialty. I dated a lot of guys who made me feel like I should be doing more with them than kissing, and it made me uncomfortable. It reinforced my feelings that guys only wanted sex.

I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find a guy who liked me as I was, and didn’t want to pressure me to be differently, or think differently. I had my friend set me up with a guy once, he was a friend of her boyfriend, and played football for another school in town. He seemed very nice, and I thought he really liked me. We talked for ages and started dating. We got to go out on a double date for Valentine’s Day, and it was the first time I got to go out on a date. It was also the first time I had a solid Valentine.

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I couldn’t find anything good to wear, so I made my dress. I did my hair and make-up as well, a rarity for me. We got to get dinner and go to a movie, but my parents were pretty strict, I had to go home after the movie. When the movie ended, everyone wanted to go over to my friend’s house, but I couldn’t go. The guy just didn’t understand why I wouldn’t go back to my friend’s house with him, and thought that I didn’t want to be with him. I tried my best to explain that my parents said I had to go home after the movie, and left.

The next night we were all supposed to go to a school dance together, and I was really excited about this as well. I talked to my boyfriend that day, and he said he would go to the dance with my friend’s boyfriend, and meet me out front. I got dolled up again, and headed to the dance. When I got there I couldn’t find my friend or our boyfriends. I called my boyfriend, and he told me that his parents wouldn’t let him go. I believed him and called my friend to find out where she was. She told me that they were not coming to the dance; they were going to go bowling instead. I told her what my boyfriend had said about his parents not allowing him to go to the dance, and she told me he had lied. I guess he thought he was getting even with me, and I didn’t hear from him again after that night.

I started rebelling because I felt like one bad thing after another kept happening. I was so tired of dealing with all the negative crap. I was having a hard time handling family issues, and trying to balance social pressure, and my own awkwardness. One day I picked up one of my brothers cigarettes, and thought “people don’t get addicted to these, how stupid”.  I wanted to do something rebellious I guess, so I lit it up. I was instantly in love with the buzz it gave me. I had never felt like that before, and it seemed really nice.

After that first cigarette, I started sneaking out of class with some of my friends who also smoked. We would sneak down to the pool hall by our school, and smoke cigarettes out back. Some of my friends started noticing that I smelled like cigarettes, and I admitted that I smoked. I loved the buzz they gave me, and how cool they made me feel. It felt like empowerment in a stick. Several of my friends got very upset with me about smoking, and lectured me. I didn’t want to hear it, and pretty much blew them off. I lost a lot of friends over the situation, but I didn’t care as much as I should have. I even had one friend tell me she hated me to the depths of her soul, dramatic, but it still didn’t seem to get to me. It was the first time I chose something stupid over my friends. I didn’t want to quit smoking, and loose that buzz, so I let my friends go.

It wasn’t the right decision. I should have cared more about my friends, and that they only cared about my health. This was the beginning of a terrible habit of choosing things that were bad for me, over people who loved me and cared about my well-being. It’s part of the mind of an addict. We don’t care what we do to get there, we just want to make sure we get whatever it is that we are addicted to in the end.  The mind of an addict is a dangerous place, and choosing substances over friends isn’t personal, we are just so wrapped up in our addictions we can’t see properly. I didn’t see it then, I thought it was just cigarettes, and I didn’t really care, but over the years I chose a lot of bad things over some truly great people. I wish I could have told myself then that it wasn’t going to do me any favors, but hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it?

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At Peace

26 Feb

High school was something I really had to fight for,  for the first time in my life. I didn’t want to go to the same school as all the people I grew up with, so with a teachers nudging, I tried to get into a local “special” school. I had been in advance classes all my life, and I was lucky enough to have a very caring teacher in middle school, to help me find direction.

