All I can say is that I am so fucking glad I started writing these the other day in anticipation that I wouldn’t feel like writing an entry. I was right, and I already only have a couple hours before I have to go to bed again. 4 A.M. starts are pretty terrible, let me tell you. Thankfully, they aren’t frequent.
So let’s get on with my story…
As I told you at the end of part two, I mentioned that junior high was probably the worst period of my life. For the sake of defining the term, “junior high” will refer to sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. My grade school was actually a kindergarten through eighth grade school, until I was in eighth grade. Technically, the new junior high school was attached to the elementary school, but it had its own administration and everything, so for all intents and purposes, it was a separate school.
Lets get to the story, though. To put it bluntly, junior high totally fucking sucked. I was never physically hurt but the other kids, but they started going for words instead. Since I was overweight, that was their go-to most of the time. “Fatty” was always a favorite. Mooing was also done on a semi-regular basis.
You know, things like that to remind me that I wasn’t a healthy weight for my size. Because I couldn’t fucking see it every time I looked in a mirror or anything… Fucking pre-teens, I tell you. In my experience, teenagers are the worst part of childhood.
Instead of making this a novel, we will do the highlight reel. When I was in sixth grade, I remember having to go to the gym for some sort of assembly and the boys behind me going, “Hi, I’m Kelsey, and I always smell like pee. I probably piss my pants and let it dry.”
Also, in sixth grade, I was still in Girl Scouts. This one girl, we will call her Allie, used to have me over to her house outside of troop meetings. It wasn’t because she liked me; it was because her mom felt sorry for me and thought it would be nice to include me in these things. “Allie” tended to act like I didn’t exist in school and usually only played nice at home because her mom would’ve noticed her being a bitch to me.
Deep down, I knew she didn’t want me around, but I thought that maybe I could figure out how to get her to like me. So I kept going until she was no longer obligated to invite me to her house. That was basically when our Girl Scout troop ended, because “Allie” felt she was too cool to continue. Honestly, she wasn’t a total bitch, but it wasn’t hard to tell that she didn’t like having to invite me.
Here’s one from seventh grade: “It’s like her mom never taught her about razors. Look at how gross her legs are.” That one happened at least once a week before I started using my mom’s razor, because I was too nervous to ask for my own. I wasn’t shaving as much as I should have. Now, I shave every day out of complete self-consciousness. If I think I have noticeable body hair on any part of my body, it sort of freaks me out.
There were probably more from seventh grade, but I sort of blocked it out, to be honest. At that point, I was numb from all the hurtful things that were said on almost a daily basis. People say not to let the words get to you, but there’s a certain point where the hurtful things are so constant that you can’t help but hurt from the constant battering. Eventually, I contemplated suicide regularly, because I didn’t want to have to “just power through” anymore. I got close to attempting, and chickened out (thankfully).
Eighth grade wasn’t terrible for cruelty, but I definitely felt a certain sense of invisibility. It was like I didn’t really exist, or was no longer worth people making fun of me. I was just there, and honestly, I was kind of grateful to be pretty much left alone. On the other hand, it was lonely. I wanted friends, but I had no idea how to be the kind of Kelsey that could easily make friends.
Now, in terms of weight… I started sixth grade somewhere in the neighborhood of 165. By the time I graduated eighth grade, I only managed to make it to around 190. At least, that’s what I’m guessing. I tended to ignore the scale in junior high, because I wanted to ignore the actual number. It was enough for me to see that I was fat (like I said, my body image was definitely not distorted in terms of weight), so I didn’t want the number to bring me down even lower than I already was.
The only thing I was good at was academics. It came easily to me, and I absorbed everything like a sponge. Well, except for literature at one point, but I think the teacher had specific ideas of what you were supposed to take out of everything. If they didn’t align with her idea, then you were wrong. She tended to be nicer to the “smarter” popular kids, too. Maybe she wasn’t intentionally doing that, but it really discouraged my ability to achieve in her class.
Also, I stand by my belief that Fahrenheit 451 is only good in the middle, when everything exciting happens. Don’t worry; that’s not a huge spoiler if you ever plan on reading that novel. That literature teacher told me it didn’t make sense to only like the middle and to hate the beginning and end. Maybe I should give it another chance and try to read it again, but I think I’d rather read other books that I missed out on in my education, such as The Catcher in the Rye.
Anyway, that’s a bit of a tangent. Graduating eighth grade was sort of relieving. I actually cried because I was ready to move on. I wanted to get to high school because I thought that maybe a wider pool of people would give me a better chance to feel less lonely. You’ll learn how right or wrong I was in part four.