Maybe 7th grade might fade – by Erin
“Hey, I was just over talking to Kristen and Pam, and they wanted me to tell you that they don’t want you to hang out with them anymore,” she said.
(and yes Kristen and Pam are their real names, because changing them only protects the innocent and that is something they are not…yes I’m still bitter haha)
“Ummm, oh? Why is that?” I said as I feel the lump building in my throat.
“I’m not sure, but they don’t want to be friends anymore, they don’t want you to sit at ‘the table’ anymore.” she said.
I was in 7th grade, and Kristen, well she was my best friend since kindergarten….Pam? She came along in 6th grade.
Apparently I didn’t wear the right clothes, I had lunch tickets instead of my mom dishing me out 10 bucks every day. My dad died 2 years previous and my mom was struggling to make ends meet for both my brother and I. And the two people that I trusted the most…..my best friends in the whole world, two female friends, betrayed me.
Why didn’t they just come up and tell me “You are not good enough.”
So obviously everyone knew, because when I went back to get my back pack from “our table” the whispers started. Trying to hide my emotions, I took my things and left!
At that time, I didn’t know where to go, what to do, or who to turn to. You know there was the group that was told not to associate with me, I was a loser. Who cares what I may have to offer. I’m a good person, I’m friendly, I’m funny, I have a good heart, I would give you the shirt off my back if you asked. But it wasn’t about that, no one cares about that.
I could never imagine treating a friend the way that they treated me! EVER!
Sure I’ve had friends, female friends since then, but it took a lot for me to trust them. I get along better with male friends, they don’t have the drama, they don’t care if you wear the right jeans or if your hair is cut a certain way. They don’t play the he said/she said. In high school, I learned to be friends with everyone. I was judgmental because that protects ME. That helped protect me from ever having what happened to me in the 7th grade happen again. But I was still friends with everyone.
I had a friend in high school who would tell all the “popular” girls “Oh my God, you are so beautiful, your hair, it’s gorgeous, I love it” and they would fall all over her and the minute they walked away she would say “Uggh, she’s so ugly and so fake”, and guess what? They loved her. THAT was her “in” with all those people.
Me? I was honest, I was friendly, and I knew a lot of people, but was not “popular” in any sense of the high school meaning.
I feel as if I struggle in every way to still fit in. I try to engage people, or should I say Women. I try to be the only me I know how to be. And I still feel like no matter what? I’m never good enough.
I went to conference in San Francisco, and apparently I didn’t meet half the people that went.
Because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I met some really wonderful women, empowered women, women who I would love to know, and I’ve tried, and in the end, I still feel like I’m just not good enough.
I learned so much, I went back to the hotel room and couldn’t shut up about all of it to the hubs, he listened patiently, he was excited because I was excited.
He asked if I was going to the “after party” and my response….with the same lump in my throat and the pain in my heart….No… No I’m not, because I don’t know anyone, and it just felt like everyone knew everyone and I was on the outside looking in.
I’m always friendly, and I’m always genuine, but I am always thrown back to 7th grade when that one person told me I wasn’t good enough for my two best friends in the whole world, and my life and views on friendship changed drastically.
My brain tells me that I should be me, be the best me I can be and if someone else doesn’t like who I am, then it’s their loss. I am a confident person, I know I’m a good person, and if someone doesn’t want to stick around or get to know me better than it’s their loss. But my heart? My heart says something different.
So I am going to another conference in March, and I am throwing myself outside of my comfort zone, and I’m going to meet everyone and be in everyone’s face and hope….pray, that I feel accepted.
Maybe, after all these years, 7th grade might fade!
I remember reading this post earlier this year and being struck by it.
Once again, no warning before the axe dropped.
I too, found guys to be my best friends in high school, for exactly the reasons you described.
If I’m ever at a conference with you, I’d love to meet you.
Thank you for sharing, Erin.