As a child I was teased mercilessly. I don’t know if “teased” is the correct word. I associate teasing with playfulness and what happened to me was not funny. It’s hard to call it bullying because I associate bullying with physical harm. If I had to define what happened to me, I would call it terrorism. It was the breaking down of the soul.
Each day I went to school I felt ashamed to be me. Kids (sometimes even teachers) talked about my eyes. Often when I share my writing with others they may like the piece but they almost always make some type of remark about how cruel the characters are. The most common remark is; “Would that character be that cruel?” My answer is always, “Yes.”
When I was in the second grade the teacher was working with a group of students. I wasn’t in that group. I sat at my desk doing independent work. She had the students reading from their text book. She quickly reprimanded one student who leaned in close to read his book. “Don’t slump like Katrina,” she said.
I know that we have all been hurt by others. Often we don’t realize that our words hurt. Sometimes the pain goes deeper than any of us realize. As a child, I learned to deal with it. I laughed and tucked the pain away but now as an adult I see the affects of all of the hurt.
I find myself preparing to be disliked. I went to a luncheon one day. When I entered the room I saw a table with two women sitting at it and the other six chairs were empty. I didn’t know anyone there. I walked to the table said an energetic “Hello.” There was a purse sitting in the chair next to the lady closest to where I was standing. I thought that was a clear message that I was not to sit next to her. I immediately chose the chair next to her purse thinking, I had sat next to better purses than hers in my day. Just as I was about to sit, I realized that she’d moved the purse and both ladies were smiling at me. “What’s your name?” the lady who moved her purse asked. I just froze. I looked like a fool. I was in mid bend(my butt hadn’t hit the chair yet). I moved to the chair where the purse once had been and eventually I told them my name.
Last night at the BOOM Party Tom, a very kind friend and fellow writer, came up to me and gave me the biggest hug. I had such a wonderful time at the party; strutting down the red carpet, tattoos, good food, wonderful drinks, happy faces, beautiful venue, wonder friends-some I hadn’t seen in a long time- but the thing I’ll remember most about the BOOM Party is my hug from Tom.
Being a part of such a wonderful community of friends and family who love and support you means a lot. I am thankful. That is why for today and today only, I am strutting my puffs like they just came out of the oven! I am HOT today!
Let’s talk again next week