Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reconnecting, Remembering, and Recoiling

So I decided to join Facebook over the weekend. Jeff had gotten an account and told me about all the old friends he had connected up with. I was curious about some folks myself, so I decided to join too.

It's really interesting to see what some of my old friends and former classmates are up to these days. One is a law professor in a neighboring state. Another is a doctor in another neighboring state. Actually there are several who have become medical doctors. No other computational scientists, as far as I know.

I also saw the names of some of my old nemeses in the friends lists of friends. (I was badly bullied in junior high, at the hands of a pack of very mean girls.) At first I panicked at the sight of their names. I would have thought, after twenty years, I would be over it, but after I calmed down and figured out what they were up to as best I could, I reveled in seeing that one was a humanities graduate student* and I harbored a secret desire that another one was living an absolutely miserable life in our hometown.

I was surprised that I thought such things about these people; after all, the last time I really saw any of them was more than half a lifetime ago. I basically never think about them in my daily life, my self-esteem is at a level I would consider healthy and stable, and I really don't feel any ill effects from those years, or so I believe. But I guess this shows that I do.

* There's nothing wrong with studying the humanities, but I do take a certain joy in knowing that my annual income is nearly an order of magnitude larger than hers. (Petty, much?)


Laura said...

I hear ya, sister: it's so easy to convince myself that I don't feel a certain way, because I don't *want* to feel a certain way. But wishing doesn't make it so, try as I might to forget or cover up what's really going on.

I think those girls who bullied you may, in some sense, always be a part of you: you can't erase the past. That experience shaped you, for better or worse (or both!).

The fact that you don't consciously think about it any more is great; but that next step of letting go so thoroughly that this sort of thing doesn't bother you -- I think that's another story. I think your reactions are probably pretty normal. I, for one, still get "old" buttons pushed even when I think I'm "over" something.

Healing is hard, I guess. Not impossible, but hard for sure.

Hugs to you, sister!

Doctor Pion said...

The mere thought of a junior-high bully STILL working on a humanities degree - which likely means dealing regularly with mass quantities of "snowflakes" for adjunct wages - would be a bit of justice for you.