7.30.2008

like i said

the lowdown:
day 3 of no lex, feeling good, and aside from the fatigue which i'm certain is brought on by the insomnia, no brain zaps (yet), and no anxiety or moodiness.

i rerereactivated my fb account for about 12 hours today, upon hearing that someone i once knew was lurking around, but they didn't find me, so i busted out again. another someone i once knew well became engaged, and finding that out made me smile a lot. i always think it's really interesting to live the reality of a situation that i thought once might upset me. m was my first many things, first boyfriend, first kiss, first love really, a relationship way ahead of its time, and too adult for a 13 and 14 year old to consider practical. i mourned the ending, though for less time than i thought i would, but always wondered how i'd feel knowing how his future would play out without me. and i'm happy for him, which is a rare feeling when finding out about anyone's decision to formally celebrate their lives together. i guess when it comes to engagements and weddings and shit like that i really don't care, probably because it doesn't hold the same meaning for my relationship, and partially because it's only a tradition, and one that isn't holy and sanctimonious any longer (thanks, modern society).

i mentioned how i hated my high school years. who doesnt? but i'd venture to say most everyone has a pleasant memory or several dozen of the excruciating time of their lives lived between the ages of 13 and 17. even i have a few. but mostly it was really, really hard.

here's why:

i went to a high school in long island. a big high school, my graduating class was nearly 400, which i know doesn't compare to some urban and even suburban high schools with a thousand kids in each grade, but it was big to me. i should have gone to a smaller college...i blogress. my high school was filled with middle and upper class privileged white kids, with a smattering of a few other racial and socioeconomic minorities here and there. the neighborhoods we all came from ranged from modest to posh, with pockets of extreme money and pockets of poverty. we were a mixed bunch, which is good, but a fairly separated bunch. and the cliques. oh, the cliques.

the summer before i started high school, subsequently, the summer i started dating m, he told me that his grade had broken social barriers and united in a way. the groups formed in middle school melted into a truly friendly, synonymous with utopian grade. i tried to imagine my grade moving in that direction. i could not envision it. i don't think it ever happened, for me at least.

at the ripe old age of 13, i considered myself an introvert. it wasn't until my second myers briggs (yes, a highly reliable source) at the age of 24, that i even considered that i might be a social being. back then, i preferred quiet activities, small groups or even just 1 on 1 interactions. i avoided big gatherings, loud places, and people who claimed to have to buy more than one package of invitations when planning their birthday parties. i soon found myself feeling this new overwhelming sense of loneliness, pretty frequently. especially on weekends and during vacations.

i was lucky (does this qualify as luck?) enough to run with a group of girls during my high school years. i recall there being as many as 13 of us at one of many counts. the thing i always thought different about my group, though now i realize was probably parallel to most other social groups, was the way the group split from within. at any given time, a&b might not be getting along with c&d while e&f were off doing their own thing and not inviting anyone else including g,h,i, or j along for the ride. i floated amongst the group, having my own favorites, never feeling even for one second that i was anyone else's favorite, finding myself floating outside of the group for weeks at a time, floating back in, but never firmly making a decision to stay or go. high school didn't work like that. you are who you associate with. i felt like a nothing, so what did it matter? a continuous flow of ambiguity, muddled with a continuous flow of girldrama, gossip, twofacedness (one of my favorite terms), hormonal imbalance and social climbing.

i was never entirely comfortable with myself in those angstful early teenage years. how could i expect anyone to be comfortable with me? i grew angry at the conformity. i lashed out in my suburban middle class ways. i stopped washing my jeans, i traveled to the city to get away from the island, i hacked off my hair, i shopped only in secondhand stores, i pierced parts of my face, i went after boys who treated me badly and turned them into jokes in my head. i withdrew. i felt hated and grew hate for others. i ached for a best friend, someone who could understand me, who would not betray me for someone else, someone who valued the same things i did. i was seeking validation for who i was. nobody was going to give it to me, but me.

i remember very little from those 4 years. i remember arguments that seemed to go on forever, not understanding what i had done wrong, not knowing when it would blow over, not knowing what i was supposed to do to repair things. i remember being told with relative frequency from my group of girls that so and so hated me, and so and so just didn't like me. for as many individuals i saw every day that i 'hated' or 'just didn't like' it seemed there were just as many, if not more, that were openly advertising their dislike for me. it wore on my ego. it made me question my humanness. i'd always known i could fall into a depression, but around sophomore year, depression was less of a pms related, infrequent affliction we all suffered vocally, and more of a private function. i'd always been able to talk myself out of these tiny pits of despair, but around that time i stopped trying to. i accepted that this was just me, and i attempted to be alright with that. i started looking forward to having my license. i wanted to be able to take long drives, alone, with company, i just wanted to flee.

i'm going to end here for now, in the attempts of getting to actually sleep tonight. if i can't, i'll be sure to continue.

and there is much more to be said - i'm not quite sure how to say it yet. it's hard, reliving these times. it makes me appreciate my life now, what i've got and who i have in it. more to come.

1 comment:

Leo MacCool said...

i agree, high school is such a difficult time. i also remember days upon days in a fog of misery. did not being straight factor in at all for you then? i think it's a brave decision to go after the anti-depressants. i've read that that's a really hard thing to do, physically. but if all this reflection & remembering is part of the withdrawal...maybe that's a good side-effect?