Jul 6, 2011

Women Wednesday: Roots Part 1

Everyone has a story. It is a mixture of pain, beauty, hysterics and ridiculousness. Mine doesn't make me different from anyone else; just me. Perhaps by acknowledging that each of us have been hurt by another woman, we'll show more love to one another. Here are my roots, Part 1.

After my last Women Wednesday post, I was talking to a girlfriend who said "I thought that because you have always had good relationships with your mother and sister, you would be a terrible candidate for being afraid of women. Where did all this start?"
I laughed. Probably a huge reason why I have women issues because I was so close to my mom and sister. I always felt like I didn't need another female relationship. And I had starred in my own personal version of Mean Girls before Hayden Paniterrie arrived on the planet.

Being 75lbs and under 5ft tall at the start of junior high was laughable and boy, did my classmates laugh it up. While my body missed the memo about evolving, my father missed the memo about the color of men's collars in rural Oklahoma. While dad worked 8-5, my peers' fathers worked according to the sun; if it was in the sky, they were working. Although my parents struggled with money like everyone else in the late 1980s', the title of "spoiled rich girl" cemented my pre-teen biography.

I swore off all vanity; any modified change in my appearance only invited attention and attention was always more teasing. My hair was too straight and brown and my body resembled my nickname, "Twig". The gaggle of girls that tormented me hurt, but the silence from the boys in my class only confirmed that women run the world.

Home life was so good, I didn't want to disrupt it with my pubescent woes. Having three kids in five years left my parents busy, even if I had displayed angst about school; but I wasn't up for talking to mom and dad. While other mothers were making a home, mine was making a business. She made jewelry, ordered the best take-out ever, only turned on our oven for special occasions and looked young enough to be my big sister. Her bottle blond hair, 5'8" frame and Farrah Faucset good looks were the only positive comments I got from boys through most of my tween years. We laughed, worked and played as a team and life was a strange dichotomy of great and miserable. I hid my dive-bombing self esteem, bruises from being pushed into lockers and planted my emotions in an alternate universe, books.

I was called my first expletive in writing. Scrawled on a note and shoved in my locker, the word screamed at me. A few weeks later, one of the ringleaders held my face in the snow. I walked to my first class drenched in a mixture of tears, snow and sweat. I told my teacher I fell. She called my mother. I told mom I fell.

Gum was consistently found in my books, locker and even my hair. Name calling was after every class bell and I tried to shrink into oblivion. I was reading 6-8 books a week, both at school and home, anything to forget I was me. I was arriving at school as the last bell was ringing and hiding in the locker room during lunch. The more anti-social I became, the less banter I had to tolerate in between school bells.

I stopped talking all together second semester of my 6th grade year. I correctly answered the exact date the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor during history class and a combination spit ball and "dumb a***" followed. I tanked the test. By mid-semester, I was failing almost all of my classes. The principal called my parents.

I don't remember the incident, but it was so bad a big sister of a girl in my class broke it up outside school, brought me home and told my parents everything. They cried. I enrolled in a new school the next week. The wall against true sisterhood had structure. Four years later, I'd return to this same school and confront all these issues again.
Maybe I'll go there next week, but today my soul is raw from remembrance.

Show more sisterly love today.

Even if she doesn't deserve it.

She probably needs it the most.


Jennifer said...

I came across your blog after Alison won the adorable tshirt. My husband and I are also adopting from Ethiopia. I loved catching up and reading your blog!

Wow. Kids can be so brutal. I am so sorry you had to go through that. As a teacher, bullying is one thing that I absolutely despise and do not tolerate in my classroom. Thank you for sharing. It makes me want to be kinder to others, even if I'm not a "bully." So thank you.


Matt and Sarah said...

Oh friend. My heart broke reading your blog. I can't believe how mean girls can be to each other. I have so many similar stories... It was terrible.

Unfortunately I see this a lot at school...even with preschoolers. Nothing makes more angry (you can ask my students) than when kids tease, bully, or hurt others. It is absolutely not tolerated in my classroom.

Thankful that there are mamas, like you, out there who will teach their little girls to value and respect each other.

Lindsey said...

Love this! I'm following your blog!!

Lindsey :)

Anonymous said...

*hugs* I'm so, so sorry you went through that. Girls (and women) can be so cruel. I have my own issues with women, even though my experience was different than yours and was more about judgment and condescension from those more "holy" than I. We women have the potential to stand together, yet we so often tear each other down. It's heartbreaking.

Courtney (Thornton Family Adoption)

Deb said...

I've been trying to figure out what to say about this and frankly all of my thoughts just seem so silly. People (men and women) can be so cruel and women, in particular, so catty and jealous. I'm sorry on behalf of all those Mean Girls who did this to you. We aren't all like that. ;)
More details on the referral please!!

Laura Ferry-Jimenez said...

growing up I was always surrounded by boys - girls weren't mean to me but I just felt like they were too catty, vain and not to be trusted. I liked playing softball and basketball and was happy to say that I just got along better with the boys.

but what I have found in the past 10 years is that there is something beautiful about a relationship with a woman, it's ok to be emotional and sensitive. I now count my female friends as my best friends of all. not sure why women have to be so cruel to one another when God made us just right.

I hope I raise two good, sweet girls who will never do this to anyone they meet. :)