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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?