Before we get to the craziness of today, I think it is important to touch on who I was in high school briefly.
While in high school I lived at home with my parents. We had (and still have) a nice house; we are not poor but we are not rich…I would probably say the lower end of the middle class. I went to a high school that had a lot of the higher middle class/upper class children in the city. My father worked and my mother did not. I had a part time job working with my dad on the weekends. I made my own lunches and got myself to and from school as had been the way since I was about 10. Although my home life might sound okay, it was not. My parents fought constantly and at one point my father left our house to live with his parents for an extended period. My mother was always miserable and most of the time it felt like you were walking on eggshells trying to avoid getting yelled at. She had a lot of health issues both physical and mental. So, there wasn’t anything I did wrong per se, but in my mothers eyes I was a lazy, self-involved, selfish individual. I was frequently called fat or told I was a terrible person. I cried a lot. At this point in my life I realize that it was emotional abuse and that none of what she was saying was true or my fault. At the time I didn’t know what to think. Part of what got me through was assuming that this was how everyones parents acted, and like mine when friends were over the ‘we are a happy family’ screens went up. I felt ignored a lot of the time, and sad. I had one spot on my left arm where at really bad times I would take a pair of scissors and lightly scrape a thin line of skin away. Some people refer to this as cutting but I do not have a lasting scar, and there was rarely any blood drawn so I am not sure I would call it that. I was not trying to kill myself, I think I just wanted someone to care enough and pay enough attention to ask what was going on. No one did. My dog was the saving grace – I loved her and taking her for walks was a perfect excuse to leave the house. She would even lick my face clean of tears sometimes.
Throughout high school I had various friend groups – I found it difficult to stay with one group because I would either get bored or abandoned. Sometimes I was abandoned because I did not have an interest in drugs or alcohol. Other times, and the times it really hurt, I was abandoned for reasons I do not know to this day. I had a few people I would talk to in each class incase a group project came up, and I had a couple of friends that I would see outside of school. Otherwise I was quite alone. I think that part of it had to do with the fact that I was not interested in the things other girls my age were. We did not read the same books or watch the same movies or listen to the same music, so when classes ended so did the ‘friendships’. I did not have much more success making friends with boys, and I was never asked out on a date. I had a really good friend group going in grade 10/11 but it fell apart before grade 12 (much to my dismay – I thought they would be ‘forever friends’ ) and I was ready to move on to bigger and better things than high school. In grade 12 I threw myself into my art classes and applying for universities (luckily I had consistently good grades), just hoping I would get in so I could get out. Out of the house, out of the city, away from it all.
Tune in to the next post to see what happened in the undergrad degree! #itgetsbetter