The other day I found an old scrapbook. It was from my high school days. There were faded old pictures and hall passes, goofy poems, a school fight song I made up, funny notes from school friends, and even a couple report cards. I don’t remember saving any of it. But I’m glad I did.
High school wasn’t all that bad, I think as I flip the pages, smiling as I reflect. That was true on one hand, but on the other hand, living through high school was hard. I was a teacher’s pet, straight-A student, and the target of every bully in the school.
I walked the halls in fear every day. Without fail, there were the name callers. ‘Four eyes’ and ‘nerd’ were the nicest jeers, by far. The name calling was tolerable compared to the sexual harassment.
I was a dorky looking girl. Big salad-plate eye glasses. Predictable frumpy wardrobe. Always reading, scribbling a poem on some scrap of paper, or studying. Prime target for the school lecher. He would leer at me, follow me at every turn, and make suggestive body motions and comments under his breath. I think my feeble pleas to be left alone only encouraged him to continue.
None of those bad memories made it to the pages of my scrapbook, but they might make it to the pages of a novel. Old wounds don’t really heal until air them out. Writing helps me air all the mess out. Maybe one day, I’ll thank my high school bully for making me stronger. That is, if he’s not in prison.
Were you bullied or harassed in school? What did you do about it?