Friday, September 9, 2016

The Dopest Lesson

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

Fall is upon us! With the start of a new school year, do you think back on any particular grade you enjoyed? Or hated?

It was submitted by:


"All I’m saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life, remind me to kill myself." –Randall “Pink” Floyd, Dazed and Confused

That pretty much sums up high school in a nutshell for me. I mean, it surely wasn’t the peak of my existence. In those 4 years, the couple before it, and the couple after it, I dealt with more than someone my age should have to go through, and the high school “experience” did nothing to help those problems.

I was raped at the age of 13 in my own home by a friend. I grew up in a home where my alcoholic, drug-using father was, on his best days, emotionally/mentally abusive, and I really don’t want to talk about his worst. After my parents divorced, I lived with him for awhile and got into drugs and alcohol to numb the world. I dressed weird. I acted weird. I submerged myself in 90s grunge and metal because reality had too much hurt. I was discovering my own queerness and completely out of my element in rural South Georgia where football and hunting reign supreme as pasttimes and people ask about where you go to church before they ask you your name.

It was impossible to traverse the social hierarchy even without my inept attempts at conquering my own demons. I wasn’t from a football sort of family. My dad didn’t hunt or do much of anything really but work and get fucked up, and we certainly didn’t spend Sunday mornings in church. So even if you could flip a switch and magically take away the violence of my youth and all the lasting effects, I would still have been an outcast. Of that, I have no doubt especially when you add in what a nerd I was. Straight As. Honor graduate. I lived in books, and my grades effortless. In every conceivable way, I was an outsider.

I’ll be honest—I’m kind of bitter about it despite how often I’ve tried to let it completely go.

I’m not bitter in a way that comes up every day or even often, but if tasked, like I am currently, with the thought of picking out a best or even a worst year, all I can do is let out one of those slightly disturbing, ironic laughs that doesn’t quite reach my eyes and lets you know you might’ve well have asked me if I think the Harry Potter movies are better than the books. It’s just not going to end well for you, man. Those years left an imprint and ultimately helped shape the me I am now.

I’m not alone in this. I mean, there are dozens of movies, iconic ones even, that detail the high school experience, and for many of the individuals on screen those years are some of the roughest possible. That sentiment came from somewhere, no? If Randall “Pink” Floyd, a jock with a horde of friends, too many girlfriends, and the run of the school had issues with that period of his life then it’s safe to say there’s a problem. He was, in fact, pretty fucking dreamy, wasn’t he?

Coincidentally, I watched one of those movies the other night called Dope about a 90s nerd growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods possible—Inglewood, California in an area called The Bottoms. It’s crime-ridden with most of his peers either belonging to gangs or slinging drugs. He is constantly accused of being an Oreo (black on the outside but white on the inside) to the point he makes his own punk band named Awreeoh. He’s extremely intelligent and is on a mission to get into Harvard. Even his own teachers call him arrogant for ever thinking he could do more than be the norm for his hood. I related so hard to his story and especially this quote:

“For most of my life, I’ve been caught up in between who I really am and how I’m perceived, in between categories and definition. I don’t fit in. And I used to think that was a curse, but now I’m slowly starting to see maybe it’s a blessing. See, when you don’t fit in, you’re forced to see the world from many different angles and points of view. You gain knowledge, life lessons from disparate people and places. And those lessons, for better or worse, have shaped me.”

It’s a mixed bag really. Even while I’m bitter, I see the blessing for what it is. There may not have been a best year (or even a worst considering they were all equally unbearable), but understanding the blessing was certainly the best lesson.


Here are the other contributions to the challenge. Hope you will check them out!

Baking In A Tornado

Not That Sarah Michelle

The Bergham Chronicles

Spatulas on Parade

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

The Lieber Family Blog

Confessions of a part time working mom

Southern Belle Charm

Never Ever Give Up Hope



  1. I loved your conclusion -- seeing your 'curse' as a blessing. No child should have to grow up and experience the hurts you did as a young girl. But, it does happen and what a 'blessing' it is to hear a story like yours. Attitude is what makes or breaks each one of us. Although my heart cried for the girl in your past, I applaud you for the woman you have become!

  2. I hate that these are your memories and that you still struggle with them.

  3. It sounds like getting life lessons out of those tough times might make them a little bit easier to reflect back upon. High school can be pretty brutal and it sounds like you know that all too well.

  4. Reading about the hardship you've been through, I can't help but say "at least it's over". At least I hope that you feel like it's over, even though you say you can't let it go completely.
    I just want to hug you and make it all go away! You deserve to be happy! 💖

  5. How does the saying go? Ya gotta go through shit to smell the roses.

    Sounds like you're getting a big whiff of awesomeness. You deserve it, doll.

  6. My heart breaks for you, the young girl living all the hurt and the pain. Powerful writing

  7. I'm sorry you had such a terrible childhood, but it has made you a stronger person. Not that excuses your parents action in any way.