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High School

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Inhale deeply, one. Two. Three and exhale, repeat. That is what I normally had to do to force my already trembling body through the gates of school. Today I didn’t resign myself to that sort of torture. My muscles were overwhelmingly relaxed. Where my fingers would clench they now felt light and tingly. I could just hear my mothers voice ringing in my ears “Claire, you don’t have to let people make you feel so god d*mned upset. Take control over the way you feel.” I never really understood or let that wisdom of hers sink in, until today. I allowed myself to feel in a way I hadn’t allowed myself in many months, happy and anxiety free. I walked through the gates of Kelvin Grove State College like I owned the place and after all why shouldn’t I. With my head held high I walked past my grade all of them sectioned off in their ‘groups’, their ‘cliques’, their ‘posses’, their social circles that allowed them to fully engage with a group of people with similar likes, dislikes and high school melodramas. And on the other hand it has allowed them to completely disengage with those who are outside of that limited group, it allows them to remain almost completely ignorant. Ignorant of people like myself, who fall through those cracks of high school acceptability.

At first I didn’t really recognize the relationship for what it was, abusive. How could it be when I was told periodically over the years everything that ever went wrong was my fault. Everything had to do with one of my negative character traits or how I lacked any positive ones. I was never supportive enough, fun enough or pretty enough. Not enough. Ever. I suppose I made the rookie mistake of believing that I was inadequate. Never did I look past the anxiety attacks, the sleepless nights and the tears to see maybe some of the weight on my shoulders, my heart and my mind wasn’t mine to carry, but hers. She was my best friend. A friend characterized by being better than all the rest. I clung to her every word like a child clinging to its mother’s breast. My heart would stop in anticipation, waiting to hear if I was in her good graces that day. Would I be acknowledged today? As her best friend, her confidant or even as someone she loved? Or would I just be nothing to her, which felt worse than being nothing at all, even if it was just for a day. My happiness and contentedness clung to her in a way so unhealthy, looking back on it, it surprises even me.

How that friendship ended or even why exactly are unclear. What was it about that day that made me snap so intensely, it varied from any other time before. In the forefront of my mind I remember being so tired, so drained and so stressed. I think it was those emotions combined on such an astronomical scale that made what seemed to be such a pristine surface, crack. By the time I cracked it had been three years and by the end I honestly felt very little. I was void of caring, compassion even concern. I just wanted out. Part of me wanted to go up to her face to face and go through everything that had brought me to this point. All the times she ditched me, lied to me, lied to others about me, how she made me feel so guilty sometimes I didn’t think I could carry on, how she always had to come out the winner and me the loser. I didn’t bother with any of that my words would have been talked over and essentially wasted. A part of me wanted to slap her so hard she wouldn’t be able to see straight, but I valued my education and my future too much to jeopardize it for some high school cat fight. So I called her and said “I can’t do this anymore” she didn’t understand what it was I couldn’t do anymore, that was comforting. She didn’t have a clue, I didn’t have to feel guilty for the millionth time for her telling me she loved me and was sorry. Sorry means you don’t do it again, she was never really sorry because it always happened again. After several weeks of not hearing from her I got a message. When the notification popped up on my screen my heart stopped, she still had that power over me. I sat in front of my computer for what seemed far too long before I dragged the mouse up the page and clicked on it. My eyes scanned over the letter eventually focusing on the first word and reading down, until I got to the bottom. I immediately deleted the message I felt just by getting rid of it I was stopping some sort of poison that would surely spread to all my other saved messages. The message reaffirmed to me that she believed she was infinitely right and that in all of this I had still wronged her.

For the months leading up to my final day of grade twelve I watched as she made new friends, as she began sitting with other people, as she shifted plans and priorities I used to fit into so seamlessly. I didn’t care so long as I wasn’t involved. What really got to me was the gossip. How she could twist my words, her own and anyone else’s to suit her own needs. How was it that she could so easily manipulate and distort reality to create her own and how could the people around her not see it? How could they take her word without hearing my own. How could they look at me with distain and hatred without first considering compassion. What I now realize is those people who perpetuated the gossip didn’t actually know me and therefore they could go on believing what they wanted with little to no effect on me. So the day I walked into school for my last day of grade twelve , the day I walked into the gates of school so self assured a smile crept across my face, was in fact the first day I realized I was a lot stronger then I thought I was and that I had enough support already in place to leave behind what I once thought was so debilitating and actually, move on.



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Austin said...
Jan. 1 at 1:57 am:
You have been through what I been through, I'm happy to have people that understand me too. Thank you for posting your work, and bless you to be stronger ^^
 
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