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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Others

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. . . . There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit --- immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. -- C. S. Lewis

The first one I remember was Rose. She was only the tiniest bit chubby (but back then, I don't recall anyone being concerned about fat), had pale skin, Dutch-boy haircut the color of straw, a sweet smile with a gap between her teeth. Rose. That's a beautiful word, a beautiful flower. But the other kids spat her name. Think, "Hello, NEWMAN," from Seinfeld.

Then there was Davey. He was happy, in spite of all their attempts to make that not be so. His nose ran a lot. I now realize that he must have had allergies. No one talked about allergies then. He was just snotty Davey. I remember once he called me before back-to-school. I think it was before 4th grade. He had never called me before, and I didn't know what to make of it then. Now it pleases me that he felt OK to do that. He was calling to tell me, item by item, each article of back-to-school clothing his mother had bought him, what colors, what he would wear with what . . . and to ask me if I thought his wardrobe was "OK." Back then, I just told him that everything sounded fine to me. He hung up happy. I never told anyone about that phone call until this minute.

Next, I remember Barbara. Barbara was poor. She wasn't clean. Not her clothes and not her body. She smelled like bacon and woodstove smoke. There were white things in her black hair. I may not ever have gotten close enough to see what they were. I imagine them as lint, but I don't know. When I see her in my mind, I see her smiling. If she were clean, with nice clothes and a haircut, her pale skin and smooth black hair, and white, even teeth, would make her quite striking. I see her smiling, but I know she cried a lot. I hope not anymore.

And there was Bonnie in Sunday School. Snot was an issue for her, too, but that's because she missed her Mom. I don't know where her Mom was, but her Dad dropped her off in the Sunday School class every Sunday morning. Bonnie (I loved her name) had that combination that I still find so alluring -- very blond hair and dark brown eyes. And every single Sunday, to ease the pain of his leaving her there, her Dad would give her a chocolate Tootsie Pop. Damn, I wanted one of those. (Still do.) But Bonnie sucked her Tootsie Pop, and cried for her Mom, and the net effect of the dark brown eyes and the chocolate lolly was three dark brown circles on this pale, wet face, with the tears from the eyes, and the drool down the chin. Even being in the House of the Lord didn't stop the other kids from saying mean things. I just wanted the Tootsie Pop. And I wanted to say to her, "Your name is BONNIE. You have blond hair, brown eyes and a Tootsie Pop. And Mrs. Mahala is NICE. You don't have any reason to cry like that." I never joined in the teasing, but I must say, I didn't have much empathy.

That was all elementary school.

Next was middle school. Joyce. She had a couple of friends, and they called her Joycie. She was clean, and not poor. She had smooth, clean, light brown hair that hung below her butt. She was very fat. Even though I've said that we didn't think so much about weight back then, Joyce had to buy women's clothes. Clothes with a "W" after the size, and back then, there wasn't much to choose from in that department. A few people teased Joyce, but mostly she was safe, with her couple of friends. And when everyone saw how smart she was in Algebra, that helped, too. Because a lot of people needed her help. I got to know Joyce a little bit, because we were in an advanced math class together. She really was smart, and very witty, and very sweet. I thought it was a loss to those other people who didn't want to be around her because she was fat.

And there was Pop Mitchell. I'm sure her parents gave her a lovely first name, but I don't know what it was. She had very black skin and what I now realize must have been hyperthyroidism, because her eyes "popped" out. That's why she was called Pop. I remember her smiling and saying, "hello," all the time. She was developmentally delayed. Maybe that made the teasing easier for her, because when people would make a joke about her and laugh, she'd laugh louder than anyone. It didn't help Pop and her classmates any that their teacher's name was Mrs. Nutter. They were the special education class (although I never heard that term, we all just knew), but everyone called them "Nutter's Nuts." "Here comes Nutter and her nuts!" Come to think of it, Mrs. Nutter would laugh loudly when she heard that. I don't know quite what to make of that, now.

