This is a story from Kim R.
It nearly ripped my heart out – the depths of cruelty a clique can stoop to, the influence they wield over others.
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I remember the day when my innocence was lost.
It was that exact day when I realized how cruel people can truly be. I was in my 6th year of school and apparently oblivious to the fact that I was not “normal”. Normal, that is, in their eyes.
To think… 24 hours prior, life was good.
It all started with a small knock on my front door. I answered it and one of the younger neighborhood boys was standing there, nervously. He thrust a folded up note at me and sprinted away, across the street. I wandered back towards the kitchen turning the compact piece of notebook paper over and over in my hands…
To: Kim R was the only marking on the outside.
I carefully unfolded my note, began reading and slid to the ground. A wail erupted from the most inner depths of my soul…. it was a sound I honestly did not know I was capable of… the sound of pain attempting to leave my body… my heart physically ached. I felt like I would never be able to remove myself from this spot in my house. I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Everything had changed in 5 minutes.
We lived on a small military base, at that time, maybe 15 houses total. We were a tight little group of kids. In reality, we only had each other. We couldn’t go exploring other neighborhoods or seeking out new groups of friends… We were contained, as a whole, by barbed wire.
Within 5 minutes, I had been ostracized by the entire group.
The note was a testimonial, signed by every single child in our area, declaring “Why we hate Kim R” EVERYONE wrote something… even little brothers or sisters. Everyone described why they hated me, Kim R.
I wish I could say that it didn’t matter. I wish I could say that their words didn’t affect me. But, they did. My entire character was altered that day. I became a shell of the girl I was the day before. I had to rebuild Kim R from that day forward.
I honestly wonder what I would be like if that day had never happened. If maybe just ONE person in that clique had stood up and said, “No, this is a bad idea”.
As of today, Kim R appears to have become a successful woman. She has a good job, is married with 3 children. She has friends. She loves to dance and laugh and enjoy her life. From the outside, Kim R probably looks like she has it together. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Everyday I hurt. Everyday I question myself. Everyday I feel remnants of that emptiness creeping back in. I am so socially awkward, in new situations, it’s ridiculous. I second guess every single damned choice I make. I question everything positive, in my life. I never feel “good enough”.
Life shouldn’t be like this, and I realize that. I work everyday on the only thing that I can control and change…. myself.
But, God…. if just one person had stood up and said “No!”
What Kim emailed to me: I am so happy you created this blog. Writing this may not “fix” everything… but it felt good to get it out there. I actually woke up at 6 on my day off and couldn’t get back to sleep because I wanted to get this written.
Kim, I hope this helped you in some small way. What you went through was brutal given the tiny community – not hurt by just a single clique or small group, but by everybody. I am scarred, but I cannot fathom this pain.
You’ve shown it is possible to survive such an experience, albeit with scars, and have joy again – even if we don’t fully trust it.
Thank you for sharing.