Sunday, October 7, 2012

Letters from Hell

Dear Lani,

I read your last post and couldn't sleep. I felt an incredible need to address the moment that you wrote about. Not to refute it in anyway, but it brought up the memory of that night very strongly and I couldn't let it go.
So I dug up my old diary from when I was 15. Frankly that moment in time is still too painful for me to address as an adult; therefore I will let my teenaged self do it for me (names have been...modified, but I think you'll know who is who):

Sat Oct 28th '00

I want to leave! I dont think I can bear to stay here anymore! Last night was the breaking point for me. And I feel like I've been broken into too many pieces to put back together right now.

Yesterday Mom drove NH, MJ, KLee, Lani and me to the mall. MJ wanted to shop for stuff for herself and Lani and NH went with her. KLee and I went off by ourselves. We all met back at the food court, ate dinner, then left the mall around 7. While on the bus, KLee was upset because she didn't find what she had come for. 
The bus stopped to pick up people, and she saw a Stop & Shop Pharmacy. I offered to go with her to look in there. So we got off while the other three went back to NEA. We walked about 2 miles and went to about four different places looking for her wax strips. Finally we found a CVS around 8:30. They had what she was looking for and she was really happy. We bought them and then we out to the bus stop and waited...and waited.
While we were waiting these two guys in a black suburban pulled up at the stop light and started shouting for us to get in the back of the car. Then the light turned green and they started turning. We were afraid they were coming back to get us, so we jumped behind the porch of a nearby house and hid till we were sure they weren't coming back. Around 8:45 we called NEA and told them we would be back late. We got home a little before 10.
The first thing I did was go take a shower. While I was in the shower I heard KLee trying to tell HJ and AG what had happened. They were just making fun of her and telling her she was 'full of shit.'
After I had come in and seen LRN's new haircut. I was trying to compliment her and HW and TF for cutting it, but everyone seemed to be ignoring me. I kept hearing a door slam and then someone pounding the door. I figured it was HJ because she's done that before - but only when she's angry. I wondered why she was angry now.
Later KLee was in my room waxing while I was sewing my costume. Then NH and YM came in and said that every single girl in the dorm was mad at us, especially me. I was like "Why the hell are they mad at me?" 
Someone called a girl's meeting. There in the hallway I saw HJ and asked her what the hell was going on. She said something like "You tell me. You MoFos have a lot of explaining to do!" Then she said we should go into the lounge because there would be more room for "ass kicking." Everyone sat own on the couches or floor around me and only HJ and I were standing. 
She stood, facing me, but behind a couch. She began screaming at me that I was a fake bitch who was  talking shit about everyone. Every other word was fuck. I found myself shaking, trying to defend myself, cussing just as much as her. Eventually everyone was trying to out scream each other.
Finally YM calmed things down and HJ stopped screaming. They were trying to get me to confess to saying things that I hadn't, and blaming me for every single rumor and thing the faculty had found out. They kept verbally attacking me and finally I thought that by apologizing, everything would stop. I apologized for everything I HAD said and for everything that they thought I had said. Then I asked them to help me change.
I thought that would have been enough. But no. They proceeded to attack me, Lani, and even NH for the next half an hour. During that time RF ran out crying, NH and TF almost got into a physical fight, and HJ told me that my mom had been telling her about the 'problems I had.' Finally Lani got fed up, started crying again and left.  I could see that the meeting was going nowhere, so I went to follow Lani. As I left, I heard NF say, "Where are they going? Why the hell do they think they can leave?"As if she wasn't satisfied yet and wanted to dish out more. 

