Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Have you ever been ashamed of being seen with someone in public? This is something that has weighed heavy on my heart the past few months. I’ve joined the wonderful world of “Facebook”, and found many old friends and acquaintances recently that I haven’t spoken to in quite some time. A couple of the girls I’ve found are girls I was best friends with in middle school. I wasn’t very popular in elementary school, but I thought I could change that in 6th grade. What ended up happening, though, is that I ended up one of many in a group of “losers” (yes, harsh, but that’s what the rest of my class considered us). While I found a few very good friends, we were all the outcasts; I was a cutter; when I was upset, I would cut or scratch my arms. It didn’t make sense; it still doesn’t. But I did it, and because of it, I always wore long sleeves. It didn’t matter what time of year; I was the girl with long sleeves. I didn’t have cool clothes, and was really chubby. Some of my friends had pretty poor hygiene; others were just not stylish, and awkward around people. We made a weird little gang, but we worked. I think every one of us was embarrassed to be friends with the rest in the group; but all of us knew that loser friends were better than having no friends at all. As I progressed through school, I cut less, and started getting thinner. I started learning the “cool” ways to dress. I started to distance myself from most of my friends as I made friends with those who were “a tier” up the social ladder from them. My two very best friends aided me in this; one, Kristin, has been my best friend since we could walk. She is quiet, but studious and friendly, and everyone liked her. The other, Helen, started out low because she immigrated to the US from Romania when she was a child and was really shy and “different” in elementary school, As she became more Americanized, she started getting involved in art and sports, and became my “in” with the cool kids. By high school, I was one of those “middle-of-the-road” people. I wasn’t friends at all with those other friends, besides Kristin and Helen. I completely dropped them, and they all split into different groups; the studious group, the gothic group, the emo group, etc.

I was looking through old pictures yesterday and found pictures from my 7th grade birthday party. Me and all my awkward friends had a sleepover; we have picture after picture of us laughing, smiling, and having a good time. It tears me apart inside that I was such a cold person. What is it about human nature that makes us indifferent towards other people’s feelings sometimes? That makes us so concerned about what others think of us, that we’re willing to throw friendships away for appearances? I found some of those friends, and we’ve started to share how our lives have changed, who has babies, who graduated college, who’s working where, who’s married. But we haven’t talked about the elephant in the room; about how our friendships were based on a simple desire to have friends, and that any of us would have traded each other in given the chance, for a “shiny new friend”.

Yesterday’s menu:

Breakfast: oatmeal with ½ banana, natural PB, flax meal, wheat germ, and some honey
Lunch: Bear Creek Broccoli Cheese soup with some real broccoli mixed in that I steamed at home
Afternoon snack: yogurt and an apple
Dinner: rice and beans. Red kidney beans, onion, garlic, celery, spices… all simmered for about 3 hours until creamy, then ladled over a little white rice (should have been brown, but we were out).
Snack: Yes, I caved again. Cheese. But just a little wedge! Plus 2 slices deli ham and 1 WW tortilla instead of chips. Still shouldn’ta done it, but at the time, my cravings got the best of me. My mindset was “there’s only this little bit of cheese left; I’ll just finish it, so it’ll be out of the kitchen”.

222.5 lbs. This is so frustrating! I WILL be 221 by Friday. I don’t want to not have any weight loss this week! I know I need to exercise – that will jump start my numbers; but I’m just so lazy. And it’s cold, and it’s been rainy for a few days straight. I did some push-ups and situps yesterday, maybe today I’ll see if there’s space enough anywhere in my apartment to do one of my workout videos. I doubt there’s room. I can improvise, though!

Oh, time for a GOOD memory:

Being at the lake the summer after 11th grade. I went to visit my grandparents, who stay in a mobile home on a small lake every summer. I went up in short cut-off shorts and a spaghetti-strap tank top. I went in, and my grandma’s jaw just about dropped (and not because I was wearing so little clothes). My grandma came up to me, pinched my butt, and patted my hips. She told me that I looked just like she always wanted to look when she was a teenager. She didn’t specifically state that I looked thin, or that I looked pretty, just that I was “exactly how she would have liked to look”. How awesome of a complement is that? Someone had DREAMED of looking like me! And most of all, it was My Grandma T! She is the most amazing woman I have ever met. She’s kind, witty, and hard-working. She is a wonderful wife. She cooks like a pro, and her home is always spotless. She raised 4 children while working at a bank, and still managed to make time to sew, quilt, knit, cook, clean, and host gathering after gathering. My grandfather’s health has been ailing for years, and she LIVES for that man. She brings him to monthly check-ups, and to his UAW union meetings. She cooks exactly what he needs for his diabetic diet, and takes care of every need or want he ever has; and he adores her. My mom says I remind her a lot of my grandma T (who is my paternal grandmother). To me, that is the best compliment I could ever get; even better than the one my grandma gave!


debby said...

Hi Amy, this post is interesting. From my perspective, your view of what happened in jr. high is a little skewed. Even when I was in jr. high I realized it was the hardest time in any human's life. Not sure exactly what--probably a lot d/t the extreme changes happening in the body, hormone surge, and the pressure kids put on themselves to all of a sudden be grown-ups when just a week before they were carefree little kids in grade school. I used to say 'jr. high kids should fight all our wars, because they are the meanest people on earth. (My view was probably skewed by the fact that I was a 'good girl' and my dad was the principal of the jr. high I attended.

Anyways, the truth is, you were little kids, and being humans also, you all had that sin it is only natural that what happened happened.

I guess its good that you are sensitive to it. Maybe it would be good to say 'I'm sorry for the way I treated you' or some such thing to one of these friends you are renewing friendships with.

The fact that you were cutting yourself was a symptom of the horrible emotional pain you were in.

I guess I'm just saying to give yourself some slack. You did the very best you could at the time, and now that you are older you will do better. Just think of how good you will do when you are my age--why, you will be practically perfect--hehe! (hope you know I am making fun of myself.)

Lyn said...

I was in that outcast crowd, too. Only, everyone else moved on, and I stayed outcast for a lot longer. Even when I got thin and pretty in 10th grade, everyone was already in their groups, and I was still alone.

I think it affected me a lot, because I still don't have much of a social life.

I hope you can look back on your child-self and have compassion for her and know that she was just trying to get by the best she could.