Monday, October 20, 2008

They say you are homeschooled jungle freak who's a less hot version of me.

I know you will find this hard to believe, but I wasn't always a nice person. In the 6th grade, I called Jennifer Schoviak a "big mac" behind her back. I was supposed to be her friend. She found out from someone else and I did apologize to her eventually. In the 8th grade, I was mean to my friend, Chris Braham. I would intentionally leave her out because she wasn't as "cool" as I thought she should be. In 10th grade, I did the same thing to a girl named Erika Buri. The dumb thing was, I really liked Chris and Erika but I always wanted to be friends with someone cooler or more exciting. It was really stupid. In the 11th grade, I stopped being friends with my dearest friend of my life for a whole year because of some really dumb reasons. Finally, in the 12th grade, I saw the error of my ways and was determined to be a nice person. I have really tried since then to not leave people out, to talk to people who are different from me and to be more tolerant. However, the girls I wronged and their feelings and the way I treated them haunt me to this day.

When Anna was in high school there were certain girls (*cough* Bryn *cough*) who drove her nuts. She didn't want to be friends with them. I would always tell her my Erika Buri story and counsel her to be nice to everyone because if she was mean to other girls it would bother her forever. I think it sunk in because Anna was always a nice person. Proof of that was her election to the May Crowning Court in both 8th grade and 12th grade. This was not a popularity contest. This was your peers voting for the person who most exemplified the qualities of Mary, Mother of Jesus. Anna really exemplifies someone who cares about peoples feelings. I felt really good that I was able to steer her towards niceness through my mistakes as a youth.

I guess I am now getting my payback for my meanness as a girl because poor Emily has girls being mean to her. It's very dumb junior high behavior: just stopping being her friend for no reason, leaving her out of conversations, not talking to her...basically making her feel like crap. She comes home from church activities and school crying about how bad other girls make her feel. It breaks my heart for her and turns my mind towards Jennifer Schoviak, Erika Buri and Chris Braham's moms. They probably really hated me. I know how they felt because today when I picked up Emily from the bus and saw some of the Mean Girls, I wanted to run them over with my car. I really want them to hurt like Emily is hurting. I keep reminding Emily that she is great and to look for other friends and that these Mean Girls are no good.

I was a lucky Mean Girl. I saw the error of my ways before it was too late and even tried to rectify some of my meanness with those I hurt. I have not been mean in a really long time. I hope the girls who are treating Emily so poorly will have similar epiphanies in their lives before too long.

***Writer's Note***
Chris didn't like this post. Said I made myself sound really awful. I hope you all don't think I'm a horrible person. I just had my moments of meanness. Usually I was nice.


Laura@ Practical Homeschooling said...

Gosh, I still remember when I was in fourth grade and was camping with two friends in the back yard to get a Girl Guide Badge.

I don't know what overtook me, if it was a power-trip or what, but it ended up with my friends leaving early...ticked off. Since then, things were never the same between my since-preschool friend and myself.

Even now, years later, we are in touch on Facebook and are still "weird" towards each other.

Sara said...

It all comes down to insecurity. People are mean to others because they feel threatened in some way. Bullying is universal and it hurts no matter what the age or gender. With my kids, it has really helped them to talk about all the reasons they are wonderful, their talents, their hopes, why the bullies may feel they need to drag others down to make themselves feel better....if your children feel loved by you and the people closest to them, they will find confidence. Keep loving her and encouraging her to find people for friends who are similar to her. Perspective is everything! Keep your chin up and don't beat yourself up over the past! We all have made similar mistakes -- part of growing up. :-) PS: You are a VERY nice person!

Stacie said...

No, I don't think you are a bad person. I'm just glad to know you are normal. :o) I shudder to think of some of the things I did in the past to "friends." Emily is a sweetheart, and she will find friends who appreciate and love that about her. If they don't, they aren't really friends, right?

Lil said...

I don't think any of us had our finest moments while in high school or junior high. You couldn't pay me to go back there. You don’t sound awful. As a teenager, you recognized what you were doing and changed the path...I know a few adults that still haven’t learned how to do that.

I'm sorry to hear about Emily. I can just imagine how painful that must be to hear what she is going through and feeling powerless to do anything about it. All we can do as parents is to teach our children not to treat others that way and make our home a safe and loving sanctuary for them...sounds like you are doing both of those things fabulously!

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