I had the same teacher two years in a row for English and Science, she was a very involved teacher, and her classes were always fun. She saw me for the intelligent, but anti-social child that I was, and helped me grow out of my shell. She was very good at finding assignment’s that worked well for each student, and I always picked things up quickly in her classes. In my seventh grade year, she announced that she would be leaving our school, and taking a teaching position at a local high school for advance students. I was very sad to see her go, and unhappy that I wouldn’t get to have her as a teacher anymore. She told me that I was smart enough to go to the school she would be teaching at, and told me to apply when I graduated, and offered to write a recommendation letter for me.

When I graduated from middle school, I applied for the special school, and was denied. My grades were not up to their standards, so they would not be allowing me to attend. I was pissed to say the least; I found my classes boring, and easy. I slacked off because I already knew what my teachers had to say, and my grades reflected it. I talked to my school counselor about it. She and I had become fairly friendly over the years, having been in her office multiple times, for not getting along with other students. She understood my problem, and offered to help me re-apply with her recommendation, and I contacted my old teacher for another recommendation. The school decided that I was at least worth interviewing, and allowed me to come and discuss why I belonged in their school. I must have done well because they accepted me on the spot.

My freshman year in high school was a completely different experience than any other year in school. I was finally in a school with like-minded freaks and geeks, who were all closet nerds. I wasn’t as much of an outcast among them; the school was made entirely of outcast kids from all the local schools. It consisted of kids who were passionate about knowledge in some form or another, and had made the choice to go there. It was a very empowering feeling, not having to dumb down your language, or act a certain way so people wouldn’t judge you.

The school was all about personal accountability, there were no bells; you went to class because you knew it was time, and if you were late it was your fault. There were no hall passes; the students were trusted to do what was required of them. Students didn’t have to lug around backpacks full of books, they all had copies at home and in class, making lockers unnecessary. Sports were not even offered, saving me from the horrors of P.E. Instead students had to spend an amount of hours every semester at the gym, or participating in their chosen athletic activity.

I was very happy there. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all sugar and daisies. Every school has bullies, and every school has a popular crowd. The social ladder just wasn’t as high there, and it was much easier for everyone to be themselves. I was able to get away from the nicknames and rumors I had grown up with, and have a bit of a fresh start. I made new friends, and had a decent social circle of fun, silly, lovable people.

So what if some of the less desirable people I grew up happened to go there to right? Remember those “You Could Be So Pretty” girls? How about the guy from “Used”? I had a bit of a hard time because they all went to this school. I felt like I had this huge crowd of popular kids I had to avoid because of some stupid incident that had happened a long time ago. It shouldn’t have held me back, but it did. I was incredibly shy around all of them, and was constantly afraid that I was being judged. Why that mattered, I have no idea, but back then, it seemed like a pretty big deal to me. You shouldn’t let people affect you like that. Who cares if other people judge you, you should be free to be yourself, regardless of other people’s personal opinions. It really makes sense in hindsight, but I guess that’s why we all have these crazy life lessons where you figure out the bigger picture.

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Used

16 Feb

By the time I started high school, my view on boys was pretty screwed up. I had grown up having had mostly negative interactions with guys, and I was pretty scared because of it. When it came to my dating life, I was probably pretty difficult to deal with. Having been molested, I had little trust in the male race, and I thought that every guy was out to get me.

My first crush was over one of my parent’s friend’s son. We hung out together a lot since our parents were friends, and we were often joined by the daughter of another couple. I remember being pretty good friends with the girl, and we both had crushes on this boy; he was pretty good-looking, and a year older than us. Looking back on the situation now, I can clearly see that he played us both, even though we were kids. He used to sit between us and whisper in my ear about how much he liked me. I knew he was also telling my friend the same things, but I thought he was just trying to make her feel better. I’m pretty good at convincing myself to see things in a better light, if you hadn’t noticed!

Things never got to crazy, but I did kiss him a few times. He was my first little girl crush, but I let it go pretty well in the end.  Eventually our parents just didn’t hang out as much, so we stopped seeing each other. I didn’t expect it to come back to me later in life.

