Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's not you, it's me.

Dear former high school friend,

It creeped me out to get an email from you at work. It was a bit stalkerish, however you found me, since the last time we talked, I hadn't changed my name or moved to another state. Saying you "came across my name" wasn't a very convincing or clever lie, since there is only one person we have both known that I connected with from and after that era.

I won't be telling you this, but that time period was very traumatic for me. There was no one incident. I wasn't bullied. Nothing terrible happened. But when I got a postcard at this address with my old name from our alumni association a few years ago, I almost had a panic attack.

I thought about ignoring your email. I even thought about being a complete coward and saying I was the wrong person with the same name. But I decided to answer you, and ask you how you found me, and ask, honestly: how do you summarize 20 years?

You see, I finally confronted the knots in my gut and stopped forcing myself not to think about that period of time this week, and ask, why? And I realized that was the time that the depression hit me the hardest.

You knew me with another name. You knew me while I was still angry, still drinking, still bewildered.  But I didn't know then what I know now. I didn't know I wasn't a freak. I didn't know there was help available. I didn't know there was hope, and that one day, I wouldn't want to self-destruct.

So you see, you don't know me. So there's really nothing to say.

It's not you, it's me.

20 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Hugs.
Thinking about school - and the abnormal freak I accepted I was STILL makes me hyperventilate.

Linda said...

I would think nothing of a person finding me after 20 years. I doubt the person found you through your friend. Yes, names do pop up. I was looking for information on a metal roof, googled it, and the name of a classmate named Roof popped up along with his business and telephone number. I called him and he was so rude. Oh well.

LL Cool Joe said...

You owe him nothing, but he's obviously rattled your cage. Hope you are okay.

Granny Annie said...

Ghosts of the past are unfair to reach out. Sorry you have one who decided to pester you. Glad you are now a woman who can roar:)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with how insensitive and in this case, weird people can be----Out of nowhere he contacts you???Like you said---He doesn't know you and no doubt, never really did.

Consider yourself invited to my next Birthday Lunch! That would be so much fun!

Claire said...

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but am so glad you've come through everything so strong and awesome. Thinking of you.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

All too often people from the past just bring up a world o' hurt, even if they do so inadvertently. "That was then, this is now." The important thing is that you're in such an infinitely better place/space now, Riot Kitty!

Abby said...

There's no reason to live in the past, or give attention to anyone who wants to.

Charles Gramlich said...

My high school days are like some other me. I remember all kinds of things but it seems like a different person who experienced them.

lotta joy said...

Due to gradeschool, I was bullied into being an anorexic. In highschool, at my skinniest, a girl called me "fat" as an insult and for a moment I was thrown back in time and the pain. Then I remember thinking "Am I NUTS?" It never occurred to me in my younger years to actually think it might be the OTHER person at fault.

Riot Kitty said...

Thanks everyone. Lotta - wow, that's awful. You seem very tough these days though! (Compliment.)

Lee said...

I'm one who isn't into school reunions or the like. Some people would go to a reunion every week if there was one! I really don't see the need or the point. Why would I want to stand around talking with people I didn't stand around and talk with way back when?

Reunions should be called "Judgment Gatherings"...because, to my mind, that's what they are...everyone judging everyone else and their progress in life!

No, thanks...not for me.

You're doing fine, RK...kick 'em to the curb! :)

Mike_D said...


I mean, either way, you look ridiculously sexy with the hat in that picture.

Just sayin....

High school's over with! And we're all 100% cooler than what we used to be! Fuck em.

My Girl Murphy said...

I've been obsessed with Joan Didion lately. I recently read a quote from her about the need to keep a nodding acquaintance with the people we used to be as they tend to show up at the mind's door unannounced at 4:00 a.m. demanding to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, and who is going to make amends.

Apparently our old selves now also use google to find us. I'm glad you remember who you were and, more importantly, remember who you are now...an amazing, smart, kind, riotous kitty.

G. B. Miller said...

I had issues in high school myself and took me a while to move on. Sometimes things never really change from high school, which is why I rarely go to my high school reunions.

Frankly, if I wanted to be treated like shit, I would rather get paid for being treated like shit than to suffer the indignity of going through it for free.

Father Nature's Corner

Dexter Klemperer said...

That reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes from "Dazed and Confused" when one of the high school kids says, "All I'm saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life, remind me to kill myself."

A Beer For The Shower said...

They say that high school is the best time of your life, but I don't know who "they" are, because they're batshit crazy. I don't know a single person who wishes they were reliving their high school days again. Some people just don't understand that sometimes the past belongs in the past.

Lynn said...

Hugs! Hope you are OK from this - sounds as if you are. That does seem very stalkerish of that person - odd.

CraveCute said...

Hi RK. I feel for you. I went to a very small school and haven't heard from some of these people for almost thirty years. Now suddenly they are emailing and texting me!! What!! All I can think is what the heck do they want from me!! Just ignore them or better yet send them a rambling email and you will never hear from them again. I usually just tell them that I am very Liberal now and that gets rid of them!! Haha!!

Furry Bottoms said...

I thought I had gotten away from my high school people. Then Facebook struck and now there's no going back. Not unless I deactivate my FB account. People I met once sent me friend requests. People who think they know me by association sent friend requests. So now FB is a very very public domain in the deaf community. It's almost an insult if you don't respond.

You're right. Like you, I'm nothing like I used to be. Who you knew in high school no longer exists. A lot has happened between then and now. I avoid meet ups with old friends because it's be like ummmm I don't know what you're talking about. Ummmmmm wat? It'd be uncomfortable for me. By the way you look very very cute in that picture. I had a black and a hat phase too. šŸ˜Š