Then there was Mary Flick. I'm using her real name, because it's key to the specific torment that she endured. I just googled the name, and there are lots of them. A law enforcement officer, a campus ministry leader, a quality assurance expert, a nurse, the mother of a handicapped child. One of the insults that we relied heavily upon in middle school was the label, "'flicted." Short for "afflicted," but the "a" was never used. Just 'flicted. "Mary Flick is 'flicted!" "Here comes 'flicted Flick!" Mary always wore dresses. She had long, coarse, pale hair, and crooked eyes and crooked teeth. Her brother wasn't treated the way Mary was, even though he resembled her and of course, had the same last name. Mary is the only one, the sound of whose voice I can't remember. I may have never heard her speak.

I moved early in my freshman year of high school. I imagine there were kids in my new high school who had endured the same type of teasing, tormenting, bullying, abuse, that the preceding endured. I didn't know of them, though, in the new school. Except for Bonita. Upon first seeing Bonita, you wouldn't have thought there was much of a problem. A little bit unkempt, eyeglasses a little outdated, maybe, but it was the 70s, in high school. There was a lot of variety in dress. I didn't know, at first, that Bonita was a target. I remember the first week I was at school, someone, a preacher's daughter, ironically, telling me to ask Bonita about her recent trip to Salisbury (a town in North Carolina). I was new, ready to make friends, so I said, "Hey, Bonita, did you go to Salisbury over the weekend?" And Bonita became very flustered and started on a long narrative/tirade about going to Salisbury. It was part informative, part angry, all very odd. And Bonita seemed both pleased and offended that I had asked. The preacher's daughter and other kids around thought this was hilarious. I felt manipulated, and not amused. I learned that asking Bonita about Salisbury was guaranteed to engage and fluster her. I never knew why, or what the significance of that town was for her. Bonita probably had some developmental delays, some learning disabilities, and as I recall her now, she had some OCD characteristics, packing and unpacking, arranging and rearranging her belongings, in a compulsive, almost frenzied way.

I'm almost 29 years out of high school, and these children are still in my head. I think of some of them rather often. I didn't join in the teasing. Ever. So I'm OK with that. But I was a popular kid. I wish I had also been an assertive kid. I wasn't. I knew that being unkind to these people was wrong. Mean, immoral. My own self-esteem, sense of social security, was too tenuous to tell other people to stop it. I wish I had had more courage. And I hope -- I would be so delighted to have reason to believe -- that they are, in some form, living well, as "the best revenge."

32 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger Nina said...

This is beautiful and I am sure they have lived life by living and learning like we all do.

Umm yeah I was picked on because I was always the smallest, tiny even. It made me tough to prove that my size didn't matter. All of it makes us who we are today. But yeah I would still like to grow about 6" or so. ;)

Blogger The Cube said...

wow this post really moved me. I know exactly what that was like. In elementery school, and junior high I was teased a lot, I never fit in well. So I hung out with all the other misfits and outcasts. But when I started high school, all that changed. I met other more popular people, and I got to hang out with the "in" cliquep for them when they were, but I never included them in the new group. I hope they went on to better lives. I know that all of them are stronger, better people than the ones I left them for, but I was too stupid to know that back then.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WE had Iris and Eunice, who were red headed twins, they got called Urine and Anus. I didn't join in although I didn't meke friends either. Then there was me, who was hit and spat at and ridiculed every single day.I never knew why I was so bullied, not fat, not smelly, not too poor, just didn't 'do' what the other kids did I guess and didn't have the 'in' stuff. I hated school. This post made me want to cry ....I loathe mean people. Thank goodness for the kind ones who even remember names years later. Helen ( the other me)


Wow, Susie. Just wow. There was a very pretty blond girl who lived the next street over. All the neighborhood kids just absolutely spurned her. To this day, I don't know why; I didn't know then, and I don't know now. Nobody ever sat next to her on the bus - except me. Not because I'm a saint, but often that was the only empty seat left, and what did I care if everybody seemed to have a problem with her. I remember going to her house once to play.

There was a large family that lived up the street. The boys were bullies. They'd invariably find the forts in the woods we'd painstakingly spent the whole day building, and tear them apart. The oldest daughter got married the day after she graduated from high school. Looking back decades later from the realization that it seems a family without abused children is the anomaly rather than the norm, I now feel sad, rather than angry, in thinking about what that bullying signified.

