psychology lolz

*Me at 15 talking to my friend about that guy who was bullying me* Me: “He’s weird, you know. His eyes are so blank and dead. Like, there is nothing there. I think he’s dangerous. And angry.” Her: “Has he done *anything* to you, like physically?” Me: “Well, no...” Her: “So calm down then.”

*eight years later I meet an old Art teacher on the train and we talk a bit*

*Teacher*  “I look up my students on FB sometimes.” 

*Me* “To see which ones ended up in jail?”

*she laughed*

*Teacher* “Funny you mentioned that. Gary’s in jail. He stabbed someone repeatedly in a pub brawl.”

*Me, gasping* “Oh my fucking God! I knew it!”

*everyone on the train turned around and stared*

My high school experience was so weird, though. Like, I was so shy and scared of the constant bullying I got. I never said a thing. I blushed whenever I got blatantly verbally abused. Then, at around 17, I sorta snapped.

It was the booze. And that drama teacher who kept telling me how smart I was. I’m convinced of it. 

In hindsight, telling that male bully: “You’re only here because your mother lacked the money for an abortion” was not a good idea.

He could have stabbed me.

*My therapist* “Sharon, was your childhood really as dysfunctional as you make out?”

*Me* “One time, at 17, I got so shit faced on vodka shots at lunchtime that I called out a girl on an abortion she’d had.”

*My therapist* “You did…what?”

*Me* “In fairness, she started it. She kept asking me if I had ever kissed a boy.  I didn’t answer her. I tried to be polite. Meek as always. But she hounded me on the kissing thing. Then I fucking lost it on her.” 

*My therapist*  “Fucking hell, Sharon. This is so sad. I want to cry.”

*Me* “Well, um, the handkerchiefs are right there.”

*My therapist* “They’re meant to be for my patients!” 

The one regret I have at 29? I always wish I could have, liked, travelled back in time and told the 15 year old version me loads of stuff. Whispered helpful things into her ear.

“The bullies are more fucked up than you are. Way more fucked up. Trust me on this. They act like they have power: But they have none. They’re lashing out. You just happened to be there. They’re sad and depraved.”

“Why does anyone care if you’ve kissed a boy yet? Or had sex? Why does anyone care? That’s your business.”

“You don’t need to be ashamed of your dad and the alcoholism. It’s not on you.”

“They bitch about your hair not being perfect? Why do they concentrate on your hair in the first place? What the fuck is up with them and their lives for even caring about such nonsense?” 

But, alas, time machines do not exist. That nice, shy terrified 15 year old is gone to me forever. I can’t make her feel better. 

*Why I eventually moved out of my mother’s house*

Me: “You opened my mail? What the hell? That is a rather big violation of my privacy.”

Her: “Well, eh, I thought it was for me.”

Me: “My exact name was on the fucking letter! In quite large letters. How could you think it was for you?!”

*Plumber guy my mum brought in to fix the kitchen hears our argument*

Him: “My mum opens my mail all the time.”

Me: “Please, dude. I’m sure you’re a nice person and all. And the kitchen looks nice. But you’re only saying this because she is paying you and I am not.”   

*At my father’s funeral* *Uncle to me* “You know, Jim always told me he thought you were too clever for your own good.”

*Me beaming with pride* “He actually said that? Wow. That makes me so happy.”

*Uncle* “We’re at a funeral. Stop smiling. You look crazy.”

*Me* “Of course. But, Jesus. He said that. About me?”

*Uncle* “I don’t think he meant it to be nice.”

*Me* “Nah, he did. He just didn’t realize it at the time.”

*Me to my dad when I first found out he was dying of lung cancer and visited him in the hospital.”

*Me* “So, um, are you scared?”

*Him* “Of course, I am.”

*pause*

*Him* “Um, can you take me outside for a cigarette?”

*Me* “What, are you fucking crazy!? You have fucking lung cancer! How can you ask this? What the hell is is wrong with you? This is horrible! I am outraged!” 

*Him shrugging* “Hey, it’s too late now.”

In retrospect my father may have missed his calling in black comedy.

*Me to my little sister once* *Me* “We both adore horror movies; why is that?” *Her* “Because we just do!?!” *Me* “Or maybe it’s deeper. We both grew up with a terrible, alcoholic father and so, all these monsters, are like, I dunno, stand ins? And we like seeing the heroines kill them at the end? They represent us. Freud and whatnot.”

*Her* “Sharon, what the hell are you talking about?”

*Me* “I took too many psychology classes, didn’t I?”