Sunday, September 09, 2012

Skirt Girl

When I was younger, I used to be thankful for the occasional kid in class who was weirder, smellier, dirtier, or whatever -ier than me, because it meant the little vicious monsters who surrounded me would turn themselves to a different kid for a change.

Talking to my brother today, I realized yet again how narcissistic children are. As a younger person, I couldn't imagine anyone being persecuted more than I was, mainly because I always looked different than everyone else. Contrary to what I was told, this didn't mean that it was the devil testing me, it just mean that kids are little punks to anyone who is different than they are. I was always jealous of the boys in my religion because they didn't have to look different like the girls did. I could see some of the boys actually being popular, whereas very few girls I knew were popular in school, and I attributed this to looking so utterly different.

I developed what I liked to call the "outsiders" group. I liked hanging out with people I considered to be different too, because then we could be different together. It was rather interesting to realize my brother did exactly the same thing, even though he was a boy, because he was different too, he just didn't look as different as I did.

I am not thankful I experienced what I did, even though I know it made me stronger. There are other ways to become stronger, ones that don't leave as many scars. Parents who espouse tough love either have forgotten what it was like or never experienced it - or perhaps have so many scars from their experiences that they don't know any other way. Knowing you're not a person to your peers, but just "skirt girl" isn't made any easier when platitudes are provided instead of real solutions.

Life happens how it does - I don't blame anyone else for the merciless teasing and childish stupidity that was endured by me, by others in my little social group, by my brother. But I do hope it will make me a better parent, one sensitive to how important social interaction is to human beings in general, and to my children in particular. And, not excuse my children if they are the ones picking on the lone "skirt girl" on the playground.

1 comment:

C.J. Adams-Collier said...

I remember that. I was a fan of your skirts. I thought it oppressive of your religion not to allow its women to wear pants and that you should stand up to the establishment and do your own thing. I never thought you were odd, just brilliant. ;-)