Blogger Susie said...

nina, there is something to be said for the things that make us tougher. You are tiny and powerful.

the cube, welcome. Not stupid, just young. Interesting perspective you have, having been on both sides of that fence.

t.o.m., redheads always seemed to get it. I didn't include any here, because the ones I remember weren't among the worst teased, but I don't think I knew a redheaded kid who wasn't teased to some extent.
I "know" you as a funny, warm, sensitive, strong woman. I am sorry that you went through that stuff in school.
Truthfully, I try to understand what makes the difference between those who are accepted by the crowd and those who are not; and especially the difference between those who become stronger, and those who are crushed. Sometimes I think we (I) have a handle on it, but then my theories are disproved. It has always puzzled and concerned me, though. There might be a "The Others" part 2. I have more thoughts to share, but need to get permission first.
Thank you for you comment, and for your presence as a blog neighbor. xxx

htgt, you must have been a confident kid, going to her house to play. I can see that in you, now, I think. The whole bullying thing is such a maze. Sometimes bullies are abused; often, in fact. But other times bullies are overly indulged, "spoiled" kids, taught that they are the center of everything. No simple solutions.

Blogger WILLIAM said...

This post has stirred up some memories for me. Very well writtne and well, just inspiring.

I hope Bonnie and Bonita and Rose and Davey all remember you as a nice person and one who did not join in on the teasing.


susie,, I think it comes from being the oldest. My dear friend Ellen, a text-book middle child, always sneers at my palpable - to her - oldest child sense of entitlement and that the whole world revolves around me, me, me. (Hence, the name of my blog). Amazing memories being recorded here. P.S. Thank you for the C.S. Lewis quote. I keep coming back here to read it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was an amazing post. I think it's made us all think. Like you Susie, I never teased others but I also never spoke up for them either. Although there was the boy, Danny, in maybe 2nd grade who I called "bird nest head". He teased me constantly for being the shortest and that was my retaliation.
I also now have deep regret for never even speaking to a girl named Cheryl in my HS graduating class. She probably has cerbral palsey, but I don't know. She was physically "different" than everyone else. I never tried to even get to know her. I think because she was different I didn't know how to begin speak to her and apparently didn't want to take the chance. She did graduate with us, so it was possibly only a physical difference but I don't know because I never got to know her. I wish I could go back and do things differently...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, honey, I bet you have a clue how this post has affected me. There is much I'd like to say however for now I will simply say thank you.

Blogger Sandi said...

What a touching post. It made me sift through my memories in hopes that I didn't do anything hurtful to the Rose's and Mary's that I knew in school.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy...this post Susie....I loathe mean people. I always have. I'm no hero, however when I saw people being bullied, I always stepped in especially if things had become physical...only once did I get my azz beat(but the girl and I made up and she apologized to the person she was beating and even took him under her wing, that I know of she never bullied again)..I usually didn't have to do much, I mean I wasn't' much of a fighter...I was scrawny even..but I was well enough liked that most people would back off ..I remember in kindergarten going out of my way to sit by and play with Maggie...somehow we had matching jumpers...yellow with a big fat blue tulip on the tummy...she had a runny nose and always smelled like urine..I played with her because I was darned if I was gonna let her get picked on...somehow I knew "there but by the grace of God go I"...I came from a dysfunctional home, but I hid all our secrets very well...looking back I am still amazed I ever fit in ...I could have been any one of "those" people we all remember and hope have done well in their lives.

Blogger Andrea said...

I wonder if anyone would ever confess to being a bully as a kid? I was generally the one being picked on in grade school, but if I think about it, and am honest, by the time I got to high school, with more friends and more self-assurance, I can think of times I may have snickered about some of the "others". Where had my empathy gone?? :(

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a powerful post, Susie. Thank you for sharing this.

