I’m not very consistent with my blog, and I have purposefully avoided NaBloPoMo thus far because it was a pressure I really didn’t want to lay on myself. But things have been sort of funky lately, and I haven’t had much luck in coming up with anything to write about, anyhow; so having a writing requirement like this is a good excuse to get some baggage unpacked and laid to rest. Accordingly, I’ve decided to spend this November writing incessantly – daily, even – about myself. Feel free to come back December 1 if it gets too ugly. I won’t ever hold it against you.
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School was, to paraphrase one of my kids’ favorite books, a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad [Twelve or Thirteen Worst Years of my Life]. It truly was awful. School was where I first learned about pettiness, cattiness, meanness, cruelty, bullying, peer pressure, social ostracization, and all the other wonderful things that can happen to you in the William Golding landscape that was, and probably still is, school.
Once I left the warm cocoon of home and began the first day of kindergarten, it was as if the pretty blue sky had been ripped open by a horrific claw, revealing a dark and terrible Real World behind the bright façade. My initial naive love for all my classmates was systematically and categorically destroyed as I discovered, over and over again, that not everyone liked me, not everyone wanted to play with me, and not everyone was my friend. Worse, I discovered that, sometimes, people enjoy hurting other people. Most often it was emotional harm, but sometimes there was even physical hurt, as I remember a terrifying encounter with three or four boys who assaulted me with rocks. This tortuous and endless agony was often more than I could bear. But I was trapped in my hellish nightmare for an unforseeable eternity. And something told me that this was a purgatory I had to endure alone, and without complaint. I had no way of expressing the black hole of despair and terror that ate away at my insides, even if there had been someone to describe them to.
These feelings have long been suppressed, but they sometimes well up again- usually in moments of self-doubt and uncertainty. I often feel the dark wound deep inside me, which has only a thin scab of time and maturity covering it over, bubble and tear open anew, allowing some of its purulence to ooze out. I will it to recede, and mentally stanch it with a compress of cynical fortitude. But it still festers, even to this day. I would gladly have a scar on my soul, because that would at least mean that this terrible injury had finally healed.
In other news, today is my brother’s 35th birthday. I’m surprised (but very glad) he’s had so many, seeing as his youth was truly bizarre and terrifying. Have a happy one, bro!
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I promise not to be this dreary all month long. It’s probably because Hallowe’en was only just yesterday.