In the recent month I’ve watched Silver Linings Playbook and The Perks of Being a Wallflower leaving me emotionally compromised. Allow me to explain…
The past two months I’ve been thinking back to a time in my life, when I was seventeen years old and going through an emotional rollercoaster. There was one point where I felt so insignificant that the forces and everything I believed has deserted me. Leaving me completely alone and defenseless.
Reason why I’m ready to talk about this is because the two movies mentioned have characters that are broken, afraid to open to something or someone they deserve, and have endured pain on many levels.
It was close to the winter months in 2007 when I was in an architectural drafting class my last year of high school. I loved the class, even if my ex was in the class with me. I felt fine though, I was happy because for two hours I could work on programs doing something that was actually meaningful (it’s high school, not many classes were meaningful to me at the time). The class was a two hour block so for the first hour my friends and I would talk and etc and the second hour some would leave and a new batch of them came in. It was in that second hour where I felt miserable. Not because of my ex, although I had my days (c’mon what ex-girlfriend wouldn’t?) but it was because of this junior who hated the very thought of me. Now, I haven’t met this guy before this class and I had no problem with him, but yet… the very thought of me sitting near him (in a seat/desk where I sat in the previous hour) would upset him.
He would call me names like “fat ass” and “stupid bitch,” but I ignored them because I had headphones and assignments to get done. Unfortunately his friends encouraged his lewd comments, so he’d continue until he had his assignment to do. This continued for a month or two until I couldn’t handle it anymore.
In the movies the characters have these moments in their storyline where they snap or break down completely. It’s either because they don’t understand the stress of what is happening or it’s too much weight for them to carry. It’s messy either way. They’ll scream, cry, or shut down and mute everyone else out of their mind.
I’ve finally reached my tipping point. I didn’t scream. I cried. Why? Well, my teacher made this “gentleman” clean up the utensils (you know, rulers with a sharp side, exact-o blades, measuring tape, etc). While cleaning it up and doing his usual routine of putting me down with his words he apparently became inspired. He said behind my back, in almost a harsh whisper, “I’m going to vacuum these up and hope they hit the back of your neck. Or I’m going to stab you with this.” Laughing to his friends as he threatened me. I remember my back stiffening, my eyes swelling with tears. I waited until he was no longer behind me so I could get up and tell my teacher what’s been said. I told him, my voice breaking and lips quivering with fear and anger.
That moment reminded me of the movies because of how fast it happened. I felt as if I blacked out, no longer in control of what’s to happen for a stronger part of me wanted it to end. That side to me was fragile, unsure, just lost.
After I told my teacher I sat towards one of the doors and waited for him to come back. He said he was going to get the vice principal to handle this. When both men have arrived they took me in the hallway to tell me what happened, which I did (again, I was crying). They apologized and looked disbelieved that someone who has never spoken with me would say that. Sitting back in the class room, angrily staring at the boy who threatened me, being called out into the hallway. Door closed. Everyone staring. Teacher returned. Telling me that the boy is being suspended for two weeks. I wasn’t too satisfied, but I was happy I wouldn’t see his face for two weeks.
I’m thinking of this part of Wallflower where the teacher says to his student that “we accept the love we deserve,” and I think the same goes for treatment. I didn’t deserve for someone to treat me as nothing. I wasn’t nothing. I wasn’t anything too special, but I was a human being, breathing, full of emotion, capable of being something one day, and this boy… this horrible nobody (he really is a nobody to me) was nothing to himself. His feelings towards me were shameful, and looking back I think he was ashamed of himself in someway. Or at least God and the cosmic forces were ashamed of him. I found out that a few days into his suspension that he broke both of his wrists. I smiled because he didn’t have a clue how much he deserved that.
I’m writing this to give me a sense of freedom. I know I didn’t really mention the movies too much but there were scenes that open a sealed door in my mind to just let it go. I’m angry at this boy, but I never see him anymore. I don’t know what is happening to him now, but I don’t care. I can’t care. His hatred made me a stronger person, but also a person I’m not too happy about. If someone had threatened me the way he did now, I’d probably be leaning over them, almost growling in anger with white clenched fists. I can’t think that way. He’s a sad person. The people who set out to hurt us are sad people. I don’t need his seal of approval of my life.
I’ll rise from this.