Okey dokey - I have a story to tell. I'm just not entirely sure what is going to come out of my mouth ... that is being further compounded by legalities involved with this story (names and locations have been changed). At the same time however, I think it is something a LOT of people will be able to relate to, so I feel like I can't not tell it. I will refrain from naming names, even the heavy details of the story - I will merely dictate the emotional journey it took me on.
ALLLLLL this being said, there is a reason why I haven't been back to Connecticut in almost a decade. Yes, my parentals left the area as well like 5 years ago - but that's not the reason either. When I was 16, I was stalked by 4 of my former best friends. Well, 2 of them were my best friends - the other 2 were very good friends ... but I was the first person in Connecticut to get a restraining order in a non-sexual relationship. This was pre-mean girls, and pre-all of the cyber bullying laws that are just now coming into place. (It's all a matter of public record too. I was a minor at the time, so I might be Jane Doe - but I'm actually pretty certain if you sleuth around the net enough, you can prolly find some stuff on it.)
I don't know where to begin with this - it honestly goes back to me perpetually being a loner. I never really had good friends in school. I was born in Bristol, CT and moved to West Hartford (where I call home), CT the summer of 7th grade. Living in Bristol was weird. I'm not like mad at it, but I never fit in ... anywhere ... at all. I tried, and as anyone knows with kids the second you ever try to fit in - they pull back even more. You can't try in school, you just have to be. I had a handful of close friends, but I so so so desperately wanted to be in with the popular kids, and all they wanted from me was the answers to homework and to copy off my english test. It sucked, but I was a sucker, and let 'em copy. Of course, afterwards I would offer to help tutor them so that they could understand what they copied - but I got laughed off.
I never had a social life in school - at all, particularly in Bristol. My parents were mildly well off as well at that point, which ostracizes you even more because Bristol is a middle class town, and the second you have a little more than someone else, they get weird. My parents were also together and madly in love, and the majority of my friends came from broken homes. It's like, oh wait, you have TWO parents at parent teacher conferences?? HAHAHA!! What a joke! I really really really disliked living in Bristol, but I didn't know any better - so whatevs.
Then came moving to West Hartford - yayyyyy a fresh start. Kids don't know me here - I can immediately befriend the cool kids and be ... "in." Um. Yeah. No.
Over achievers must like secrete a specific hormone that the slackers in school are allergic to. It's like, oh, you try? PPPFFTTTT get away!
The weirdest difference between Bristol and West Hartford though was that in Bristol the slackers were the cool kids and they were cool because they were failing, or one degree above. So BAD ASS!!! In West Hartford, the cool kids had all of the fancy tutors, and yes "slacked" but by slacking it meant they were only doing one extra curricular sport in addition to all of their honor societies. It was SUCH a culture shock moving to West Hartford. I just very literally cannot stress that enough.
There I was in Bristol, the sort of rich girl, with the super kickin grades, who wasn't popular, but at least took pride in said lack of popularity because every teacher loved me. My first year in West Hartford was so so rough. 8th grade - I was miserable. Dude, I couldn't even get my own religion right! There I was a Catholic, in LITERALLY an all Jewish town. Fail.
I didn't have a social life - I talked to people, but they never invited me anywhere. I was no longer the richest girl in class (although I DID have the coolest house in town - built by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright!) - so people didn't even use me for all of the cool toys or whatever that I had anymore. And copying off my tests? In 8th grade, I got my very first C. I was high honors student. I left Bristol the STUDENT OF THE YEAR ... I wasn't even the student of the month in 8th grade.
I hit a funk. The ONNNEEEE thing in my life, my grades, I relied on so so so strongly - were slipping between my fingers. The kids in West Hartford were just SO different! They were so UNBELIEVABLY competitive, and honestly downright cruel. Boys teased me relentlessly (and not like in the cutesey sort of way, in the please go home and die kinda way). I ran for student council that year and only won because it was unopposed. I thought I could seek solace in at least working in the school government, and all I wound up doing was briefly dating the student council president who gave me my first french kiss that still haunts me. Way way way too much pressure and tongue. EEECKKK!!
Either way, I finished up middle school and looked forward to high school. Yes, HIGH SCHOOL!!! I dreamt my entire life of being Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell. To hell if I was going to let that slip!!! Well, my worst case scenario was I would have been Jesse Spano, but even after my one year in middle school there, even that wasn't looking promising.