About halfway through reading your post, this song started playing in my mind. I'm sure you've heard it; it's Tim McGraw's "One of These Days":

We used to chase that boy home from school
We called him freckle faced red headed fool
He was different, he wasn't cool like me
Sticks and stones didn't break any bones
But we never left well enough alone
One day he ran away from home you see
And I passed him as he walked away
And in his eyes I heard him say

One of these days you're gonna love me
You'll sit down by yourself and think
Of all the times you pushed and shoved me
And what good friends we might have been
And then you're gonna sigh a little
And maybe even cry a little
But one of these days you're gonna love me

Patty Sue was a small town beauty
I took one look at her and had to pull her to me
Lord knows she should have seen right through me
When I promised her the world
But at 17 you only want one thing
I left her standing with my high school ring
Innocent tears in a pourin' rain
As I walked away
And I still see her in my dreams
And to this day she's whispering

One of these days you're gonna love me
You'll sit down by yourself and think
About the time you turned from me
And what good friends we might have been
And then you're gonna sigh a little
And maybe even cry a little
But one of these days, you're gonna love me

Now everybody stands up
The congregation sings
It's a song of sweet forgiveness
And as the chorus rings
The wind blows clear my memory
The pages start to turn
And suddenly I'm singing
The moment that I learn

One of these days I'm gonna love me
And feel the joy of sweet release
One of these days I'll rise above me
And at last I'll find some peace
And then I'm gonna smile a little
And maybe even laugh a little
But one of these days...
I'm gonna love me

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

And then there was Bloggy. Instigating away and causing regular stress and mayhem in many classes and sub-classes. Burning many a bridge with sparks of ideas and a never-ending spew of snide remarks and insults. No student or staff was safe.

Blogger Unknown said...


I got picked on my fair share growing up -- mostly in my middle school years. To this day, high school kids can intimidate me and send me back 25 years with a glance.

Blogger Susie said...

william, thank you. I hope they are good memories, or at least ones of some value to you today. I can't even begin to imagine how (or whether) I am remembered by any of those people.

My kid was on a field trip to your town today :)

htgt, my favorite part of that quote is, "All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations." I want to keep that in mind; what am I doing to help others toward becoming "everlasting splendors"? That is a pretty amazing calling in life; one we can all have.

trophywife, adolescent "society" is tough for everyone, I think; even tough for those who seem to make it look easy. I believe we get more chances. I'll bet you've already extended kindness to a "Cheryl," and if not, more opportunities are on the way. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment.

traci, my sweet friend. I have thought many times of our "conversation" in which I mentioned I was thinking about writing this post. And I thank you.

sandi, you would probably remember if you had. I like your avatar. Somewhere in this mess of a blog here, there's a post about those nesting dolls. I think they are good representatives of us all. We don't leave our younger selves behind, they're still inside as we go through life. At least that's my belief.

elizabeth, I did not have your courage, but I did have your awareness of "there but for the grace of God go I," with some of the same reasons that you had. And I can so picture those tulip jumpers.

andrea, adolescent group craziness is a powerful thing.

ladybug, no, I had not heard that song. Thank you for it. It sounds like it would make me cry. Of course, most things make me cry these days.

mrB, at least you were an equal opportunity instigator.

ck, IMO, middle school is the worst for most people. In fact, I hate middle schools. I'm in favor of K-8 schools. I could climb up on my soapbox and hold forth about that, but I've held forth enough for today, probably.

Blogger Squirl said...

I was somewhat picked on, but not as bad as some were. I do remember in Junior High I tried to befriend the redheaded girl who was new to the school. Unfortunately, after a while I had to stop hanging out with her because she was just plain obnoxious. I never picked on her, but let her find her own friends.

Blogger Spilling Ink said...

Hi, Susie. Hugs to you. I just wanted to stop in, for whatever it's worth, and say: I understand the dynamic in which you attended school. I accept you, young Susie, and I have compassion for your struggles, doubts and the limitations that came with your age and level of experiencing. It seems to me that you did your best, learned some things, as we all do, and you have become a fine woman. That's a good thing.

It feels like you are seeking something here. I think you know what I'm talking about. You have just received it. I won't use the word, I would rather describe it. Sometimes a single word becomes meaningless and it is best to describe it instead of just blurt it out in a way that might be useless.

--One of The Others (the really tall and quiet one, who got knocked up in tenth grade)


random observation -- blogger is being a booger

Blogger Susie said...

squirl, I know just what you mean. There is one very memorable boy I didn't include here, because I didn't quite know what to say. He was definitely different, and definitely teased, but he was also a bully of sorts. I remember him making very creepy sexual threats toward me in high school. He's on his own, like your red-haired friend ;)

lynn, thank you for your compassionate response. I know the F-word to which you allude. I was not aware of looking for that, but I must say, I will always take all of that, that I can get. I need some every day, pretty much. My goal in writing, if there is one here, is understanding. Comments often help to do that. I'd like to better understand who becomes the bully, who becomes the target, how they are affected later in life, and how I as a parent and as a teacher of family therapists, can intervene or redirect. So, even though the memories are very much past, my orientation about this post is more future.

