All right. Here I am, good as my word. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to explain how things were after the head injury I had at 15. I really can’t come close.
Suffice it to say I was a fun loving, popular teenager that had tons of friends and a happin’ social agenda. I was voted Miss Favorite by my 8th grade class and was a maid on homecoming court my freshman year a couple of months before this whole thing happened. I was extremely active with all my friends and had plenty of them. We had swimming parties at my house all the time and spent countless hours riding horseback all over the countryside. Attended all the high school basketball games and played tennis.
Truly, my childhood was something that I was enjoying with all my heart. I was extraordinarily blessed and I knew it.
When my hospitalization was over and I returned home not only in a wheelchair, but with many of the serious mental and emotional problems that go hand in hand with head injuries, my friends rallied around me. The people in that teeny, tiny, podunk, little, hick town in rural Louisiana were as sweet and kind as they could be.
Slowly, as the weeks progressed, I made it out of the wheelchair and was able to wield a pen and pencil again. I was DYING to go back to school. So I finally got the OK.
I showed up in my wig, (I had had my head shaved for the surgery.), and tried to fit in.
I just didn’t. I tried so very hard to remember how to be my old self. But I wasn’t. I was, according to my mother, abrasive and… “too outgoing” would be a nice way to put it. “Loud and off-putting” would be more accurate.
I don’t remember very much of it all. I remember being repeatedly snubbed by every single friend I had.
I remember getting ready to go out on the weekend and waiting for my girlfriends to come by and pick me up and them never showing.
I remember sitting alone in the cafeteria trying SO hard not to cry as some of the boys in my class sat nearby and said ugly things about me just loud enough for me to hear.
I remember one girl in particular in my class that I had never really known very well or had that much to do with in past years, deciding that she hated me with a vengeance and her walking in the class before it started and shoving my desk across the floor, as I sat behind it. Or had been sitting behind it.
And then the friend that I had been closest to over the past years snubbing me and letting me know that she was now best friends with that girl.
I remember that there is nothing in the world as mean as one child to another child. But I cannot for the life of me imagine being that way to anyone or how they could have acted that way to me. I wanted to die, quite literally, on a daily basis.
I had absolutely no one.
Of course I had my parents, I know that and actually, I knew that then. But, remember what it was like to be 15? How dependent you were on friends? How important they were to you?
Now, imagine yourself 15, unimaginably skinny, (as though you had spent a long time in the hospital), bald, unable to walk gracefully, stay awake for more than a few hours at a time initially, have a memory no longer than your arm, and the charm of a three year old.
OK, maybe not a three year old, but I know my personality hadn’t… “grown back” yet. As a matter of fact… maybe it’s still not… NO! THERE IT IS! Heh.
My memory, as is usual with head injuries, was HORRIBLE. I mean as the years went on it got better and better, until it plateaued out about 6 or 7 years later. It still ain’t all that great, but hey, I only went home from the grocery without the kids 8 or 9 times…
I’M JOKING! Jeeze!
Here’s the dealy-o. Apparently there was this girl that regarded me as a friend. I mean right up there at the end. And by “end”, I mean before I left school for the last time and never saw any of them again. I got a facebook lookup from her the other day and we talked a good deal via email. Or wall writing or whatever you do on that thing. One of the first things she told me was that she was so proud of me the day I got up and walked out of class and went home. It’s so weird, cause I remember leaving school and walking home and knowing there was no way I could go back.
She told me that she really “told off” the boys in the class that were being so mean, after I left. I don’t really doubt it, but it’s just that, really, I don’t remember her that much at all. She was a year older than me and I was new to high school and don’t remember so very much of it. I feel horrible that I don’t really remember her and of course I didn’t tell her. Her name was certainly familiar, but I just don’t really remember her, as an individual.
Anyway, this was all very strange to me, the whole “blast from the past” bit. I mean it’s been 31 years. As soon as she and I “friended” each other I looked around for some other people that I had spent years growing up with. Other people from my class. I located a couple and they were quick to “friend” me. One of the boys that I located I knew had married the girl that I had thought was such a good friend until she wasn’t. She didn’t have a facebook account apparently. He wrote back to me and asked about my family and me, told me that his wife would love to talk to me and she didn’t have a facebook page and just used his. He then gave me her home and cell phone numbers.
I sometimes think I’d like to talk to her and then again I am terrified to. I just know all those feelings are going to resurface and I’ll start crying and getting all emotional. I absolutely DO NOT want to do that. It’s now been over a week since I talked to him via facebook and I never heard anything else and really I feel kind of relieved. heh
What would you do if you were me?
Comment by Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo on November 7, 2009 at 5:48 am
THAT is a very hard question.
