I was reminded today why, for no amount of money, I would not return to high school.
My stepdaughter has been in a funk lately. We couldn’t figure out what was going on so this morning on our way to school we stopped off to get a coffee and I asked. Now mind you we had asked before and gotten the canned teenage answer of “I’m fine.” So I figured a coffee bribe would work. 🙂
Thankfully, she told me that she, essentially, has been having some self esteem and confidence issues because of a group of kids that think in order to feel good about themselves they need to make others feel bad. I have to say that I am so very proud of her for the way she is handling it but it is taking it’s toll on her.
During our conversation she asked me if I was teased in high school. Boy, did a flood of memories come back to me. Here is just the short list of things I got teased about:
- Hairy arms
- My laugh
- My weight (I was a size 10. What I wouldn’t give to be that again!)
- My car (hey, at least I had one!)
- I have a big nose
- Basically, anything and everything I did, said, wore, you name it.
I know, in my deepest being, that had I not had to endure this type of ridicule I wouldn’t be the person I am today, but it still hurt. High school is a time of self discovery and I feel like because I was ridiculed as much as I was, I turned to other things to make me feel good about myself. No, I didn’t do any drugs, but I did start exploring in sex at an early age. I lost my virginity at the age of 16 and became pregnant before I turned 17. Sadly, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage after I witnessed my then boyfriend die in a car crash. So there was something else I dealt with much earlier than anyone should.
So, I again I lean back on my theory that I would not be the person I am without all these experiences happening during high school but then I think am I better off? I mean I am essentially the way that God made me, so in would lend true that no matter what my high school career dished out I would have become who I am.
As a parent I don’t want my children to endure anything close to what I did in high school. It saddens me to no end that my daughter is dealing with this in school, but then perhaps this is the path that He has laid out for her.
It brings me to my final question. Is high school a rite of passage or a means to the end?