From my journal, reprinted word for word (including spelling errors!) February 3, 1995. I was eleven:
"Today, I had one of the worst days in my life. I wore this really comfy, colorful jumper that I liked a lot. Sounds fine? Right? Wrong! The only problem was that the jumper had lots of colors and different fruits on it. I wore it with a yellow t-shirt. All day long people were calling me chiquita banana and faggy fruit-cart lady. It was pretty embarassing."
About two weeks after that, I described an episode in which two boys I had crushes on prank called me together, made fun of my 'fro' and asked me to go out with them only to laugh in my face when I got my hopes up they might be serious.
Gee willikers, I can't imagine where my negative self-image could have come from.
I start this public examination in the hopes that by confronting these painful memories and feelings I might begin to move past them - to let them go. Obviously, I'm not still that sixth grader who thinks she's the ugliest duckling, but neither am I a completely healthy, secure 27 year old with no image issues whatsoever.
Certainly looking at the above excerpts and memories, it seems silly to think that the cruelty of middle-schoolers should have any bearing on my self-esteem now. But I think things like this are cumulative. And those years were extraordinarily formative in terms of developing (or failing to develop) confidence.
More ruminating and memories coming soon. For now, sleep.