I do not have a guest writer lined up for today, so I decided to begin sharing part of my own story.
Last week, I reconnected with an old friend and asked if this person would be willing to share their story here on the blog as part of the Your Story series. My friend politely declined. What happened in the past was still all too fresh.
I am still living with consequences of patterns learned from then and the years since then, and I’m doing all I can to move forward, but it is not as easy as it sounds.
I could not believe how succinct this message was! This is exactly how I have felt for years without ever describing it so eloquently.
I believe everyone has certain things that happened to them or certain decisions that they made in their past that still haunt them today. I think even when one has done the “dirty work” to get beyond it, certain things can still trigger the pain, rejection and regret.
One of my earliest memories of rejection came when I was in 6th grade. Prior to that year, my girlfriend and I somehow managed to be the popular girls. Other girls in our class would argue over who got to be our friend or hang out with us. That sounds so weird to say, but it was true. Then, in 6th grade … my first time in 6th grade, I was home-schooled. I hated that. I’m a social girl. I like to be around people. Being home schooled meant that I did most of my schooling at home, by myself, with my Mother. Awesome. I went in to my old school for a few classes – I mainly remember going there for choir. Now that I was home-schooled, I had lost my cool factor. Those girls who fought to be my friend just one school year before, no longer wanted to have anything to do with me. They barely acknowledged my existence. Something I have learned through my journey of self [re]discovery, is that rejection is pretty much my biggest fear. It’s right up there with sometimes fearing – even now – that someone is hiding in my closet. Ridiculous fear. But, hey. Who says fears need to be legitimate?
So, back to my story. I was in my first year of 6th grade. No longer cool. Rejected.
I hated that year of home schooling. I give my Mother credit for what she was able to teach me during that year. I was a stubborn child.
Then, the next school year came around. For various reasons, including the fact that I refused to do much of my school work the previous year, my parents and I decided it would be best if I re-did my 6th grade year. So I did. This time around, I was back at my old school again. Which, was tiny. You must know this was a private Christian school. I think at the time there may have been around 100 students and the school was 2nd-12th grade! So when I went back, it wasn’t like I could just blend in, start over, become cool again and no one would know the difference.
No, it was like this:
“Hey! Alana’s back! Why aren’t you in our class? Whaaat? You’re in 6th grade again?? Why? Did you fail? What is wrong with you?”
Needless to say, I experienced more rejection that year. So now did I not only need to recover from the un-coolness factor of being home-schooled for a year, I also tacked on the fact that I had “failed.” In the eyes of my previous classmates [and myself] I was a failure.
I’m going to wrap this post up before it gets too long. But first, let me say this isn’t even the story of rejection I first intended to share. It is amazing how when we open up our painful past, all the memories that begin to come flooding forward.
So, I respect my friend who is not yet at a place to share publicly. There are so many things that begin to bob to the surface when we open the door to our past.
(For those of you who are thinking ‘Wait! So what’s the real story here??’ Don’t worry, there’s much more to come. :))