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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Melancholy Moment

It's coming down. Chippewa School was my intermediate school, I attended from grades 4 through 8. Last night, I went to see the school for one more time, as it's being razed to make room for a new department store.
The doors were open, so I took my camera and went inside. Curiosity had the best of me.

In the seventh grade hall, I went into my former science classroom. How did we fit in here? It seems so small compared to my memory of this room. Twenty four kids and desks in this little space?
Going into the hall way, brought back many memories. See the drinking fountain? I, for as long as I can remember since going to this school, have had dreams that take place in this hall. In every dream, that drinking fountain and the bathroom doors it's between, have been in them. So when I saw the fountain, it was such a strange feeling that it was always there in the back woods of my memories. The thing is though, my memories of this school are not the best. In fact, I have to say that they were the worst years of my life. I had no friends, I was bullied, it's where I experienced my first panic attack which was the most horrifying day, and I was a skinny rail who couldn't eat without throwing up. The lunch ladies had to stay by me while I ate, which caused me even more embarrassment. I had one teacher who would humiliate me in front of the whole class because I wasn't scoring high on my math. So why does this school being torn down, cause me to feel so nostalgic? You'd think I'd be jumping for joy!
I guess what it comes down to, is no matter the experience, good or bad, it was a major part of my life which helped shape who I am today. It took many years to grow from this experience. At first, I was shy, timid, scared of my own shadow. (I don't think kids, or grown ups for that matter, realize what words can do.) Over the years though, I've come to realize that I'm much stronger, and in fact, "What doesn't kill you does make you stronger." I've learned that I am a person who doesn't have to take anything from anybody, that no one will ever put me in that position again. I can put that part of my life behind me, and move on from there. Confident, love myself again, and know I can forgive those who had such a negative effect on my life for so long, and now have the ability to forgive those who bring that into my life today.
So good-bye Chippewa, You were a building that helped build me. It just took me a long time to realize that. You will be missed.


Jayne said...

Laurie, I just have to say that I am so very impressed with just how much you've been able to grow and put so much in your life into perspective my friend. When we hang on to hate and anger, we only give it power in our lives and by this post, it's obvious you have evolved so much in learning to embrace forgiveness. Peace and blessings to you.

Pearl said...

I had haunting memories of school also, so shy I was also. Took me years into my forties before I could forgive and let go. I received negitivity at home also so it was hard to get away from it all. But now I'm also loving myself and can do whatever with confidence! Lot's of kids can relate but many were truly tortured at school. I taught my children to be kind especially to the ones being bullied. And I'm happy to say they listened. Hugs to you sweet heart, you turned out awesome!

Anne said...

Hi, Laurie! My school memories are probably not as traumatic as yours, but I had some that I'll never forget (I was shy, and a teacher humiliated me many times for not "speaking up") I made good grades, but I didn't want to be there; I wanted to be home with my Grandma, and my little world (I'm an only child...)! Still, part of your "history", and mine. I've just discovered your lovely blog, and am now following! So nice to "meet" you! ♥

Diane said...

I think grade school is so traumatic. Mine wasn't as bad as yours. But I still have no interest in going to class reunions. I, like you, want to leave that little girl behind because that's not who I am anymore. You have done so well in dealing with that part of your past. Aren't you glad that we have our blogging community to discuss these things and find support? Blessings Laurie, Diane

Mary Ann Potter said...

Both of my schools, Alger Elementary and Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids, disappeared from the landscape a few years ago. There's something so sad about that. This was such a poignant posting. Those old feelings do come back sometimes, don't they? As adults we can at least choose the memories we want to keep...

wendy said...

Great pictures!The science room has a wall next to the door that wasn't there when we went, they must have did that later. I still remember the smell of the hall going to the band room as I passed the art class( which always smelled like paint.), shop class, and the choir room.Yes I feel sad it's coming down.

andsewon said...

Sad that they tear down now instead of keeping up. Wonder if you could get a desk lockers or anything from the building.

Kim said...

It makes me sad that you have such bad memories from grade school. As a teacher, I hope we are making good memories. I'm glad you have a positive spin on it at least.

Name: Amanda said...

Reading your post made me want to turn back time - find that scared and sad little girl and give her a big hug and invite her to sit with me at lunch.
When school starts back (in the fall) it gives me anxiety.
I'm 42 . . . I don't even have kids and I'm anxious about school starting. How ridiculous.
I feel lucky to have made it out of that time of my life too.
You are such a beautiful person. Your life experiences have shaped who you are today. So much richer and interesting than you would have been if you hadn't had those experiences.
Hugs, Amanda