"I'm so excited ... I'm so excited
::jesse breaks down:: I'm so ... scared"
I was DETERMINED to do something with my life when it came to high school. I was going to have that DREAM life promised to me by the kids at Bayside High. This is going to be the greatest year EVER I thought!!!
I don't remember my first day of high school - I just remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed; everything looked so big. Well, everything except the lockers which were surprisingly even smaller than the ones in middle school. I had NO idea how my stuff was going to fit into those things. Like for REAL!!! I carry a lot of books, yo! Well a lot of books, and a lot of super old moldy tupperwear containers. Ecckkkk!!
Tangent, Jen, Tangent.
Anywho - I remember going into english class that first week and totally seeing this super cute chick (like seriously, this girl was hands down one of the prettiest chicks at our school), who was clearly new, in class. I don't remember if the teacher put us next to each other or if I just sat next to her ... but either way, I struck up a conversation.
Hey, I really like your nails - I whispered, commenting on her french tipped acrylics.
This chick just breathed coolness. She was effortless. Well, not like entirely effortless as she did wear a lot of makeup, but she was so composed, and her clothes were SOOOOO cool looking - night and day from my white knit old navy cardigan.
Yep, totally just had my first girl boner. I absolutely HAD to be friends with this chick. Especially after the year I just had, my life depended on it.
Class ended, and I asked her if she was new to the area.
Yes, she replied with her thick southern accent.
Wow, quite the change!
Yeah. It's deffinntteelllyyy different here.
I told her that I had also just moved here the year prior, albeit just a few towns over, but equally felt like a fish out of water.
Mind you, I knew people at the school. I've always been one of those people that knew a lot of people, but wasn't really "friends" with anyone socially outside of school; a perpetually extroverted introvert dying to shed the introversion if you will.
She and I became fast friends. Like crazy, fast, friends. We had two classes together, and I just absolutely idolized this girl. The way guys responded to her, her attitude, her clothing - she walked into a room and just owned it. It wasn't long until we were both practically living at each other's houses. We talked at great lengths about our dreams, and life - but let's keep it real, conversations revolved around mostly boys, and which ones we had crushes on and how we were going to get them.
She was hilarious, and for the first time in my life I got it - I finally. finally. had a friend. A best friend!
As the months went on, my parents grew more and more concerned on her influence over me. We spent hours on the phone every night, that is if we weren't IMing each other back and forth, or hanging out together at Bishops Corner and the mall. My attitude which was once very sweet after perpetually living the life of a goody two shoes, was growing more and more bitchy and curt. This girl gave me an identity. I had spent my ENTIRE scholastic life wanting so badly to fit in somewhere - and with her, things just made sense to me. Of course, did I mention my new found identity also meant showing some SERIOUS skin! Dudes - I totally went through a phase looking like the BIIGGESSSTTT slut in school!!! No like for real.
The worst part is that I never even put out ... like ever. Not even like close to putting out, like at all. At least the slutty girls in school are popular because they're known for putting out - I was known for being the hot chick's side kick who may or may not be smart.
Our relationship was tumultuous at best. She and I fought like cats and dogs. Her parents were on the brink of a divorce, and my parents took her in like a daughter. They had no choice, they weren't pleased with her influence on me, but they knew if they didn't allow me to see her I would only want to hang out with her more. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, kiddies!
We would have very literally the WORRRSSTTT knock down, drag out fights - and then, somehow make friends again. Albeit, a month would go by, which for any teen with no good friends to begin with is a very. very. very. long time.
It was definitely the best of times, and the worst of times. There I was, so happy to have finally found an "in" with someone in school, but at the same time my parents cringed wondering what happened to their daughter and if they were ever going to get her back. Fortunately, I never ... EVER ... let my grades slip, still maintaining honor roll throughout that year. I got on her about her grades, and offered to help her anyway I could. She was incredibly smart to begin with, but just not motivated and certainly didn't have the support from her parents that I did. As mad as my parents were at me for changing so much, they still got on my butt making sure I consistently did my homework.
Alrite, I'm going to take a break here because this story gets very very very involved. Freshman year ends - and sophmore and junior year get even more unhealthy followed by me leaving junior year, due to finishing so early, and the shit truly hitting the fan. Dudes, I went to trial for this thing ... very very very intense story. But again, I'm not publishing this story like the others to air anyone's dirty laundry out. Not my style. And I ask that if you know the names of the parties involved not to comment or post them. If you do, I will be forced to delete it. It's not about them, it's about other people being able to relate and understanding that no matter what ... you can keep on keepin on. Wahoo! Stay tuned. It's gonna get gooooodddd!!! =)