Middle school is when people start "dating". Kisses happen. The bases become a thing. I "dated" a few people. I tried to fit in that way, but that didn't work out so well either. Clearly I was dumped, as I'm not married and don't live with anyone. I still don't know if people set me up to date these people as I always seemed to get teased afterwards.
To show you how amazing (most of) my teachers were, I give you this story. If this teacher ever manages to read this, he needs to know how important a role he played in my life. I won't say his name because if he reads this story, he'll know who he is. Thank you for standing up for me when no one else would.
I had to stand up for myself against other kids and against my father. My mother was busy trying to hold the family together and couldn't always be there. This teacher stood up for me in front of an entire class. Never underestimate the good you can do for someone else. The smallest thing can mean the world of difference.
It was seventh or eighth grade and English was one of my favorite classes; and, he was one of my favorite teachers. I saw all my teachers as my friends because that's what they were for me. This specific boy and I had just broken up and I was heartbroken as a teenager usually is. He was in my English class. Somehow this teacher knew about this. I don't know how he knew. I can't remember if I talked to him or if word got around. No idea.
Anyways, we were in class and the teacher asked a question. No one raised their hand because no one knew the answer; but, I did. So I raised my hand and gave the answer. It was correct and the teacher turned to the boy and said, " (Insert name here) you shouldn't have let the smart one get away."
That simple statement in front of the whole class made me feel so wonderful. To have someone pick me up when I was down; and, in front of a good portion of the kids who seemed to make it their mission to put me down, was a huge deal. I didn't have people standing up for me. No one really knew what torment I faced at school or at home. These words aren't said to blame anyone. The anger I felt for being so alone is gone. It has been gone for many years.
Becoming (and still trying to become) more glass half-full has been and still is an extreme challenge. I tell these stories to give background for all the things I have had to come to terms with. All these things have affected who I am and how I dealt with the body I was given.
Stay tuned for high school next week...