Deeply Personal – By: Shelly

Shelly3As I was sitting in my Sociology class there was a young woman who told that class that in her first 2 years of high school, she was called a slob (because she dressed in sweats), and was shoved into lockers. She thought of herself as a “ghost”. Isn’t that terrible how people especially young people can be that cruel?

What she said though I can relate to. I may have not been shoved into lockers, but growing up I was always picked on. It all started when I was around 5-6 years old. I had a fellow childhood neighbor probably in her teen’s tie me up to a telephone poll with my jump rope, left me there, and my father came and found me. My bike was stolen, and thrown in someone’s back yard down a hill. From a very young age I saw how cruel people could be.

When I entered the school system they wanted to put me with young children who were severely mentally challenged. My mom was not having that! She went to court, and fought the school system. She won, but instead I was to be put on an IEP. So I was in a “Resource room” once I hit first grade. My mom told me my first grade teacher didn’t like me (when I was older). I kind of figured because she was always yelling at me like I was some “trouble-maker”. My 3rd grade teacher told my mom that I would never need college, graduating high school would all I ever need. Can you believe you that? I really started to dislike school once I entered middle school. I had the same teacher for 3 long years (5th-7th). She sometimes accused me of cheating, picked on certain things I did, would embarrass me intentionally in front of the class. When I was in 7thgrade she gave me an “A” on paper. She asked if my mom helped me (because my mom did help on my homework sometimes). I told her that I did it myself, and she refused to believe me. I actually came up with schemes to miss school like for EX: I would mix a bunch of fruit/veggies in a blender, poured it in a cup, clean out the blender, and when my mom was in sight made the vomiting noise and poured the veggies juice down in the toilet.

Once I hit 8th grade I pretty much slept during a lot of classes. I figure, what is the point? When I was in high school I was depressed even more so than when I was in middle school. There were just moments where I wanted to give up. I use to pray to God and ask “Why me?” Between getting teased, and having some teachers not see your potential, hurts. I did end up making it through high school. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

Shortly after high school I met my best friend. I had friends in high school, not many, but once I started hanging out with this person, for the first time I felt like it was really OK to be myself. I felt like I was always holding the person who I was back because I didn’t like the feeling of being put down, over, and over again, it eventually takes a toll emotionally. We would make each other laugh, I was (and still am) much more outgoing, and eventually I truly loved myself, for many years I didn’t love myself, because I truly thought I was ugly, dumb, and I just didn’t have anything to offer to society. NO ONE SHOULD EVER FEEL THIS WAY!

It took me many years to find who I was, who I want to be, knowing my self worth, and if I had to do this all over again, I would. My experiences have only made me stronger, more positive, more compassionate, more accepting, more loving, more determined, more friendlier, more open-minded, smarter, and just an overall better understanding of life.

Since I’ve started college (4 years ago) I’ve gotten great grades, with out the use/help of the Disabilities Department. I wanted to know and see what my full potential was on my own, not based on what my past teachers thought. Because of some of the crappy Special Ed teachers I had, is why I want to become a Special Ed teacher myself. Children deserve teachers who have high expectations of them. I don’t need anyone to feel sorry for me either, I feel very blessed, and possibly more grateful. If anyone is reading my blog don’t let the negative parts of your past define who you are today as a person.

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