During my last year in middle school, my supposed friends down the street had their way with me again. They dressed me up and paraded me around their house and had a few friends over. One of them just so happened to be the boy that I had a crush on as a little kid. I tried my best to seem cool, but I’m sure I just came off as quiet and awkward. After they left, I told the girls all about my old crush on this guy, and how we used to be really good friends when we were kids. He was a pretty popular guy and still good-looking, so the old crush came right back. My friends told me that he had a girlfriend that they went to school with, but she was a really crappy person. They told me several bad things about her, and I really felt like I should hate her.

The girls got it in their head that they were going to help me catch this guy, even though he had a girlfriend. I went to a different school then they did, so I didn’t know her, and I convinced myself that she was a bad person, so it was somehow ok. They dolled me up again, and reminded me just how pretty I would be if I wasn’t so heavy. They invited this guy over, and we hung out in one of the girls rooms listening to music, and hanging out.

I was pretty shy and quiet, I didn’t have a clue how I was supposed to handle myself in front of guys, let alone guys I had a crush on. I about had a panic attack when both of the girls found an excuse to leave the room, and leave me alone with him. He started making small talk, and then caught my attention when he said something about how the girl told him I really liked him. I didn’t know what to say and I probably just sat there with my mouth open looking confused for a minute.

He must have taken that as a sign, and he quickly came and sat next to me. Before I knew it he was kissing me. The girls came back pretty quickly, and we all hung out a bit longer. We also took some random pictures of the four of us goofing around, and hanging out. I gave the guy my phone number, and told him to give me a call, and we could hang out sometime, and the night ended.

This guy never called me. It was pretty hard, I was young and I thought he really liked me. I felt like I had known him for a really long time, and he should have called. I thought I had done something to make him not want to call, and I was pretty hard on myself. I thought that him not calling was just about the worst thing ever, but I was very wrong.

My so-called friends were apparently not very fond of this guy’s girlfriend, and had pretty much set the whole thing up. After we all hung out that night, they had gone to his girlfriend, and told her all about how he was secretly dating another girl. They went so far as to show her the picture from us all hanging out, but they had omitted most of the pictures with them in them, incriminating me and her boyfriend. I guess she was pretty pissed, and broke up with him over it. He thought I was in on it, and was pretty pissed at me as well.

This was the end of my friendship with these girls. It was one thing to have a guy hurt you, but it was another thing to be hurt by people you consider friends. I couldn’t believe that they had used me like this, and I was upset with myself for following along. I was angry at myself for hurting another girl, and I was very sad over the loss of my friends. Real friend would never use someone like that. I had also had a taste of what it was like to ruin someone’s relationship, and I really felt like a jerk for taking part in that. I learned that it was never ok to cheat or to help someone cheat, someone always gets hurt, and that’s not cool. It also made me re-evaluate what I considered a friend. Friends don’t hurt friends, and they certainly don’t use them in their plots against others.

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Enemies

7 Feb

In the hierarchy known as middle school, most people think that they are better than someone else. This is usually extremely true for the popular crowds, who seem to think that they are better than most. This is also true for the outcast kids. Just because they aren’t part of the popular crowd doesn’t mean they are at the bottom of the food chain.

In middle school I had several equally outcast friends, and we formed a decent group of loner kids. I still thought that I was better than a few, and I played into popularity like almost every other kid. There was one girl in particular who I thought was at least lower than me on the social food chain. I am not proud but I took many of my frustrations out on her, and made fun of her with my friends. I felt like making fun of her made me better somehow, and I wasn’t very nice.

I didn’t connect the dots, and realize that I was doing to her, what other kids did to me. My friends and I made her life more difficult, and I have no doubt that we made her feel bad about herself. In all fairness, her side was pretty much the same. She and her friends saw themselves as a little bit better than us, and taunted us as well. We never got along and it was fairly safe to say that we were enemies. Both of us playing into what was socially acceptable, and making life more difficult for one another.

