I was drawn into a room with someone who I thought was being a friend. I was feeling lonely and left out more than ever during the 6th grade campout. She appeared to be really trying to help me. There were lots of questions that transitioned into what seemed like her helping me come up with solutions to my issue.
However I was mistaken. Come to find out that as I was baring my soul out to this person, as well as all of the females in the 6th grade class. They were hiding in different places and listening to the whole conversation. She was in on it.
When the conversation had come to an end, I was stunned to see the girls pop out of their hiding spots. They all said, “Terra, we like you,” as they giggled and ran out of the room.
I was not only mortified, I was hurt. Not only had people gone through my things, exposed the film in my camera, and put toothpaste in my pillow, but they also got to laugh at me at my expense.
This was the nail on the coffin when it came to trusting anyone outside of my immediate family.
It was also the deeper spiral to feeling more alone than ever! Being surrounded by people yet never quite feeling like I belong.
This day, among others that year, truly defined for me that among 60ish students, no one was interested in including me, people were laughing at me, and I was never good enough.
It carried on with me into my adult life as well.
Feeling like I was just a pulse in the room rather than a person worthy of honest relationships or respect. No matter how much good I did, or care and support I would provide, others were more reputable.
It is this feeling that creates a lot of stress for me in my life. The isolation in the crowd. Feeling unseen, unessential, and unlikeable.
It is easy to tell someone to get over these moments in their life. They were young girls, they had no idea what they were doing. However, it is much like the tube of toothpaste or wadded up paper activities you see being done in school these days. People can try and smooth it over, but the impact or damage is done.
What I had control over in all of this was how I handled it. To be honest, I did not handle it well. I tried burying it pretending it did not hurt me.
Since I chose to bury this pain, I unknowingly allowed that day to affect the way I viewed people and responding to things in life.
At 43, I am still healing from this pain I pushed down so deep. Not only mentally, but physically as well. This is what happens when you do not allow yourself to feel and process the things that happen to us.
If this is resonating with you, I wrote more about the effects of this day on friendships and relationships I had over the years and the journey to trusting others again. My story is featured in the book The Truth About Finding Joy In The Darkness. This story is just one of 19 in this book collaboration. Many of these stories echo various pain points that you may relate to as well. Stories that show us all that while we have dark and painful moments in our life, it is how we utilize them to overcome them that can bring us out into the light.
Hoping you can work through your dark times to find the joy you deserve,