I despised middle school. But really, is there anyone out there who can really say they liked those years of school? Change is a traumatizing thing in someone's life and middle school brings on so many changes all at once. I mean, there's the obvious change of moving from the simplicity of elementary school to a new place where you're swallowed up by so many other students being funneled into one school from several.
Then there's the uncomfortable issue of puberty. So much growing up to do in so little time. And all those classes. Being introduced to the hallway locker. Changing clothes just to go to PE. Different teachers for every subject. The plethora of choices in the world of electives. Okay, so really that plethora just included the choice between band or wood shop. But you get the point.
Sixth grade was awful. At the time I was something of an overweight kid. Sure, the pants my mom would get me were "husky" but I knew that was just a nice way of calling me fat. I wasn't completely naive. So I had that little stigma going into middle school.
The kids at Woodrow Wilson seemed to be a little bit meaner than the ones back at Raleigh Court. Maybe it was just because most of them were kids I didn't know. They were kids I hadn't spent the last five years growing up with. So maybe that saw the new fat kid as a great new target.
Needless to say, I was picked on. A lot. But so were half the sixth graders in the school. Everyone struggles with insecurities of some kind. We wouldn't be human if we didn't. I just happened to get kind of sensitive about the bullying.
For awhile I faked illness to get out of going to school. Eventually a pattern developed and my parents didn't have to be detectives to figure out I was avoiding certain people in certain classes. Meetings were had with the principal and with guidance counselors. Suddenly all was right with the world.
Except that's not how it really works.
News flash: those meetings between parents and counselors and suspected bullies really only tend to make things worse. Don't worry, my life wasn't in danger. At least not yet. But psychologically, the harsh words began to take their toll.