Friday, November 13, 2009

Those Schoolgirl Days Of Telling Tales And Biting Nails Are Gone (part two)

It must have been in early Spring because I remember not having a coat on when I stepped on the playground during lunch period. I could see Sandy and Vicki standing under the huge elm tree that towered over the northeast corner of the blacktop near the teacher's parking lot. This was where we always hung out before school and after we finished our lunch. That day both girls had rushed out of the lunchroom before me and they stood under the tree with their heads close together taking intensely as I walked up to them. Sandy was facing the tree picking tiny pieces of bark off of it. Vicki was standing on the other side of her facing me with a look of triumph on her face. They had stopped talking when I approached and I looked at both of them in confusion, something was up.

Vicki did the talking, telling me that they weren't my friends anymore and that they didn't even like me. That they were transferring to Gove Junior High to get away from me. That...I don't remember what she said next, I could see her mouth moving and the hatred in her eyes as she spoke but I could not hear her words. I looked from her to Sandy who kept her eyes glued to the tree as she continued picking off small pieces of bark with her fingers. I heard her give a nervous giggle and wondered why I could hear that but not Vicki's words. I was frozen in place by the gleeful look on Vicki's face as she continued saying hateful things to me. Part of me was stunned by what was happening while another part of me wasn't surprised by it at all. I already knew what kind of person Vicki was and felt sorry for Sandy. Vicki was the type of person who could only could have one friend at a time and she had picked Sandy.

Sandy was my first real friend, I had moved around too much to make any close friends before, and her...I was going to write betrayal but that is not how I felt at the time. I felt disappointment and sadness but at the same time I knew you could not trust people and that if you let them get too close they only hurt you. I thought Sandy was my friend but she just stood there and let Vicki say all those horrible things.

I turned and walked away. I was freezing and every muscle in my body trembled. My mind was numb and I realize now that I had gone into shock. I also realize that this incident had been such a psychic blow partly because I was still traumatized after watching my father try to kill my mother a few months earlier and partly because my faith in other people had just been shattered beyond repair. I think if anyone looked closely at the time they would have noticed that I was leaving a silvery trail of liquid behind me as I walked away. My soul was bleeding and the wound seemed fatal.

I told my husband this story as we walked the dogs up at the cemetery. When I finished a feeling of great loss welled up inside me and burst out of my body in a wail of pain. I had not cried that day nor told anyone what had happened. Now I spat out the words, "How could they do that to me?," and broke down in tears. The next moment it hit me and I thought it would take me under; the loneliness I felt growing-up wrapped up inside the alone-ness that almost made it unbearable. Then, as quickly as the flame from a lit piece of flash paper disappears, the pain was gone leaving behind a greater sense of weariness and sadness.

As for missing out on high school, I see now that this is not what depressed me. It was seeing how close my husband and his classmates were and the numerous memories they shared. A lot of them had been in school together since kindergarten which means they had been together all of their school life and most of their childhood. Knowing this had brought to the surface of my subconscious a truth that I had kept suppressed, how as a child I felt utterly soul gutting alone in a dangerous world. By finally acknowledging this and experiencing the pain that this thought brought me I was free of it.

Note: If you would like to read about my sister's memories of our childhood she now has a blog called Yup, it was my life. You might want to check it out since she is almost as good a writer as I am. ;)

No comments: