Things that we learned in school.

11 Feb

 

Things that we learned in school.

 

For me it wasn’t spitballs. I mean, it was, but it was also those little pointy pencil leads that you stack inside a hollow plastic tube. They used to shoot them at me.

But the point

is that they hated. Hated you. Enough. To shoot something at you. A spitball. A pencil lead. A word.

 

A look.

 

It wasn’t just their fists. It was their words.

It wasn’t just their words. It was their elite, their inside, their together and you weren’t part of that. You were never part of that. You weren’t part of the collective, the average, the safe. The left alone. Those who belong, because you didn’t.

You never belonged enough
to be left alone.
To blend in.

Some. People. Have. PTSD because they couldn’t blend in enough to avoid the spitballs, the dodgeballs, the stories, the rumors.

Some people are more traumatized by their childhood and the names and the trash cans and the lockers and the spitballs then they were by the goddamn Viet Cong, because nobody told them to just ignore the Viet Cong and they would go away.

You know it. I know it. They don’t go away.

Ignoring them does not make them go away.

Telling them to go away does not make them go away.

Quick retorts only make them come back

twice

as

hard.

Fists do not make them go away.

 

Even suicide doesn’t make them go away. They continue

to spread rumors, to whisper. . . To defame you and harass your family, your siblings, your friends.

 

You cannot make them go away.

We know how much BS it is to tell a kid that ignoring them makes them go away.

We know what it takes just to fucking survive.

But you learned. You learned, I learned, to survive.

 

You learned to blend in.

 

You learned to find a group, the fringe, the tossed out, the ones that don’t fit anywhere else, the Freaks, and hide yourself among their numbers.

 

You learned to pretend. Learned to be someone you weren’t.

 

You learned to hide, behind books, behind cargo pants and gray sweatshirts, behind a quiet exterior. Behind the other kids in the back of the class, behind someone less fortunate than you. Behind music, behind a friend, behind a violent reputation. Behind a smile.

And you learned to hide from yourself.

 

You learned to go home each day and scream just to let out what felt like barbed wire in your throat and your chest and your bowels. You learned to take up a razor to mute the sound of the words. You learned to sleep, so you didn’t have to think or feel or be.

You learned to lie to your parents and you learned to act like everything was fine.

You learned that if you are going to survive, sometimes you have to have ways to convince yourself that everything is fine.

We learned.

We. Learned. To. Survive.

We learned that telling a teacher doesn’t get you anywhere.

We learned that retaliating only makes it worse.

 

We learned how brilliant they were, how cunning, the million and seven ways that they found to be discreet in their mistreatment, to make you look like the aggressor, to hide their barbs and their attacks as they pushed every button you had until all of the buttons broke.

 

Some of us learned to look inside for beauty. To surround ourselves with kind and open-minded people.

Some of us

learned to think that we were worthless. That we didn’t deserve love. We learned what we were taught, that we were ugly and retarded and freaky, and we filled our lives with people who convinced us that this was true, and even now we can’t convince ourselves that we deserve better.

Some of us learned to feel hopeless. And some of us gave up.

Some of them

are no longer with us.

 

But we are here.

You.

Me.

All of us who survived.

We know how it feels to feel hated. We know how it feels to not want to feel. We know, we know what it took to make it this far. We know how it feels to GIVE UP. And this . . .

This . . .

This is what we learned in school.

 

It is time to relearn. It is time to teach ourselves

to love ourselves

and to surround ourselves

with people who love us

for ourselves,

and not what they can take from us.

Not because mistreating us makes them feel stronger. They are not stronger. 

 

Re

learn

everything.

Re

silient

you.

 

Take the lessons you were taught and throw out the ones that don’t heal you

you

are

worth

you are worth everything. relearn everything.

.

.

Re

learn.

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