Blogger eclectic said...

I can name them, too. Like you, I was not an active participant, but didn't stand in the gap much, either. As I raise my children, I can't help but wonder why humanity has such capacity for cruelty to each other when as animals reliant on "pack" society for survival we need one another.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susie, the flip side is that in my early 30's I had a meltdown coming to terms with the fact that I couldn't help or save everyone, and that while I was busy helping others I was ignoring my own stuff. I had to learn the word "no" ..I am the classic oldest child, over protector, overachiever .. any sign of weakness on my part freaked people out...mostly it freaked me out...you know the drill...my empathy runs deep, but the good news is that I no longer get overwhelmed if I can't fix it all. My heart strings are always tugged by the bullied and abused. It's not right.I've seen bullying right here on the nets...it's one of the reasons I no longer blog..but that's another story...

Blogger Phoebe Fay said...

Beautiful, compassionate post. I, too, wonder sometimes about those kids. I wasn't too often picked on, but I still vividly remember the hurt and shame that came from those times I was. I think posts like this heal a little bit of our collective childhoods.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Powerful post, dear Susie. In fact it made me teary yesterday so I went away before commenting.

I have been picked on, and sometimes I picked on others (though not as a group or in front of witnesses/collaborators, it was no less wrong). Sometimes I defended people who were being picked on.

I think sometimes adults intentionally or unintentionally foster environments where bullying is ok, where respect and empathy is not as important as following other kinds of rules.

Once in fourth grade after trying unsuccessfully to get them to stop. I stood on a desk and yelled at the kids in my class who were picking on our handicapped classmate. The teacher walked back in just at the end of my yelling and gave me detention. Because I was standing on a desk, wearing a dress and yelling - and that was not ladylike. During detention I stole a piece of gum out of her goodie drawer and she caught me at that too. At the end of the year when she wrote in my autograph book, "Beauty Is As Beauty Does". I was always bewildered by that until it occurred to me that she assumed I wanted to be beautiful above all, and that she and I had different definitions of beauty.

I knew that sometimes my behavior wasn't beautiful, but I felt the part where I stopped the other kids from making fun of someone was one of my better moments.

She didn't even know about the really bad things I had done, like pouring salt on my little brother's wound or telling a little girl at the park that her parents were never coming back.

I'm really grateful that I had a strong sense of right and wrong as a girl, so I knew what I was ashamed of and it wasn't standing on a table and yelling while wearing a dress.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this post almost made me cry. It certainly made me think back to my school days. I never fit it, but wasn't really teased like a lot of others (including my sister) because I learned early not to show when I was hurt and not to put myself out there. Some people love school reunions. I wouldn't go back for all the money in the world.

However, not fitting in, having a crummy family life, etc. gave me a sense of compassion for others and an ability to feel others pain. So I'm probably a much nicer and stronger person than I would have been otherwise. There is a quote I love, not sure from whom, that says "life breaks you, but you can become strong at the broken places". It would be nice to think that all the kids you recalled came through relatively unscathed, but of course some probably didn't. Some may have turned out so angry and bitter they could shoot 32 classmates......

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Susie. I think most have endured a little torment in their early lives. I had a funny name and often took an unpopular stand for which I was humiliated endlessly for. But then if I had a notion to I could win friends too. I, also, did some hurtful things to some that I often pray blessings on as I remember them. And then, the worst--watching my own children bullied!

It is said wounded people wound people.

