I had a lot to cry about throughout my life. In the beginning, it was simple kid stuff that would affect me to the core. But, as I got older, it got harder and harder to deal with. My teenaged years were rough. My early twenties were even tougher.
When I was little, I would cry over the silliest things. I remember coming home one day after school and I was a puddle of tears. When my mom asked what had happened to make me so upset, I explained through my tears, “Craig wouldn’t let me stand behind him in line for assembly today. I don’t think he likes me.”
My mom chuckled because she didn’t understand that I had a massive crush on this boy. It was my first crush and my first heart-break because, as it turned out, he didn’t like me. I wasn’t okay with it back then, but, as a kid, you quickly move on to other things. Let me make this clear, Craig wasn’t out-right mean to me. He wasn’t that type of person. And he still isn’t. Yes, I still live in the same community as he does and I see him and his family every once in a while. I don’t harbour hard feelings or ill will towards him at all. It makes me smile to see how happy he seems. Like I said, kids learn to move on quickly. But I’ll never forget my first crush.
When I was young, breaking up with best friends was just like a break-up with a boyfriend. It fucking hurt my soul. My best friend in grade 4 was a girl named Jamie who was just like me. We were both short with dark hair and blue eyes. We had similar interests and working mothers. We spent a lot of time together throughout that school year. We became practically the same person.
And then my parents dropped the bomb – we were moving across the city and I’d have to leave Jamie behind. At the age of 9, I couldn’t imagine a life without my best friend. She was the only person who “got me” and who I could depend on in good times and bad. I didn’t want to leave that all behind because I knew no one could replace her.
She tried consoling me by saying that we’d only be apart for five years – the rest of elementary school and junior high school – because we would be reunited in high school again. And that’s what I looked forward to for five years. I wittled away my time with other random friends I had met at my new school, but my goal was to reunite with Jamie in high school and pick up where we left off.
Five years slowly crept by and that fateful day finally came – the first day of high school. I didn’t care about anything except finding Jamie. And I did.
She was wandering the hallways with another friend when I bumped into them. That’s when Jamie told me that her mom got remarried and they were moving to Australia in a week. She wasn’t at the school to take classes, she was only there to visit her friend. And that’s when it hit me – we became strangers. She wasn’t holding onto high school like I was. After wishing her the best and good luck in Australia, I walked away down the hallways and, when I rounded the corner out of sight, I began to sob. I felt so alone.
And then Jolene stepped into my life. She was nothing like me. I was a useless kid who never joined any sports, music, or extra-curricular groups. Jo was naturally smart, she played piano, and she helped me to be a better person. Well, for about a year at least.
Jo and I realized that we had a typical teenaged-obsession with New Kids On The Block. We both loved them and we were typical teen girls whenever we heard their music. Jo and I bonded over music. We remained friends because I was always available and she didn’t like being at home with her older sister and younger brother. So we ended up spending a lot of time together for a while, listening to NKOTB music or watching their videos on MuchMusic, the Canadian version of MTV.
Even though I adored Jo for the person she was and even though I wanted to be more like her, that fateful day arrived when she ditched me for another friend, Jackie. There was something about Jackie that always rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like a third wheel when Jo asked Jackie to join us. Eventually they left me out of everything.
I knew that Jo and I were no longer going to be as close as we once were when she told me she got two tickets to the NKOTB concert for her and Jackie. My heart hurt. That was supposed to be our thing. But she had decided to go with Jackie instead. Jackie didn’t even like NKOTB. The hurt that I had felt during the Jamie situation came rushing back and I hibernated to lick my wounds after that.
For years, I wouldn’t allow myself to get close to anyone in fear that they would hurt me like Jamie and Jo did. I didn’t think I could survive another heartbreak like that again.
Instead, I turned my attention to the opposite sex. Ah, boys. They were my favourite.
It wasn’t that I particularly liked the guys I went to school with, it was more that, for a few years of my life, I hated men. I don’t think there were many guys in high school that I didn’t date at one point or another. And I can sum up the situation in one thought: daddy issues. But I’ll discuss that later.
I can honestly say that I am not friends – in any way, shape, or form – with any of my ex-boyfriends. Back then, they didn’t give a shit about me and, believe me, I didn’t give a shit about them either. Back then I just needed attention. And I got it.
The first guy I dated was so sweet and nice. His name was Jean and he was cute, smart, and had a bright future. But I didn’t see that in high school. And when a really “cool” guy named Chris caught my attention, I dropped Jean like a hot potato. Poor guy. I felt a little guilty about breaking up with him to date Chris, but I feel damn awful about it now. Jean hated me the second he realized what was going on. He never spoke to me again even though I tried to apologize. It was the first time I ever broke anyone’s heart and I still feel pangs of guilt to this day.
And so began my reign of horror in high school.