Friday, June 23, 2017
The school reunion
My school is having a reunion tomorrow. No, it isn't a class reunion, but a school reunion. I attended a Christian school for all 13 years of my school life. The most we ever ran in number was around 100, and many years less than that. This post is not to disparage Christian schools, for I am all for them. I believe no Christian should have their kid in a public school, and that if a Christian school is not near, homeschooling as a last option. (I know, any statement hinting at a negative view of homeschooling can turn a quiet Jesus loving mamma into a raving, foaming lunatic, but that is what I believe......).
This reunion has been several months in the making, and I have quietly watched the planning, comments, and the invitations to all who ever attended. Since the school has been there since 1975, it could be a very large number of people showing up. I have seen people say they are attending who I have no clue who they are.
From day one, I had no intentions of going. That might sound odd since I am so pro-Christian school. But you see for me, school has a lot of bad memories. Junior high especially was filled with bullying, being made fun of, being forced to play sports I had no interest in playing, always being the last person picked for those sports, and a lot of loneliness.
Those school years cemented the idea that no one liked me. They formed the foundation for my lifelong struggle to believe God loves me. I can't count the number of times that I was ganged up on when the teacher left the room. There were times kids waited for me outside to shove me into the snow, taking no account for papers and books I carried. I was the kid always stuck in right field where the ball seldom went. I had things done to me I don't even want to talk about.
There are many conservative writers who have researched it, and they believe bullying by peers and the lack of bonding with peers can be one cause or trigger of same-sex attractions. From my personal experiences, I believe that to be true. There came to be a time so gradual that I hardly noticed it, that boys were different to me than girls. I felt comfortable around girls. Boys were a mystery to me with their love of sports and other masculine things I had no interest in. I can't even pinpoint the time when I became attracted to this gender that I felt so opposite of, but yet was one of. I'll never forget the time our school choir went to a nearby church to sing with another Christian school. I didn't know how to act around the boys from that school who were nice to me and talked to me.
As I have watched the planning for this reunion, a lot of these bad memories came back to me. Why is it that the bad things in our life stick out to us more than the good? I am sure there were good times as I attended that school, but they are blotted out by the bad.
Some would say I should face my demons and go to the reunion. Maybe they would be right, and maybe not. I fear it could cause me to regress in some of the areas that I have made a lot of progress with God's help.
And to be honest, there aren't that many people I want to see. The kids who bullied me are in the past, and I'd like to leave them there in the past. I have no desire to see and interact with them as adults. I don't fear them anymore, nor do I hate them..... I just have no desire to be around them. And I know some of them will be there. Some of my cousins will be there, and I would like to see them, but other than them, maybe just a few people.
It is a moot point anyway. I am scheduled to work tomorrow, so I couldn't go even if I were to change my mind. That wouldn't happen anyway.
But I have to wonder if anyone will miss me. Do my former bullies ever think of me? Or have I slipped their minds along with how they treated me those fateful and impressionable years?
Regardless, I am thankful to God for the progress I have made. I may always struggle a bit to believe people actually like me, but it is nothing compared to how it was for so many years. I may still occasionally doubt God's love, but it is very minor to the inability to believe He loved me for most of my life.
I wish people realized how much damage can be done when they or their kids bully and make mean remarks. The scars can be deep, and the effects can be lifelong.
I hope the reunion goes well tomorrow. I really do. I shall remain happy and content with my decision to not go, though I wish I had the day off to enjoy other things,