I have known what ostracism was like in high school. When I look back on it, it probably was the worst three years of my life. At that age you really do not have that much experience with the world or good coping mechanisms, so it's hard to deal with. You go into school with high hopes and an innocent view of relationships to some part. Then that gets beaten out of you mercilessly.

For years I've tried to understand why that happened. I can point to a myriad of reasons, all valid at one point or another. But what I've settled on is this. Humanity and people in general are social creatures with all the best and worst they can be. People seem to operate on an automatic script and sometimes that script calls for picking out one unlucky soul for abuse. It's not fair. It's not morally right. But it is living, breathing fact that it does exist. It seems by chance you are the target of that abuse.

As for getting over that memory, it's not easy. It really does shape you on how you live your life and what your worldview is. I have become fiercely independent from my experiences. I guess you could say that the fire of that trial only made me stronger in that regard, my independence. On the down side, I still can notice my defenses rise if I come upon a situation that kicks in those old pains and fears. At that age, those defenses worked and were needed, but as an adult, need to realign them. It's a constant battle since those defenses run on automatic and you need to be acutely aware when they fire up.

What I think about most is not really what was done to me, mostly psychological; but what I have missed out on. In your teen years you are learning many new things. Mostly social. Dating, making new groups of friends and the such. But being labeled as a pariah takes all those possible experiences away from you. You don't learn about those things. I missed out on dating and the proms and just hanging out. I really knew I wasn't wanted around.

I ended up learning what I needed to know in college. Thank God for that, but still, I would've loved to have had those positive memories and experiences from then. But it's all lost now. So there is still some bitterness over that. You can't turn back time but there are times I wish I could.

My advice to those kids out there going through it still, get out of that lousy environment to a different one if you can. The kids who torment you are not going to respond to high morals and kindness; they are bereft of it. If you cannot leave, find some support network to help you through it all. Counselor or what have you. Do not try to go it alone. I never had either of those chances and had to do it on my own. I did a fairly good job but it was torment still. What has helped me is the perspective of being older. I know that at that time that was of no use but still, you can overcome most of what was done to you.

Just dropping a note for all those others out there who understand.

Back to Raven Days' Words Out Of Shadow

Back to the Raven Days home page

Copyright to the original articles in the sectionWords Out of Shadow is retained by their authors.