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Through the Looking Glass


namchebaz
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Today (day 6 of a 9 day visit to my parents for the holidays; what was I THINKING?), I became so stir-crazy that I snagged a bike from my sister and took off on a very looooong ride. My ride included a stop here, looking through the window at the boys room of my middle school -- site of endless torment for me in 6th and 7th grade, by kids who seemed more dialed than that even I was to what made me different from them.

 

It's cold today and the warm light coming that room and those tiny little water fountains makes it all seem small and insignificant, if not inviting. But 35 years ago, it kept me awake every nite except for Fridays and Saturdays.

 

It makes me want to go find the little kid at that school (and they're at every school), who's like I was and tell him that even though he can't imagine it now, his life is going to get immeasurably, unbelievably better. Beyond anything he can imagine today. And that while it seems to him that every thing that happens between age 12 and 18 is life and death stuff...it's not. It shapes us but thankfully doesn't define us.

 

There have to be some other people on this forum with a similar experience. I'd encourage you, if presented with the rare opportunity to help that kid, to jump at the chance. It would make such a difference.

 

So thanks, everyone, for permitting this cathartic stroll down memory lane. And happy new year all!

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nice post, nam....the very faint reflection of you in the glass gives a moody, sentimental aura to the picture....

 

and good luck with your remaining three days visiting the parents!....actually, make them the best three days you can....you'll miss them when they're gone, you know

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I agree. I had a miserable time through most of high school, and my niece is having a similar experience. I wish I had the kind of relationship that would let me tell her that it does all get better. Some of the popular kids in high school said, at our reunion, that was the best time of their lives; and that's so sad, that all your good times are over by 17.

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I wish I had the kind of relationship that would let me tell her that it does all get better.

 

Poolboy, not sure what your niece is struggling with -- my issue was being identified as LGBT (although that acronym didn't exist at the time and the label I had during that phase was decidedly less kind). But whatever is making life tough for your niece, I hope you do find a way to encourage her. I sometimes think hearing it from someone a bit outside your regular circle can make it feel a little bit more real. Either way, it's super you recognize what's going on for her and would like to help.

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It's a nice sentiment. But we also need to think of those for whom it doesn't get better.

 

Gman

 

 

Just the message one wants to pass on: "It gets better. Well it gets better for some. Well it gets somewhat better for some.

Well it gets no worse for some and most do okay. Well It really doesnt get any better but you cant do much about it so buck up and learn to live with the heartache. Really, life is only going to get worse for most so be grateful if one of the lucky few takes pity on you. Just give up now, this is as good as it gets and so just figure that you have peaked and are going nowhere fast. "

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It makes me want to go find the little kid at that school (and they're at every school), who's like I was and tell him that even though he can't imagine it now, his life is going to get immeasurably, unbelievably better.

 

There have to be some other people on this forum with a similar experience. I'd encourage you, if presented with the rare opportunity to help that kid, to jump at the chance. It would make such a difference.

 

 

I would amend your advice to say that kids need more than just that one little word of encouragement. For some, it needs to be regularly and faithfully, just like the negative messages they are possibly getting elsewhere. (Fred Rogers used to say of his program "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood", "Sometimes ours is the only kind voice a child will hear all day.")

 

Being a relative who is present and supportive, or a Big Brother, are a couple of ways of doing that.

 

(I steered clear of the Big Brother program here when they said they would support a mother's preference to screen out gay Big Brothers, but perhaps it is different elsewhere.)

 

And thanks for telling us about this, Nam.

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