I found Lani in the stairwell, crying. I sat down next to her, held her, and cried with her. We both wanted to die. We hated everyone and everything. We just sobbed for 20 minutes until YM came in to try to talk to us. She was trying to be nice and sympathetic, but I really didn't want to talk to her. I told her that I thought what they had just done was really unfair. Any girl could have been put up there and accused of the same things, if not more so. Worse, I said, they were blaming me for things I didn't say and do.
Then she told me that "rumors were flying" about me and RJ
[Note: Male. Class President. Easily the Most Attractive/Popular boy in school.] and that if I had stayed at the meeting, they would have confronted me about it. I got so mad because I know there is nothing between me and RJ coming from my part. Also I knew NH must have started the rumor out of jealousy. After that I knew I could never trust her, or anyone else at NEA, again. Finally I ended the conversation because I wanted to go upstairs to mom's apt. (The main reason was that I wanted to write an email to "S," but I also wanted to tell mom what had happened.)
At that point it was about 1am and we had to wake mom up by knocking on her locked door. We cried and told her what happened. She got really upset and said that the girls were being lying hypocrites. She ened up blaming the whole thing on herself. 

Tomorrow is our Halloween Party. I really don't want to go, but I may have to. I'm supposed to help out with face painting, but I would rather spend the day at the beach or something. I don't want to hang out with a bunch of people who hate me. By now I'm sure all of the guys know HJ's side of the story and hate me too. But you know what? I really don't care anymore. I could hate every single one of them back. But I don't. I just dont want to be around them for a while. I'm still really hurt and need time to heal. I don't want to stay here anymore, but I  have no place I can go. Now I have truly lost everything.
These people were the only people I felt like I had in the world. But now I know I never had them at all. That they all hated me and thought I was fake. I was totally clueless that they felt that way. I thought they actually liked me.
I was the scapegoat for all of their problems this time, but never again. I will never take responsibility for things that aren't true. I know I wasn't totally at fault in this situation, especially compared to some of the girls accusing me. But when you have 20 girls surrounding you, screaming, cussing and telling you how much they hate you, it makes you take a step back and analyze what you did to cause all of it. And that's what I did - and it made my mom really upset. But I had to look inside of myself and try to figure out what I did wrong. I know I've said some mean things before, but not enough to cause the whole girls' dorm to turn on me...

That's where the entry ends. The next one talks about how RJ came up to me asking to talk after the Halloween party (that I did end up going to, dressed in black with black lipstick natch.). He confronted me about the rumors of "us," saying that HJ had told him she heard the rumor straight from my mouth. The irony of it all, and what I would have never said to his face, was that I hardly gave him the time of day in my thoughts. In the words of my 15 year old self: "We've talked all of three times, and all of a sudden we have Something Going On?!?!" Today I can look back on that exchange and laugh, but at the time and for the culture it was a pretty serious accusation of my having a "Chapter Two" problem. At the time, a rumor like that was a powerful tool to break one's reputation; while it sounds like something out of an Austen novel, it was a very real reality.
I follow up with a statement that "People here are so petty and fake it makes me sick. But it also makes me want to become a better person, and more real."
Frankly I am a little flabbergasted at my little 15-year-old self determining to work harder, be better etc etc after such a traumatic event. But I suppose in a culture that stressed striving for perfection, it was really the only tool I had to cope. While, on one hand, we could exonerate ourselves say that the events stemmed from a very unhealthy culture created by the administration in the school, we instead chose to look at as another reason to try examine our pieces and parts, and to rebuild ourselves the image of the church ideal. To me at 15, to be "more real" meant to try to be more perfect - to strive for an unattainable goal.
The diary ends after the 29th. It doesn't cover my 16th birthday (that fateful day when the headmistress of the school described, in lurid detail OVER MY BIRTHDAY CAKE, the sacred sexual rite that she and her husband had to perform as a part of the Unification Church marriage) the following day.
The next diary, I am sad to say, was burned in one of those symbolic burning ceremonies we did in the church. It was my way of trying to let "S" go and let go of that inner self that was fighting the mind control. These days I really regret burning those words and those memories. I suppose the more that we dig, the more will be uncovered from the proverbial ashes.

<3 ingness to you and thank you for your sharing.

Jen

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