Personally, I don’t see many of my ‘friends’ from highschool. And I like it that way. Many of those friends were the ones that turned their backs on me when I fell pregnant with Moo.
I hold grudges. It is a personality flaw.
Comment by JennyMac on November 7, 2009 at 10:03 am
What a situation…and the blast from the past is such a huge part of the FB experience.
You told a very touching and poignant story Krissa. You don’t have to decide what to do yet…or ever. If you ever feel like talking to her, you will know when you are ready.
.-= JennyMac´s last blog ..Take A Bite Of: Ricotta Cheesecake =-.
Comment by Nan on November 7, 2009 at 10:59 am
When I was about eleven, my cute little world fell apart. My grandfather died, my uncle’s wife fell into cocaine addiction and had to be dragged out of brothels by my dad and his brother, dad’s business went bust, much money disappeared thanks to my aunt, things had to be sold, my parents went through horrible stress and marital strain, my beloved little brother was sent to school in England, etc, etc, etc. I dealt with it by dumping my friends, or being so horrible they would dump me. But ten years ago, my olde best friend and I made up. And just a few months ago, another one found my blog and decided that maybe I wasn’t so awful, and she got in touch.
It has been SO wonderful. Friend #1 and I had a good cry. “You needed a friend! Why did you push me away??” “I don’t know! Whaaaaah!” Anyway, yes. Get in touch. They were just kids, they didn’t know how to deal with what you were going through. Forgive them. And you can probably get some good insights from them, too. Do it.
.-= Nan´s last blog ..It’s Friday! =-.
Comment by Jean M. on November 7, 2009 at 11:09 am
I think that if she really wanted to keep in contact with you then she would try at first to keep in touch via facebook for now. From my understanding she hasn’t really done that but he has. Give it time, I’m sure if she’s a normal human she probably feels the same way you do and with a dash of guilt thrown in (at least I hope so). This may be just as hard for her as you. Doing it from the safety net of the internet (theres some irony for ya) is probably the best way.
.-= Jean M.´s last blog ..Ever Get Perklempt At A Job Interview? =-.
Comment by witchypoo on November 7, 2009 at 11:24 am
Weird, innit? I can relate to Nan. I pushed everyone away when my mom died because I was so raw and didn’t trust anyone after the ugliness that my asshole sister pulled. People who I had been friends with since high school.
.-= witchypoo´s last blog ..Pet Connections =-.
Comment by Nicole on November 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm
Thank you for sharing your story! My own personal philosophy is that I am not “friends” with anyone on Facebook that I wouldn’t be friends with in my day-to-day life – only handful of my connections are with people from high school or college. That being said, I do sometimes think that I am limiting myself the possibilities that could come from connecting with people from my past – even the people who hurt me.
After I had my first child, I had a MAJOR falling out with the woman who had been the maid of honor in my wedding . . . she was just way more drama and self-centeredness than I could handle. Several years later (after no contact whatsoever) I e-mailed her out of the blue and told her why I had walked away from our friendship – in very harsh and blatent terms. I couldn’t help it . . . I was still so angry. It probably wasn’t the right thing to do, and while it felt really good at the time, I sometimes think about it now and am sorry I did it (though I also think that maybe, just maybe it helped her put some of her drama in check and thus helped her be a better person . . . though I am sure that is just me trying to make myself feel better.)
.-= Nicole´s last blog ..Friday Night Leftovers =-.
Comment by Chief on November 7, 2009 at 4:59 pm
hmmm… I always say to go with your gut. Im glad you didn’t jump and call them right away. I think it is good for you to think about it first. Old wounds run deep and it would be painful to reopen them.
I have had a similar FB experience although I refused the friend request after contemplating it for a week. I decided it was the best thing for me.
Someday maybe I will blog about it like you did. I don’t know if I am brave enough though
.-= Chief´s last blog ..I love the UPS Man! I could just eat him up! =-.
Comment by warriorwitch on November 8, 2009 at 8:32 am
mmmm………..what to do what to do?
i has no idea.
ok if it were me, i wouldn’t bother with these people. people do change over time but no one changes THAT much.
imagine yourself back at highschool and then from that point imagine your friends as adults. now ask yourself “do i want to know these people 30 years from now?”
your life after the accident sucked. and that sucks.
glad you made it through.
hey, where would the world be without your humour???
.-= warriorwitch´s last blog ..close ur legs =-.
Comment by Eric | Eden Journal on November 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm
It’s a little sad that it takes a great tragedy or a great need before finding out who your real friends are. It makes me wonder how some of my friends would have reacted.
