old ghosts.

this is going to be an uncharacteristically personal post – beware. 

when i was entering 3rd grade, my family moved from ames, iowa to cleveland heights, ohio.  i attended roxboro elementary school there until thanksgiving of 5th grade.  I remember because we moved back to Iowa over the holiday weekend.  My best friends at Roxboro were Sarah Stewart and Andrea (I can’t remember her last name).  Life was good – I didn’t have a ton of friends, but the ones I had were great.  Then one day, Sarah (and Andrea) stopped talking to me.  I think this was in late 4th grade?  I can’t remember for sure.  No reason – they were simply not my friends anymore, and they took my peripheral friends with them.  I was not always a shy kid, but when I’m feeling hurt and/or unsure of myself, I have a very hard time branching out.  Well, naturally I was both hurt AND unsure of myself, as I had just been unceremoniously ditched by my two best friends.  I was miserable for months.  During recess and lunch I would do my best to hide – there was a tree behind the playground that I would sit behind and cry during recess, and I tried to hide in the bathroom during lunch.  I was so miserable, I can’t find words.  

Eventually, of course, things got better.  I was a girl scout and became very good friends with some of the girls in my troop.  I ended up knowing some wonderful people, and  I had a great time after I got to know them until I moved and started all over again at Gilbert.

I honestly have to say that to this day it is has always bugged me that I just got dropped like that.  I know young girls can be unimaginably mean, but I didn’t even get a “mean” answer, like that I was fat, ugly, annoying, not cool enough, what have you…I got pure silence.

I never really talked to anybody about that whole period in my life (Ola’s heard about it), but something happened this morning.  I was talking to my mom, and it amazingly came up.  We were talking about people I used to know (kind of, it’s a long story) and Sarah came up.  I mentioned casually that I still didn’t understand why she had just ditched me like that.  My mom said “oh!  I never told you this?  When you were told her you were going to be moving away, she got upset and decided it would just be easier on her to stop being your friend than lose you when you moved away.”

WHAT?  I had no idea that this happened.  Apparently, since I was depressed and totally friendless suddenly, my mom put in a call to Sarah’s mom to find out what had happened.  Sarah HAD decided that since I was her best friend, and she knew I’d be leaving, it would be better to just stop being my friend right now than wait until I left.  Mom didn’t tell me then, because it wouldn’t help me anyway, and when I was older I never talked to her about it, so I guess it didn’t occur to her that it was something that I still carried around with me.

at this point, i’m no longer certain why I decided to share this story.  I do know, though, that I’m now reflecting on some of my insecurities that I have had while growing up.  I know that some of them are very specifically tied to this incident.  I wonder…if I had known this earlier, say, in junior high…would I have made different decisions about anything?  It may be difficult to grasp from the outside, but this really was a major life event from me.

In any case, it has me thinking.

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