This went on for all three years of middle school. She dated a friend of mine once, and when that didn’t work out, we had even more fuel for the fire. We called her names based on her bodily characteristics, and put her down repeatedly. I am not proud of myself for how I treated another person in school; it seems so silly to me now that I didn’t see myself giving her the same hell I was going through.

Before graduating from middle school, all the 8th graders got to go on a field trip to some fun place. Like all the other students, I went along for the fun. The day started off with all the older students getting on busses to head out. When I got on the last bus, there were no seats available, except for the one next to my so-called enemy. I had to sit next to her for the entire ride there and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

At some point along the way we stopped ignoring each other and made real small talk. I had never really talked to her before, and I was surprised at how well we could carry a conversation. That moment of friendship ended as soon as we got there, and we found our own friends. The day carried on, and everyone enjoyed not having to be in class for an entire day. I saw my enemy a few times but never approached her. On the ride home we had to take the same bus we took to get there, and once again we ended up sitting next to each other.

We easily struck up a conversation again, and before long we had each other in giggles. It amazed me that this person I thought I hated so much, could be so fun to talk to. Conversation came so easily to the two of us, and we really seemed to have a lot in common. I started thinking about why I didn’t like her, and I couldn’t really think of a good reason. So what if other people didn’t like her, other people didn’t like me either. There was nothing bad about this girl, and she really was nice. I wasn’t really sure why people were so mean to her. She was different yes, but she wasn’t weird or crazy.

On the ride home, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have anything against this girl, and I decided that we should call a truce, after all why couldn’t we like each other? She readily agreed, and that was the beginning of the longest friendship I have had in my life.

I learned that her family situation was pretty crappy. She had a single mom who was prone to drunken outburst, and a total lack of sobriety. We quickly bonded, and she spent more time at my house then her own. By the time we started high school together, she was more like a sister.

I couldn’t believe that I had spent the last three years acting like a total jerk to this girl for no real reason. Just because it was socially acceptable didn’t make it ok, and in the end I really did like her. If I hadn’t given in to the social pressure of popularity, I would have found my best friend earlier. I am so thankful that we were able to see beyond the reputation other kids had given us, and see each other for who we really were.

It was a good lesson to help me realize that people are not defined by what others say, nor how they look, or your preconceived notions of them. I learned to take the time to get to know someone even if other people have bad things to say about them. How do you know that other people took the time to get to know someone before judging them? Maybe we should all take the time to see who a person really is before we judge them. I think a lot of people will find that instead of making enemies, they make friends. I know I am thankful for my best friend, and for the many years we have been able to lean on each other.

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Fake

3 Feb

I was awkward before puberty hit in middle school. All of the sudden my chest got huge, and even in my tom-boy clothes, it was pretty obvious. Other kids quickly took notice and made comments. A rumor spread that I stuffed my bra with tissue or something, and that my chest was not real. Terrible nicknames followed taunts and random verbal assaults from kids I did and didn’t know. I somehow offended half of the girls I went to school with my new physique, and they were cruel. Several times they threw tissue at me or balls of paper, and said stupid remarks like “hey this fell out of your shirt”, nothing very original, just your usual teenager crap.

I really pissed the girls off when people started looking at my chest while we changed for P.E. It’s pretty hard to hide fake boobs with your shirt off, so it was pretty obvious that I had the real thing, and was not in fact stuffing my bra. The girls I had that class with must have started talking, because people soon spread the rumor that I had fake breast implants. Seriously? I was all of 12 or 13 and the rumor was about fake boobs? I remember cracking up at that. They must think my parents have a lot of money, or are crazy.

So for a long time I had a hard time in school because I was constantly getting crap about my body. I was pretty sure people liked boobs, so I couldn’t figure out why they were so mean about mine. Other girls got boobs, and they were suddenly more popular, and their boyfriends just got better looking. I must have done something wrong. I didn’t realize at that point, what a calling card your physical traits become. I would be known as the girl with boobs for the rest of my life, real or fake, I wanted to be known for more.