I no longer associate with most of the friends I had in high school. Nothing personal in most cases, but I just find myself moving in new directions, and I end up establishing new friendships. Kind of like when you change jobs. You see those folks every day, and may consider some of them friends, but then you leave that job for another job, and find that you don’t stay in touch like you thought you might.
This planet is a big place with a lot of people on it. You’re better off finding new, like minded individuals to spend time with. I have “friended” a lot of people on facebook, but my real friends are the ones I spend time with in real life.
.-= Eric | Eden Journal´s last blog ..The Open Mind Test – Part 2: A Great Teacher, A Little Philosophy, and A Whole Lot of Love =-.
Comment by Hyphen Mama on November 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm
Wow– I know this seems so callous, but if they couldn’t be there for you when you needed them, do you need them now? I can totally understand them not knowing how to act around you, not knowing what to say or do… but blatant cruelty? Yes, they were 15, and that’s not when we are our most mature and rational. Do you have priceless friendships now that you don’t have a void to fill? Or are you looking to see if the old friends would come clean with apologies?
If it were me, I’d wait it out and see if she contacts you via his facebook account.
.-= Hyphen Mama´s last blog ..Morsels and Crumbs…. =-.
Comment by grandma j on November 8, 2009 at 5:07 pm
Oh Krissa, what a story! I can’t imagine being mean like that, even though I was no angel.
I’m weird about facebook. My kids are friending all kinds of old friends and neighbors, and I just can’t get into it.
I have to read more of your post to find out how your hubby is doing…..hopefully much better 🙂
.-= grandma j´s last blog .. =-.
Comment by Karen on November 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm
I, personally, think it was the guy’s way of politely saying the politically correct thing. If she wants to reach out, she will. She is probably feeling shame for her actions and is embarrassed to reach out, so if you do first it might help. And if you’d rather not, you’ve managed to live just fine after all these years without her.
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Regifting Birthdays. Or Not. =-.
Comment by noe noe girl on November 9, 2009 at 8:40 am
I’m not a big fan of facebook. I have friended some folks but mostly I just read their comments. I am not sure what I would do chickie!
Comment by Kori on November 9, 2009 at 11:37 am
I am on FB but deliberately set it to Private because I have absolutely no desire in the world to re-connect with anyone I went to high school. Plus I spent like three days on FB and now I am SO over the whole thing, really.
But since this isn’t about me ( ha), if it were ME, these are the questions I would ask myself: 1. What would my motivation be for calling this person? 2. What am I hoping/expecting for by talking with this person? 3. Is reconnecting with this person going to enhance my daily life in any appreciable way? Than, based on your honest answers to those questions, you can make a decision.
There is my two cents. 🙂
.-= Kori´s last blog ..Friday Fragments already =-.
Comment by Roger on November 10, 2009 at 10:59 am
I would do exactly what you did/are doing. High School is bad enough as it is, why would you want to relive it again, especially since you are so beyond and past all that crap. Let her make the call first. If she really wants to talk to you, then she will. You have moved on, and are obviously still bothered by it after all these years. Let her call, and if wsome of the first few words from her aren’t “I’m sorry” then excuse yourself from the phone call and move on.
My two cents.
.-= Roger´s last blog ..Holy Michael, the Archangel =-.
Comment by Ree on November 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm
You know exactly what I would do Bury my head in the sand and never, ever look up again.
But that’s me. 😉
.-= Ree´s last blog ..Civic Duty =-.
Comment by big hair envy on November 11, 2009 at 10:39 am
I’m going to go against the general consensus here. I attended a very small high school, and there was plenty of “hating” going on. Kids being kids. I have enjoyed reconnecting with my high school friends. We are all adults now, and some of the girls I thought were real witches are actually amazing women. I feel closer to most of these folks than I ever did in high school.
Having said that, I have not walked in your shoes, and cannot imagine what you went through. Give it some time, and do what’s right for you. If you can get the “demons” out, you won’t continue to carry them with you the rest of your life. Sometimes, all it takes is a good cry:)
I received a wonderful little package in the mail yesterday. I LOVE it!!! Check my post tomorrow:)
.-= big hair envy´s last blog ..My Favorite Veteran =-.
Comment by Lisa on November 16, 2009 at 9:38 am
ok ok I am finally leaving a freakin comment…..
I would wait and see if she tries to contact you thru his FB
she probably is feeling guilty for the way she treated you.
Because of things that happened to me in my life I was a VERY VERY ANGRY child, I was very mean and cruel to several people, and now I do feel really bad about it. I am not that person anymore, and sometimes I want those people to know that and say I sorry for the way I treated them, but at that time that was all I had inside of me was anger. I want to tell them it wasn’t anything they did it was ME.
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