It seems that in the efforts to suppress one's shameful feelings and inadequacies, people tend to elect a scapegoat to blame or to distract from their own.(see Lev 16) There is Good News, someone who took that place for all, if we let Him. :-)

Blogger Susie said...

eclectic, curious, ain't it? And I'm concerned we're getting worse; having just raised, supposedly, the "me" generation. I know that LG's friends don't get the same kinds of talks that she gets. What to do?

elizabeth, I learned to say "no" in my 30s, too. Very liberating, that word. I also mastered, "I'm not willing..." which really freaks people out ;)
I'm sorry you had bad blogging experiences. I've had a few, but mostly unrelated to bullying.

phoebe fay, thank you for that. I guess that is my hope. Get people talking about something, thinking about it . . . especially the people who seem to come by here, people who do want to make things better, for sure.

she, I so agree with you about the adults setting up the environment. Just last week I heard from a mom who was called in to school because her daughter defended a classmate because a teacher spoke to the classmate disrespectfully. My friend told the principal that she was proud of her daughter, and that she would hope the prinicipal would have done the same thing. None of this went over well :(
Your post about telling the child her parents weren't coming back is, I do believe, my favorite thing I have ever read on the innernets as a hole. It's one of those (many) times when you've left me speechless, I'm touched in such a deep place by it. I don't even understand all the reasons why, yet.
Your asshat teacher was right, but in ways she didn't know. Beauty is as beauty does. You are more beautiful than she had the capacity to imagine. You are one of them there "everlasting splendors." I'd better stop; people will talk ;)

pat, I have thought just about everything you've said here, except I had no sister. Some of us do become strong at the broken places. Some just snap, beyond repair.

tina, thank you. That is a good idea, to pray blessings on them when they come to mind.

Blogger Unknown said...

This is a moving post. I'm reminded of the song sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary entitled "Don't Laugh at Me":

"I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm short, I'm tall
I'm deaf, I'm blind, hey, aren't we all

"Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa, Susie! Warn me before you do what I think you're doing! ;) (however that would work, I've no clue.)

I don't know which is worse. In elementary, I spent most of my time being bullied by children and adults alike because my name and family were all odd. BUUUUT....when we moved to a different podunk town, I started using a nickname and that made me so different from my family, that my identity took on its own (except when I got caught smoking in my junior year, and all I heard in the Deans' offices - because they all knew my father, no one wanted to call him with the bad news...they knew they'd have to hand me the receiver so he'd beieve them, but I maunder).

With the less obnoxious nickname and my new 'tude, I earned a bit of cred (and being on the school paper helped that), but I didn't stop the bullies. I've always felt guilty like that, particularly as I'll never forget what it is to be bullied.

Okay - shared that. What is best about this post is the whole thing, the names, what you thought of them, the chronological order. Starting with the CS Lewis quote is the best opener!

great prose! BRAVO!! ENCLORE!!! (btw, I didn't say all this because you complimented my pelvis x-rays and attending radiation tech, but thanks! Hate to admit, though, the ages of these cute attendendants being equal to or a bit less than my son-in-law's age makes me think what cute /kids/ they are. So I'm being mom-ish and taking pictures. Wouldn't it be cool if his parents found it? They must totally be so proud THEIR SON saves people's lives!...sorry, my mommy mind goes there. Still tryin' the cute....he's cute, but like a son. Oh, well)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful collection of vignettes on kids. Who couldn't identify with so many of those kids? If you weren't one, you knew one. I often wonder, too, how some of the tormented kids I used to know ended up. And I also wonder if I could not have been a better friend to many of them.

Blogger lawbrat said...

I haven't read any of the comments; sorry for that.

All I know is that I have tears and want to cry. Cry for the picked on, cry for many other reasons.

I love you Susie.


Blogger Judypatooote said...

What a great post Susie...I love old memories....aren't we lucky to still have them....Kid's are cruel, back then and now....it breaks my heart..... I hope you are feeling better.... I think of you often.....

Blogger Susie said...

ssnick, hey aren't we all? I like that; hadn't heard it before. Thank you.

lilsis, re-invention of the self is a wonderful thing; most of us should do it at every opportunity. Be well, sweetie.

ortizzle, sometimes, I've seen TV talk shows where the kids who were bullied come on to show how successful and happy they are now, and the ones who bullied them aren't doing so well. That's my fantasy; sometimes it seems to work in real life, and of course, sometimes not. Ideally, we're all doing better, compassion-wise, relationship-wise than we did in school.

peaches, I love you, too. You know that.

judyp, thank you. I'm still hanging in, trying to remain hopeful.


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