So here we are. Right around the corner from our 10 year reunion. Initially I am skeptical. Loathing even. My stomach is turning. Being a therapist myself, I can see these are PTSD symptoms. Inability to concentrate. Feeling the feeling as if it was happening. My brain behind my eyes is tired. How many hours of sleep have I lost in almost 10 years, considering my high school experiences/facebook stalking the ones who contributed (let’s be real)? High school drama trauma. Have I really not “gotten over it” in all this time? I really need to get around to booking that therapy appointment for myself.
Funny, that was the main message I was hurt by in high school. “Get over it already…Why are you making a big deal out of nothing?” I went to a community theater conference and participated by telling my high school heart break. Trauma. I cried like it was happening to me. We reenacted it and others validated my hurt. They did not look at me as childish. They shared stories of pain from their own lives. I wasn’t physically assaulted or humiliated in front of the school, just interacting with other teenagers who did not know themselves. I was a complete mess of hormones and unidentified identity. Vulnerable to the rhetoric of my peers. Peers that communicated that I was not enough and my hurt did not matter. So I internalized that. And then as I grew older, I began to hate that I internalized that… and hate the ones that spoke it over me in the first place.
With the police brutality and racism that we see live graphic Facebook videos of, it brings to light hurts that may have been ignored and down played while we were in high school… because they are still ignored and played down today. Very loud racial slurs were chanted at basketball games, people were told that they acted different then what they “should” based on their appearance, people were or weren’t given opportunities based on ethnicity and
Common themes of being communicated to that they were not enough. Not white enough. Not black enough. Not white or black enough. Not smart enough. Not a good enough dancer. Not skinny enough. Not happy enough.
So I decide I am not going to the reunion. I know who I am now and I know that I am not as happy as everyone else. It is just not in my genes or my giftedness. I am a deep feeler. I provide that validation to others who are hurting. I help happy people see that not everyone is so happy. I help unhappy people see that they do not have to be like everyone else. We all have giftings. I am grateful and joyful… for belonging to a community of Christians and a hope in a life beyond this one (a whole other post!). But just because I am very serious about my relationships and broken deeply when they end for any reason, does not mean I am not enough. I am created with a purpose and made whole by Christ.
And I think of my friends that are the biggest blessings in my life and my marriage. They better go to the reunion. Their life change is miraculous. It is an amazing testimony. I hope nothing holds them back. I hope they do not feel insecure about who they have hurt in the past or the impressions they made. I even hope they go with humility and make amends. Why am I hoping this for them and not for myself?
I decide I am going to the reunion. I know who I am. I am a feeler. And I desire genuine relationships. I am going to call my friends right now that may be hurting because of these newly posted graphic videos and pictures on Facebook. I am going to speak with them, cry with them, feel their pain with them. Because that is what I was created for. And I am going to walk with them into the reunion to be reunited with our Blue Devil Framily. Hopefully there will be someone I can reconcile with. Hopefully there will be grace that I will not relive pain, but will be healed. And hopefully I can speak to the fact that each of my framily matters. Their pain matters and their ideas matter. We are the future of Jacksonville… the US.. and the world. I will show up at the table in humility, not know where I may have caused hurt. If you are considering staying home because of hurt I encourage you to 1. go to therapy! This junk is 10 years old! and 2. show up with humility… As difficult as it is to “get over” the past… Hopefully together we can contribute to a better future.