Prompt: What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.
I really have very few memories from my childhood that are more than a glimpse in my mind. Maybe it’s because our life was so dysfunctional much of the time, some is just from normal forgetfulness and some is due to my Multiple Sclerosis and lets not forget that one time during a very extreme time of depression, I did have a few ECT or Electro Convulsive Therapy…treatments. They did cause a problem with my memory. But the earliest one that I can recall and that stands out in my mind I will try to recall some details.
I was in Grade 6, living with my mother and at that time my older sister who was 6 years older than I, and my brother who was 2 years older and lived in an apartment. At that time I guess that I would be around 11 years of age and attended a public school nearby. I didn’t have any real close friends at the time and was considered pretty much a loner. The other girls in my class would speak to me occasionally and let me ….again occasionally be around them at recess. A lot of time I pretty well was on my own. I didn’t fit in with the status quo at that time or really anytime. The status quo was that kids had two parents and lived in the same house for many years and had stability which I of course didn’t….kind of like was portrayed on shows such as Leave it to Beaver….okay most of you won’t remember that show!
So, the incident that happened was that there was a school dance coming up…yes a dance at 11 years of age! But it was more a party type social thing that the school had. Anyway it was a “Sadie Hawkins’ party. For those that don’t know what that is….it is when the girl asks the boy to go. Well I don’t know how I ever got up enough nerve but I asked this boy that I knew liked me…why he did I’m not sure. I think it was because he was a shy person also. The girls that somehow let me hang out occasionally,…. ‘egged me on’ and so I did it. After all, they were paying attention to me and so I wanted to ‘please’ them and make them like me more.
After I did, these same girls teased me about asking him and indicated that he was in today’s terminology by the young people…he would be considered ‘a loser’….Definition, he was not ‘popular’. They would corner me in the girl’s coat area and laugh at me etc. Because they kept it up, I decided that I would tell the boy that I couldn’t go and so cancelled on him.
The reason this stands out in my mind is when these girls found out I had cancelled, they bombarded me with disdain….saying that was a mean thing to do, and they really kept it up and made me feel very confused and very bad.
This young boy never spoke to me again. I could tell that I had really hurt his feelings and his self-esteem.
I remember this incident because in retrospect I would call this a form of ‘bullying’. I was the victim of not doing what I thought was right and gave in because of the peer pressure, and because I did,…. I felt terrible for hurting someone else, and I learned not to make the mistake again of listening and taking advice from those who don’t have your best interest in their heart and in fact in this case were using me for their own agenda.