One student was really mean to me about my physical appearance. She always had something terrible to say, and friends who would laugh along while she made fun of me. We had several classes together one year, and I was miserable. She followed me out of P.E. one day, calling after me as I left. I did my best to ignore her and keep walking, but she came up behind me. She threw some tissue at me, and told me I dropped it. I just kept walking and tried to avoid whatever was happening. This seemed to piss her off more, so she decked me from behind. As soon as her fist hit the back of my head, I knew I was going down. I stayed down, and she laughed and walked away.

When I told my parents what happened, they called the school. The school decided that the best thing to do was let it go. She was a student that was having a “hard time” at home, and in school, and her counselor thought that it wouldn’t be healthy for her to be suspended. The school did agree to make sure we wouldn’t have any more classes together, but this wasn’t the last time things didn’t go well between us. I was very frustrated because I felt like the school wasn’t doing anything, but school bullying was a normal part of life at that school. It was in the low-income part of town, so it was a mix of bussed-in kids, and low-income kids. Gang bangers and preps? Yea, pretty much. It wasn’t very functional, but to the schools credit, they had the best teachers in the district.

I was pretty done with people in general at this point. They only hurt me, left me, or set me up for more pain, and I didn’t want much to do with anyone. I was very against drugs and alcohol, after seeing what my brother and grandfather had become. I hated cigarettes too, my foster-brother always smoked, and it smelled so bad. I didn’t have any good or bad outlet, or way of letting my feelings out, so I held them in. I held my feelings in for years, and it made me a very unhappy, cranky, depressed person. I hadn’t found anyone I could really connect with or trust yet, and I felt so alone and miserable.

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Advice/Questions

1 Feb

Thanks to the amazing comments and feedback I’ve received about my posts, I have decided to create an Advice/Questions page. I don’t promise to have all the answers, but I will do my very best do give solid advice, and answer questions honestly. I’ve experienced so much in my life, and it would mean so much if I could help other people! I’ll take your questions about life and just about anything you have gone through, or are going through, thanks so much for taking the time to fill out the cool form I made :)

Please feel free to head that way and fill out the nifty little questionnaire I made! Then make sure to check back often for updates, or FOLLOW us! I can’t do this without your help and participation. I need you to help me get this started, without your stories, and questions I can’t get this off the ground!

Please give it a go and maybe you will be the first person I get to write to!

Thanks,

I am Not Defined

Your name will remain completely anonymous if you take part!

Advice/Questions-go here to fill out the form and seek advice :)

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You Could Be So Pretty

31 Jan

Middle school wasn’t as easy for me as elementary school was. I was capable of getting good grades but I stopped applying myself. I was still somewhat active in school activities, and I was involved in a few clubs. I had a few friends, all awkward like myself.

Several of the kids I grew up with also went to middle school with me, but it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. When popularity became important to many kids, others were left behind. Several of the kids I grew up with were part of the popular crowd, and very quickly created a distance between me. Being associated with an unpopular kid isn’t very socially acceptable in the power struggle known as middle school.

I struggled with kids that made fun of me. I often wore my brother’s hand me down clothes and never acted very girly, so the other girls loved to make fun of my clothing and hair, and lack of any style what-so-ever. It was difficult to feel like I mattered or was worth something. I thought that if so many people said the same mean things, they must be right, and I really was just a loser. I had that mindset for a very long time.

My parents started to get frustrated with me when my grades started slipping. My mom just couldn’t understand why I didn’t work harder. She told me that my life was so easy, and that I needed to stop being lazy. I started feeling like no matter what I did, I wouldn’t impress them, I used to get good grades, and they didn’t care so much then?

Some of the girls who lived on the street were popular, and a year older then I was. I had been friends with them for a while, and we hadn’t gone to school together until then. I went to them and talked about the problems I was having at school and with my family. They told me they would help me, but I couldn’t talk to them at school, or everyone would know they were helping. I was obviously a pretty gullible child, and thought they had a great idea, and would really help me out.

