I had recently found & reread some of my old high school writing. OMG. I thought it was SO GOOD. It was not. 😉 But I guess everyone feels that way until they get out in the real world & get better with their writing.
One poem (of course, it was a poem) in particular jumped out at me. Like most students, we were assigned a topic to write about. However, in this instance, we were given free rein. It was November, my senior year, & most people had written about what that meant to them, their current life, & so on. I took a risk.
I wrote a poem about a little girl around four years old. I described the scenery – it was dark, winter, & in the middle of a snowstorm. She was cold, alone, & hungry for love. In my poem, she had watched through a window other kids & other families warmly play by the fireplace. She was envious of their lives & wished for a better one right before she died. Macabre, yes, but it was my silent cry for help.
I remember we had to read them in front of the classroom. I watched one of the student’s faces in the front row. She went from encouraging & exciting to shocked & sad in a matter of minutes. After I read it, I sat back down. No one said anything & the next reader went up. I got an A & no one asked me about it.
I put myself in that little girl’s position. I, too, felt vulnerable & alone. I had cried out & wished for a loving & accepting family like what my friends had. I used to crave that type of unconditional love. I didn’t know it at the time that I was depressed & it was seeping out. I didn’t know how to hide it better.
Like I said, I remember taking a chance & putting myself out there. I had secretly hoped that someone would reach out. No one did. I’m not upset nor am I holding a grudge against my fellow classmates. We were 17 & 18. We didn’t know what to say or do. What did surprise me is that the adults I had talked to did nothing. The teacher never said anything. Neither did the guidance counselor. Neither did Mr. D, who I would go & talk to sometimes about my struggles. Everyone just left me alone & went out with their lives.
Of course, this is the same private school that my friend, *Brit, opened up & shared her problems at home. She was physically beaten by her mom & would regularly come to school covered in bruises. She had turned to drugs in the past & was recovering from LSD. I had encouraged her to talk to the guidance counselor for help. They called in the parents & she was immediately pulled from the school. I was angry & scared for her. Sometimes I try to find her online but I haven’t had luck. 😦
I realized my issues were not like Brit’s but the cry was still there. We were hurting & were looking for help & were unsuccessful.
Please. For her sake, listen to those who come to you & share their demons. You have no idea how much courage it takes to do it. We spend weeks, months, or years going back & forth if we should open up. Treat our hearts like gold & help us get the help we need. ❤
* I’m using her real name because she deserves a voice.