Shadow Of Victory

Monday, 15 June 2009

JUNE 15th Friendships

Well....here we go with this "thorn". I am going to go way back and remind you that for many years I didn't live in same place ...If you remember my parents split up..got back together..split up ...and on and on....I was in and out of children's homes and went to many different schools until I was 12 years old.

This in itself prevented me from making lasting friendships and I was always the "new girl" in class or the "new kid on the block" which could have gone two ways...either I would be excruciatingly shy or I would be very bolshie.!! There is no prize for guessing which way I went . Having said that ...I was also quite a nice little girl...very pretty and intelligent and able to communicate well.. Teachers liked me and that made it easier for me to fit in. Strange to think that I may have been the only youngster in the world who loved school...at school I was treated well...food was plentiful..in those days poor families got free meals and as I was bright the teachers would ask me to help them with the little ones.

I have one friend who has lasted the test of time...we met on my first day at primary school...we were both 5 and altho she lives in Amsterdam and I haven't seen her in decades we have always kept in touch . She knows all my bad history and some we shared as we grew up....we still have the kind of friendship that if she lived in Britain I know we would still be in each others lives. There is something about shared history which binds people together.

I hesitate to even put into writing this next part but again I am attempting to be open..honest..vulnerable and trusting that "writing is my best chance of happiness". After my mum left me...and I went to live with my dad I went to an excellent school...it was the Scottish equivalent of a Grammar school...and I just didn't fit in....I was academically capable but the social strata was way above me...these kids had bedrooms to themselves...rather than sharing one bedroom with a dad and 2 brothers ...They had bathrooms rather than a toilet and a visit to public baths on a Tuesday evening. They had washing machines rather than a weekly trip to launderette.Their parents came to open evenings whilst my dad had to work .My worst ever nightmare was wearing the second hand school uniform and realising the name tape in one of the garments was the girl in my class and she recognised it.

Bullying wasn't really recognised as a problem in those days ...we were still in the era where teachers were law and the "belt" was given as punishment for bad behaviour and what Sir said..we did. I wish I could perhaps gain some sympathy from you by saying I was bullied but I am ashamed to admit that it was me who was the bully. It is a sad and awful episode in my friendship thorn and one I am deeply grateful to know that God has forgiven me and the girl in question has too.(I was able to ask her forgiveness about 17 years ago). This girl J had everything...she was an only child with loving parents she had a gorgeous pink room all to herself..she went horse riding...and she went ski-ing...and she was pretty with blue eyes and hair to die for...She was very popular and friendly and a genuinely lovely person. J took me under her wing and I found myself in the inner circle..invited for tea...parties...but always feeling as if I was on the outside looking in. I couldn't return the invites I was far too ashamed of my dads house and the life I had led.

After several months I began to bully J in a very subtle way...I never physically touched her but began to torment her in class when no-one was looking. I would take her book or pen and not let her have it back.I would tear up her homework and bin it. I would drop her school bag down the loo......AAAGGGHHHHHH...... I was awful and I am sure a child therapist would dress this all up in some way to excuse my behaviour. but all I know is I was a nasty horrible bully to this poor girl who didn't deserve to be treated like this no matter what kind of background I came from. Even worse J continued to befriend me for the best part of a year until her parents found out and I was called to the headmasters office with my dad...the one and only time my dad ever came to the school. I was asked to leave !! only it was dressed up as "perhaps it would be better to move Irene to a school nearer to your home and where she will find it easier to fit in with her brother being there too." Translation ...was simply that they didn't want my sort at their school and the one nearer my home was an ordinary secondary school with the same "type" of children as me...ie those with no bathroom and no bedroom of their own.

So there I was...transferred to yet another school and once again the new girl...I never really fitted in at this school as all the kids had been there for a year already and their friendships were established with many of them being continuations from primary school and so I danced around on the outskirts of every group having the crumbs of everyone else's "best friends " Maybe its only girls who know this but having a "best friend" was the only thing needed in adolescence..everything else goes by the wayside.I never had my own best friend but seemed to share other peoples who for a season would be mine before filtering off to better buddies.I don't keep in touch with any of my secondary school friends as the roots of life didn't go deep enough and I had some very embarrassing emails from Friends Reunited before I gave up as so many of them said the "didn't remember me at all" How sad is that then.!!!

Despite this chequered school life I did well and left school at 16 with 6 good academic O levels (sadly I was not given the choice to stay on for Highers...the Scottish equivalent of A levels ) and thus began a whole new chapter for me in the realm of relationships.Being at work is a whole different ball game from school and socially I was able to make my own circle of friends..more of which next time .I am eternally grateful that God is in the business of teaching us about relationships... He is the author and perfecter of relationships...He is the initiator of relationships in that He gave His precious son Jesus so that I might enter into a loving relationship with Him as Abba father....I had much to learn and He so graciously taught me ...but there was still a long journey to take ...I hope you will continue to walk this with me.

4 comments:

Ruthie said...

So much of what you've written resonates with me...not being in one place long enough to make meaningful relationships, being on the periphery of friendships, being bullied...not physically but with such hurtful words which left their mark...being 'excruciatingly shy' or 'very bolshie' - I went both ways...thank you for sharing painful parts of your past and helping me to face some of mine. Love you. x

Sandra in Bonnie Scotland said...

Still with you my friend...but surprised you were ever a bully - not! LOL. I know I've been accused of that - but in a different context (you'll understand) and at a later age than you, but you know what...it makes us all what we are today, and most importantly, all the better for our experiences! (Like you, I have also apologised in hindsight)....luv ya Sands x

sandra said...

Also still with you Irene...I love the way you write and the way you are making yourself so vulnerable puts me to shame.
I too remember the first friend I made at primary school and if she were still alive we too would still be friends.
Thanks for the memories you have stirred up love you lots xx

Caroline said...

Sweet girl, you know we really DO have history, I could just wish it was more involved. We've gone very separate ways throughout the years, not only physically, moving to different countries and all, but spiritually. I know how important 'it' all is to you, and I appreciate still having you 'around' despite our differing thoughts on the subject. At our time of life thought, it's important to remember the damage HORMONES can do! So hang in there, and spit it all out. Sending good vibes your way, in whatever form I can.
x
Caroline