One night the girls decided to doll me up and take me out. I remember them telling me I would be so pretty if I wasn’t so fat. Some friend’s right? I thought it was a compliment and tucked away the fat part for later thought. I let them put make-up on me, and do my hair, it all went really well until we tried to find something I could wear. These girls were tiny, and I had some meat on my bones, so everything they tried to put me in looked terrible. Every time I looked in the mirror packed into one outfit or another, my heart broke a little. I felt huge. I had never felt like there was anything wrong with my body before then. Clearly I was wrong if I couldn’t fit into anything cute right?

I ended up wearing some silly wrap dress that would accommodate my size. We had a fun night in the neighborhood, hanging out with other kids we grew up with. I was just the girl they brought along, that sat quietly out-of-the-way while the popular kids were hanging out. I still felt pretty and I thought I had a good time. It’s funny what you can convince yourself of as a kid.

After the girls made me over that night, I felt like a different person. Not because I looked different on the outside, but because I felt like I was finally starting to see myself. I thought I was a fat, ugly girl, with no friends. For years after this I struggled with image issues, I still do.

I know they probably meant well with their comments, and make over, but it only reminded me how different I was compared to them. I started comparing myself with other people I looked up to, and I felt like I always fell so short. Why couldn’t I be pretty, thin, and have friends too?

I know so many beautiful women who have some serious issues about how they look, or how big they are. It is so sad to think that society helps beautiful people feel validated by putting down people who are different. People come in all shapes and sizes for a reason, and no one should ever make another person feel like they are not just as beautiful as anyone else.

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Adapting

29 Jan

Elementary school was not very difficult for me. I got good grades, and I was in the schools gifted programs. I was pretty active in school activities and I had a few friends. I was by no means one of the popular girls, but I went to school in a small town with a lot of people I grew up with.

When I was in fourth grade, I didn’t like recess very much, so I would go visit old teachers. My favorite second grade teacher would let older students come in during their break, if they worked with the younger students. I really enjoyed helping, so I gathered a group of other students, and we spent our breaks helping the younger kids learn to read and spell. It was a lot of fun.

I became more of an outcast as I got older. Weird things were going on at my home, and most of the kids just weren’t dealing with the kind of issues I had already. Things like anger, death, and sex aren’t normal topics for the average elementary student. I found it very difficult to relate to the other kids, and I didn’t have much in common with other girls because I was such a tomboy.

Outside of school I had several friends. The street I grew up on was full of young families, so all the kids played together often. Afterschool the kids would get together and play street hockey, or hide and go-seek. We would go on adventures, ride bikes, and explore the area. I didn’t have friends over often, it just wasn’t my idea of fun, but I loved going to friends’ houses and seeing how their families interacted.

One of the families’ that lived on our street had an older mentally disabled son. He would sit out on the bricks in front of his house, and try to get the kids to come talk to him. He often convinced the girls on the street to come sit on his lap, and he liked to hug them. I won’t lie; I sat on his lap once to and just thought he was weird and overly friendly. I didn’t think much of it, but I knew I didn’t want to go near him anymore.

About a week later another girl on the street sat on his lap too. I guess he tried to kiss her, and her Dad saw her trying to get away from him, and the police were called. He was apparently a registered sex offender, and his parents were supposed to be supervising him. I am not sure what happened to him, but we never saw him outside again.

It was saddening to think that there were bad people everywhere, at home and on the street. Where was I safe? I didn’t have very much trust or faith in people after that. I felt like my parents couldn’t keep me safe. I felt like I had the world on my shoulders, and I had to take care of it on my own. I think it made me a very independent person early on. I never worked well in groups, I felt like the other kids would fail at their part, and it would all come down to me any way, why not just do it all myself? I made myself an outcast with this attitude, and I really started to dislike people in general.

I decided if the people who were supposed to keep me safe and take care of me were going to do a crappy job, then I would do it myself. This “do- it-yourself” attitude stuck with me. To this day, I still feel like I can do it better myself. It’s funny how the things you do to adapt as a child help shape who you are as an adult.

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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