It’s ugly back there… who deserves the blame? Part 2 (of 4)

2 Aug

I recently saw a quote on pinterest that said “You will become like the 5 people you hang around most, choose wisely.”

#2) Friends

We all need friends right?  We’ve all had a friend, fought with a friend, been betrayed by a friend, betrayed a friend, hurt a friend, loved a friend, told everything to a friend, shared clothes with a friend, laughed with a friend, cried with a friend, lost touch with a friend,  never spoke to a friend again, and every other good and bad aspect of having a friend, right?

I know what you might be thinking right now. “Wow! First, it’s the parents fault… and now she’s going to make some point about how it really all boils down to the blame being the friends in her life?”

Hang in there. Like I said earlier, it’ll come together.  And spend some time really thinking about  these numbered items and what I’m actually sharing here.  Focus on realizing if I’m saying “they ran me like a puppet, so they actually made the choices” or if I’m more pointing out the factors they play in how our thoughts, emotions and consciences  are molded (our moral compass) and why we make the choices we make and the standards we think are right or acceptable in coping with these realities we face.

Kindergarten.  It starts that young.  Popular vs. Unpopular. Cool vs. Dork. One of us vs. Make fun of them.  By the time a child reaches, (it gets younger every year) but for arguments sake, we’ll say 7th grade, the two groups become more like 10.  Preppy, Jock, Nerdy, Druggy, Slut, Religious, Band Geek, White trash, and whatever other new categories there are… like Emo???? (That for another day.)

Let me tell you something.  At the end of it all, when we all hit our 20’s, no one really loves the group they were in.  Even if you were a popular jock.  We’re all regretful for our judgements, and most of us, thank goodness, learn to think differently.

But during those years, damage is done. Like it or not, “Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is a big fat heinous lie.  Words hurt.  And they play a HUGE role in determining how and why we think the way we do, say the things we say, and act the way we do. 

Justification over hurt is one of the most deadly blocks on reality and vision for making good choices and choosing moral decisions. You know what I’m talking about! Being hurt makes us immediately feel entitled to act on our feelings (without a whole lot of care for consequences.)  We have rights! No one can treat us that way! Someone is going to pay!  No one would put up with that! Everyone would agree with me!

You might be wondering, what group was I in?  Hmmm, good question.  I have no idea.  Oh come on, everyone knows what group they were in.  No, honestly, I really don’t.  If anyone cares to enlighten me from high school, I suppose you can, though I don’t much think it matters anymore.

I remember in elementary school that I bounced back and forth between cool and uncool weekly.  One week I was in the “cool girls” group standing on the side of the elementary school listening to “one sweet day” with our shared head phones and wearing unwrapped paperclips in our mouths.  And the next week I was being made fun for my pants being too short, being tricked into talking about someone else from the group by a friend who was only “pretending” to be mad as they were saying mean things to see if they could get me to say mean things, and for having my feelings hurt because my best friend picked a more popular girl to be partners with in gym for a day since the more popular girl’s usual partner was sick that day.

What I remember most of all, is a lot of tears.  I may not have talked to my mom when I was older, but in elementary I cried to her a lot.  I couldn’t take the back and forth. Why couldn’t I just be a popular girl permanently?  Why did I fit in with the boys and do so much better playing flag football than making up pretend cheers at recess?

Once I got into high school, I was part of every group. Weird.  I know.  Trust me. I lived it.

But it certainly wasn’t because I was just so darn liked that every group wanted me.  I certainly knew I wasn’t liked by people, by the pleasant trip up the school steps while being spit on. The worst part about that memory, I some what felt like I deserved it.

Mostly I hung out with the slutty, druggy, party crowd who didn’t even GO to school, outside of school as a result of dating my druggy boyfriend, even though I never, ever did drugs; and in school I hung out with everyone from every grade but my own.

I always had the personality that “I could change them.”  And honestly, I did a lot of good and planted a lot of seeds while I hung out with the group that I did.  But my character was so compromised.  I had finally found a group though where I was THE most popular one by far.  I felt pretty and valued, my ideas and thoughts were requested often, and my opinions set trends. 

And my character was altered BIG time! Picture this: If you’re standing on the top of a chair and you’re reaching down with two hands trying to pull someone up, and they’re pulling down… which person is more likely to be moved?  The person who is unstable, up high, alone, trying to balance and pull up… or the person below who just has to yank really hard and knock the person off-balance until they fall?

I fell. Only at the time, it didn’t feel like falling.  It felt like winning.  I found a place of value and security.  And in all my best efforts to be the one doing the changing… I too, became changed.

Practical Application….

Stick with it- we’re getting there!

Do you have a friendship memory you want to share?  Maybe a painful elementary/junior high/high school story?  Maybe a situation where you were pulled down, or a group of stable people who pulled you up?  You know my comments section is open!!


2 Responses to “It’s ugly back there… who deserves the blame? Part 2 (of 4)”

  1. Kathryn August 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    I really, really disliked our school. I know that in a lot of ways, all schools are the same. However, I think ours was worse than average when it came to popular/unpopular and that sort of stuff. What do you think?

    • kaylagulick August 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      You know, since I never went anywhere else, it seems “unfair” to cast an accurate judgement if ours was the worst. I know it was bad. I have a friend now who recently told me the little girls threw sand in her hair to call her a “sandy blonde” so I hesitate to say it isn’t just as bad other places. Although, I don’t think my husband sees his past school as being as bad as mine was at all. (He though was popular.)

      I wonder if the depth of how “bad” it was depends on what group you were in and how much you participated with your group? Not all popular kids are mean. Not all nerdy kids got picked on as terribly as others.

      I’d be curious to hear from some of you others that went to school with us if you’re reading the comments here! Thanks Kathryn for the feedback!!

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