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6th Grade

The Note: by Kim R.

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.

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~*~*~*~*

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.

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.

Discussion

27 thoughts on “The Note: by Kim R.

  1. Kim, I am so sorry this happened to you. The world of childhood touts innocence but for a group of children to do something so hurtful knocks my ever present optimism to a new low.

    My heart just broke for you, wishing that “no” had been said and understood, that “no” had been the “yes” that changed your life. I too had a lot of run ins with the mean girls and the popular cliques and it was never something I look back on and am thankful for…it hurts when someone hurts your heart and I am sending u lots os cyberhugs with this comment.

    You are ALL u need to be to everyone that matters!!!! HUGS

    Posted by kir | June 10, 2011, 1:21 PM
  2. Thank you SO much for posting this!!! A tiny bit of therapy in the morning’s early hours, for me! *hugs*

    Posted by Kim | June 10, 2011, 1:46 PM
  3. Wow. Just…wow.

    Kim, how my heart breaks for the girl that you were and how I long to hug the woman you’ve become. I hope that today, in sharing, you do not feel so intensely the pain you’ve been holding onto all these years.

    Those kids were wrong. So fucking wrong. And I hope that every. single. one of them feels deep, deep shame.

    And I hope you dance.

    Posted by Bellymonster | June 10, 2011, 8:02 PM
  4. I try to imagine how it is growing up and not being able to choose your friends, because there is just a limited number of kids. This must have been very hard in the first place. And kids can be so cruel. I feel sorry you had to endure this. But I can see the person you are, and you are a strong one, and you made it. You keep your head up. I’m sending you many hugs from far away.
    Found you on Fledgling Friday.

    Posted by Mommy's Paradise | June 11, 2011, 5:21 AM
  5. This is heartbreaking. I am scared every day for my children.

    Posted by Anastasia Villarreal | June 11, 2011, 7:39 AM
  6. WOW. That was powerful. I had several bullies at my school too. This is one amazing blog. New follower for sure.

    Posted by Nicole | June 11, 2011, 8:38 AM
  7. Kim…I am not even sure how to respond. My heart has sank, to think how you were scarred by this. It makes me want to read this story to my class each year. Kids can be so mean. I never saw a scene such as you described, a total group to one. May we all be touched by your words, and may we each use it in some way to help make this world a little better and a little sweeter. I am a believer in prayer, and I believe God can heal everything. I am praying for you. Do you also have a blog?

    Posted by Writerly Wanna Be | June 11, 2011, 2:49 PM
  8. How incredibly heartbreaking. I cannot fathom what would inspire such cruelty and hatred; I can only say I’m sorry this happened to you, Kim, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Posted by Katie | June 11, 2011, 4:38 PM
  9. Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine. I hope writing this freed you a bit from the past.

    My 9 year old daughter and I just had a conversation the other day about dealing with kids that have strong personalities. She is one of the sweetest, nicest, kind and generous people I’ve ever met and kids take advantage (eating her snacks, bossing her around.)

    She asked me to teach her how to stand up to them and say no – without hurting their feelings.

    All we can do is set a good example and teach our kids how to be good people.

    If I were your mom I would have confronted those kids. Someone needed to stand up for you. They needed a talking to and owed you an apology. It never should have gone on like it did. That is horrible.

    I’ll say what is long overdue…..I’m so sorry.

    Posted by Kris | June 11, 2011, 4:56 PM
  10. Wow. Kim, I am so sorry this happened to you! My heart was breaking as I read this. I, too, remember the point when I lost my innocence to an incident of bullying. It just makes me want to scream “why”. It seems like the neighborhood kids turned on you on a dime. So bizarre and so hateful. I am so encouraged by the fact that you went on to move past this time and continue living a productive, joyful life – yes, even with the scars.

    Thank you sharing. Appreciate your vulnerability.

    Posted by Melanie | June 11, 2011, 11:17 PM
  11. The sixth grade was a difficult time for me, too–I was not “normal” either. And I still bear the scars of the hurtful things said and the separateness I felt then. Thank you for baring a piece of your soul to us. I hope that it gives you some measure of peace. I also pray that you someday understand how amazing and wonderful you truly are. I don’t know you outside of this piece and even I can tell you are a talented and incredible person; I hope you see it, too.

    Posted by Elise | June 12, 2011, 2:01 AM
  12. What an awful and painful experience. It took a lot of courage to share it. I can’t imagine what it was like to continue living on the base and having to face those kids. Unfortunately, kids are cruel at that age and rarely understand how something like that can hurt someone. They were probably all afraid they could receive the same ostracizing if they didn’t sign it. Or maybe they were all just jerks.

    Posted by Kid Id | June 12, 2011, 12:33 PM
  13. So sorry this happened to you!

    Posted by Kisatrtle | June 12, 2011, 2:13 PM
  14. In 9th grade the concept of the slam book was big, and the kids in my class started one primarily to slam me. There were a few slams on other people’s pages, but my page was full.

    Cruelty knows no age bounds. You have my complete understanding and empathy.

    Posted by kimberlychapman | July 31, 2011, 10:36 PM

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  1. Pingback: Kim R. | kimberliah - June 10, 2011

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