high school was hell

Unlike most people, I had the chance to go to an elite high school. I got accepted to it in grade 8 and even though I had a “choice” to go the same high school as all my friends from elementary school, I “chose” the elite, all-girls prep school. I hated high school, I mean really hated it. I did well academically because I was smart and worked hard, but I hated being there. It was hell on earth for me, up until about grade 10 when I made some really good friends. Friends I still have today and cherish greatly. But the rest of those girls that I went to school with? Yeah, let’s just say that there used to be a circle in my own personal hell-scape that I reserved for them.

i loved Janine Garofalo in Romi and Michele’s High School Reunion

From grades 8 to 10, I was bullied mercilessly by a group of girls who could only be described as the A group in my school. They were beautiful, rich, stylish, thin and liked by all the boys – everything I wasn’t. They tormented me daily with fresh insults, intimidation and social exclusion. They used every form of power they had, save for physically assaulting me, to make me very aware that I was not wanted at the school and I definitely wasn’t one of them. I got the message pretty quickly. I went home one day crying to my mom that these girls were being horrible to me and she told me angrily to suck it up and find a way to become popular with them. Ok then.

I didn’t really make any friends until grade 10 and I’m damn lucky that I did. If these girls hadn’t taken me into their circle, I don’t how I would have survived high school frankly. They were the best. I loved them and still do. They saved me in more ways than they know, always had my back, always stuck up for me, they formed a circle around me of teenage girl protection that was fierce in its loyalty. Especially going into my grade 12 year when my mom got cancer again, they were my saviours, emotionally and physically. I could not have survived that school year, with her dying at the end of it, without them. I hope they know how much they mean to me, even now, after over 20 years. I hope the girls who bullied me so mercilessly in high school have some understanding of the pain and devastation they caused many of us, I wasn’t the only one they tormented. I doubt they do because who really looks back on high school and says to themselves, wow I was such a bitch. Maybe that happens, but only in the movies. xo Janet

Published by Janet Gwilliam-Wright

Feminist and queer. Professional teller of truths. Slayer of personal demons.

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