Wednesday, October 7, 2009

12 years old

On the IPOD "Maybe I'm Amazed" By: Jem

It is interesting to me how we form our identities. I mean I guess the question is "Do we form our own identities?" I've been really digging into my past lately, trying to figure out what made me believe that my weight was who I am. It brought up some stuff that I really had not told many people until about a year ago, I guess I didn't realize how much it has been weighing on my mind...

Let's take you back to 6th grade, I was the new girl at a small private school. It was a religious school and we had services every morning. So there I am 12 years old sitting in a chair waiting for the day to start when a girl from the grade ahead of me walks up and says, "Hey Amanda, We found this history book, it's yours!" She then proceeded to hand me the book and then ran back to her three friends waiting, who were all snickering. When I opened the book it was covered with new reading material including such wonderful phrases as "Fat Cow", "Disgusting Bitch", "Blubber", "Big Butt", "FAT, FAT, FAT". I when I say covered I mean that it was written in sharpie in huge print everywhere. I felt the tears well up in my eyes, but I pulled myself together, closed the book, looked over at the girls (who did not seem to have any remorse), and silently turned back around not ever letting the girls know that it had even phased me. When services were over I gathered my stuff up and walked towards the door, I slipped the book into the trash and never spoke of it again.

At 12 I was probably a size 10. I was definitely not skinny, but to tell you the truth, looking back, I was far from fat. But I felt fat! These girls, who let me assure you were far from perfect, changed who I was that day. They made me hate going to school and hate myself for the way that I looked. The funny thing is that they had such low self esteems that they probably either didn't think that their words could hurt me so bad or they had their own weight issues. I can't believe that I wasted so much of my life hating them!! Today I am close to one of them and I'm sure a few of them have even read this blog. It is funny how life comes back around. I would be lying if I said that it was easy to just forgive and forget. It is painful! I have never brought it up to any of the girls...

I wish we could change the way we teach our children to look at other people. I wish that in general, compassion was not a learned trait but was instilled in each of us at birth. The shame really is that a 12 year old girl thought it made her stronger to not deal with it 19 years ago and unbeknown to her that decision probably changed her life.

xoxo chef a

2 comments:

mereein said...

Amanda - I hope to instill compassion into my 16 month old daughter - and I hope she passes kindness on to other little girls and boys who bully other kids to make themselves feel better about themselves. The sad thing is that the girls that picked on you in the 6th grade, were probably pretty messed up too and most likely - still are. I am so honored to read about your journey. You are very inspiring and constantly challenging me to think in different ways about my own identity. I owe you a big Thank you.

ahlalou said...

it speaks a lot about your character that you still even associate with or even acknowledge any of those girls and I know it was 6th grade but those words and acts stick. You are amazing!