This coming weekend, I am going to my 45th High School Reunion in Los Angeles. I went to Westchester High School in Los Angeles, and I graduated with the class of 1969. For all you young dudes and divas, that may sound like ancient times to you, but I consider myself to be a very young, fun and evolved chick with a hot pink personality. I am 63 years old. A lot has changed since my school days, and I am not the same person I was back then. I was majorly bullied, made fun of and harrassed all through elementary, junior high and high school. They called me “ugly”, but now I know that it wasn’t about that.
I had very low self esteem due to a difficult childhood. I allowed my very controlling mother to take over every aspect of my sense of self; and in doing so, I temporarily missplaced my sense of self and my identity. I didn’t know who I was. I lived in fear of everything. Life didn’t seem safe back then. Now that I look back, I went into a shell and isolated myself to protect myself. I wanted to be invisible, but I wasn’t. Instead, I was very very visible, but for all the wrong reasons. I was such a geek and so introverted. I barely spoke to anyone, and everyone made fun of me. Today, I am the exact opposite and nowhere near who I was back then.
This last May, I hooked up with a guy from high school that I hadn’t seen in 45 years, and we went to a resort in Jamaica together. He told me that all the guys (including him) used to watch the way I walked, because they thought I had a sexy behind. I had no idea that men would find me attractive back then. It wasn’t a concept I ever explored and ever felt worthy of. I was so shut down in school that I didn’t notice that he was trying to talk to me way back then. I would only give him one word answers back then. We had a fun vacation together, but that is all it was for both of us.
I am going to my 45th high school reunion in L.A. this coming weekend, and I went to the 40th and the 60th Birthday Reunion two years later. Although, I was being my normal self, everyone kept telling me how I was the life of the party. They saw a huge change in me. Forgiveness and letting go is the key. My brother is the exact opposite. Because I was his sister, he was harrassed. He still holds on to that anger, and he cannot understand how I can talk to these people (as he puts it).
The moral of this story is that no matter how much you are harrassed in school, you are going to grow up to be a kick butt sort of person, because this experience made you stronger and helped you in believing in yourself more. You will have more compassion for others and connecting with others will be of ultra importance to you. I know….. I was there.