What I don't see is the sadness and the frightened child who was slowly becoming convinced that all the kids in Sunset Elementary could not be wrong. There must be something truly stinky and flea ridden about ME.
Gradually, I was losing the confidence that being raised in a family full of Grandparents, great-grandmothers, Great-Aunts and great-Uncles
had instilled in me.
The little girl who always had a willing audience among family, did not even know what it meant when her mother told her to go out and "Play," and had no idea that the average 5 year old would not want to spend hours listening to me brag about how well I could read, or watch me. Soon my lack of social skills with my peers made me an easy target for the cruelty that is, unfortunately, found on every playground.
I learned to long for invisibility, and even to keep silent if someone else was being harassed, because, at least that day, it wouldn't be me. I tried to seek help from adults, but my Mom had also been a victim, and a poor, only child, who's mom made her wear knee high socks and long braids when bobby socks and bobbed pony-tails were everywhere. She compensated by dressing me the way she had longed to be dressed and my bobbed hair and anklets were the only ones in sight. She also told me, "The boys always pick on the girls they like." I knew the difference between being picked on, and being threatened and bullied but couldn't explain it to anyone.
Amazingly i can look at my old pictures and smile at who that little girl has become. I may never be the most beautiful person you will ever see, but I am beautiful, I'm a great Mom, a loving friend and not a bad writer, and most of all, I can help other people see the beauty inside and outside of them.
Thanks for Reading,