I actually feel like kind of a bitch for even writing this because I’m sure the majority of you, if not 99% of you, are actually pretty decent people now. While this post is probably going to bash your former selves quite a bit, I don’t mean any harm to your present selves. I genuinely hope you’re well.
It’s memories that’s my problem. I’ve hidden myself from you in every way possible; I’ve unfriended you on social media, I’ve collected my class photos and yearbook and dumped them in a box, I’ve sold my uniform. The only remnants of the six years I spent with you at secondary school are my memories, and they’re pretty shoddy too. Like I said, you’re probably fantastic people now but unfortunately I only knew you then and almost four years separate us. You are living, breathing, walking, talking reminders of a terrible period of my life.
I hated secondary school from the moment I set foot in it till the day that I left it. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard in my classes and I did well in my exams. I took part in the odd extracurricular activity and I even won awards. But my personal life wasn’t the best. In fact, it was a period filled with a deep sadness, isolation and struggles at home with some grim situations. And you; my classmates, my peers, my year group, seemed to do everything in your powers to make it worse.
I know that it would be better for my mental health if I let go. I’m annoyed at myself for harbouring this anger. I’m annoyed at myself for how jealous I am. I’m envious of your happy memories. You get to have photographs and souvenirs of ‘the happiest times of your life’. My memories from school are far from happy. I’m left with reminders of my clothes being stolen or ruined in the gym changing rooms and my possessions being broken in front of my eyes to a background track of laughter. Nasty rumours were written about me on the walls of the toilets and whispered about me in the corridors. On a more serious note my memories also include the day that my hair was ripped out of my skull, the day I was beaten up in the playground, leaving bruises and scars that I hid under long sleeves for weeks and even the day that I was set on fire. So yeah, I’m annoyed at myself for being angry but I have damn good reason to be.
We’re all much older now. A lot of us have degrees, ‘proper jobs’ and even marriages or children. I contribute a lot of who I am today to how I was treated as a schoolchild. It subconsciously haunted the decisions that I made for so long that I had to compartmentalise it and store it away in my brain. Now I pretend that I never went to school. I feel like I survived some great ordeal, and now that I’m through it it’s so far from my mind I can go weeks and forget it ever happened.
Then, like today for example, a notification will appear to tell me that someone from school has added me on Facebook. I sigh each time. How dare you want me now, how dare you pretend to care now. I’ll swipe my notification aside and carry on. I will never follow you back. I will never like your Instagrams or favourite your tweets. And if you can truly say that you knew me when we were at school then I’m sure you’ll understand why.
Have a nice life, just like I’m now having mine.