High School Nightmares
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Sisters of the Heart, Best Friends since Grade 9, and sister-in-laws;
Kathe and Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
plan on attending their 40th High School Reunion.
They say, write what you know, speak from the heart...and you will touch the hearts of others. The following true story contains healing information and a new outlook that speaks with a universal chord. May you discover the miracle you have sought for decades between its words.
Below is a compilation of interviews from students who graduated in my 1969 high school class. We lived in a wealthy area, with hardly a home under 4,000 square feet on a mountain with views fit for postcards. What was going on in those homes haunts some of the grads today.
May the following newsletter invoke a healing in your heart and a greater understanding of your fellow man/woman.
Blessings to you and your loved ones,
Mary Ellen ^I^
High School Nightmares & Healing Reunions
By Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Newspaper Columnist, Photojournalist, Best Selling Author
Do you recall wandering down the long endless hallways of your high school and seeing some 'old' graduates? They were visiting your school, discussing the many changes to it since they left the gray-lined-locker corridors and ventured out into the world.
In your youth, you looked at these visitors, wondering, "How on earth, did they get so old?" Here they were...since leaving high school...with already 10 years behind them. You knew it would be an eternity before that was you...but faster than you can click your blue Birkenstock sandals together, here you are.
There is nothing as frightening as letting your body go since your high school graduation, and then receiving a 40th reunion invitation.
You wonder what the motives are for people...who did not like each other in school, who spent no time together, who have not stayed in contact for forty years to all of a sudden want to spring back together.
I recently heard of such a reunion phone call instilling fear into the hearts of many! One grad ran to her doctor and paid $15,000 for a complete surgical make-over to impress people she might never see again, or worse...like.
The odds of all of a sudden liking or loving the ones who teased you in high school, making five days a week a living hell, are not high. The odds of recognizing teens you played sports with is also a long shot as they are now grandparents!
People only appear to visibly change on the outside; crows feet, weight loss or gain, less hair, white hair or dyed hair. But on the inside, the kind people led a life of kindness and it shows in the soft lines of their face. The comedians eyes still sparkle. The bullies led a life of terrorizing their spouses, children and employees, and their aggression is deeply carved on their face like granite.
A plastic surgeon would have his work cut out for him to remove facial lines of meanness and brutality. And if the doctor can, the bad attitude still stains the inner workings of the patient.
A call to Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers might help you get ahead of the game. But, don't become angry when you notice fellow grads 'cheated' by paying for plastic surgery.
When I was in grade 12, my Grandmother shared some of her wisdom. She was my age now, 'old', when she said, "What is in your heart at 16, is on your face at 60." And she was so right. Look at the faces of the people around you. Their personalities speak before they open their mouths.
Also, there is not enough fast-acting wrinkle cream to remove the lines inflicted from raising 7 children and going through two bad marriages.
So, when the phone call for your reunion arrives, who is going? Are you going to go as you? Or like on Halloween, dress as someone else to seek a perceived acceptance? Or are you going to get liposuction, a face lift, laser eye surgery, have your ear lobes lifted, start a starvation diet, inject yourself with Botox or microwave yourself in a tanning booth?
Don't let your body go for 40 years and then expect a miracle for the reunion!
Would the phone call motivate you to buy a treadmill and walk a mile in new shoes, or hit the gym and lift weights? Are you prepared to go to the reunion in traction or crutches from sports-related injuries incurred while trying to stretch an old body into new, tight neon spandex clothing?
What would make you buff up or trim down, and to what extent, for total strangers? People you may have walked by on the street, a week earlier, not even recognizing to smile and say 'Hello.'
At the reunion, and after, they still might not give you the time of day. Do not change yourself for others. You are beautiful. Every line on your face was put there by life experiences. They show wisdom and yes, beauty.
When Kathe was a teen, she cut out a Dear Abby column, encased it in plastic, and lived by the words, "Wrinkles are inevitable, make yours happy ones."
If you are young and reading this...don't let your special friends fade from your life over the years, without them knowing how much you love them, and how much fun you had with them in school. A reunion can be a time for healing, so you can close the book on the past and see each other as adults with like interests...or still...nothing in common.
You will realize, that the teens you were forced to co-exist with in daily classes, even if they were your neighbors today, you would have no desire to interact or socialize with them. Their morals, humor, hobbies, habits, and attitudes did not resonate with you then, and probably won't today. But as an adult you can see this and move away from any hurt and pain they inflicted on you years earlier.
Know that those in high school, who lived in the 'cliques', were not intentionally cutting you out. They may still be the same insecure people today, who need like-minded friends to buffer themselves against what life is throwing at them. They measured their self esteem by who they associated with, and judged you against their personally invented teen 'standard.'
Many students accused of being in cliques are children of parents who worked together, or attended sports clubs together, or are relatives or neighbors who attended grade school together. They have years of memories; a history, shared laughter, sports, family gatherings. They have no idea how isolated you are...or how devastating it feels.
People group together for many reasons. They may have judged you, your clothes, or your intelligence by a 'normal' setting that only existed in their minds. They tried forcing creative people into boxes...when the boxes were not even invented yet! Or on their misconceptions of your home life, they inaccurately judged you. The more open you are as a teen to meeting new friends, the more open you remain to meeting new people as you age.
It is reported that 1 in 4 children are victims of abuse. Please consider the hell some of your fellow students may have been trying to survive in their homes. School was their refuge. Some of your graduates were raised in beautiful and expensive homes, with breathtaking views. They had all that life had to offer, but insanity permeated the walls of the facade of their homes, vacation houses and yachts.
Bi-polar siblings and alcoholic parents made their home life a living hell. It was the era of The Valley of the Dolls, and tranquilizers. Their mothers were intelligent women who became bored married to their homes and trying to cope with their workaholic husbands. Unfulfilled... vacuuming housewives, who today would be doctors and lawyers. But back then, they took pills to calm their minds to their caged existence. Or your fellow grads' parents were constantly screaming at anything that moved. Their nerves shattered as they were in the throes of an extra-marital affair, ugly divorce or drinking binges.
Or possibly, their 'rich' parents threw money at them to get lost. These students lived invisible, in isolation, overwhelmed with loneliness and desperation. Others lived in expensive homes, and yet there was no money for food in the cupboards.
During the '60's there was a code of silence and 'secrets' in homes; no one talked about what went on inside their homes. Some of these students were hiding huge ugly dinosaurs in their closets...and some were blowing fire! These students were struggling with their own emotional survival.
Be kinder than necessary; everyone you meet is dealing with battles about which you know nothing.
- Plato -
If you chose to go to the reunion, realize that the slights, hurts and barbs of your youth were shot out by teens from home's that were dissolving from family dysfunctions. The tensions in their home may have been as high as the nearest mountain. And they were just screaming and hitting out their hurts and frustrations.
Today, there is no way that you would walk up to a 16-year-old, take their advice as gospel, and live the next 40 years of your life with their 'wisdom'. Forgive them, they knew not what they were doing. And the reunion may give you the fertile soil to do just this.
See your high school as a training ground for life. What you learned from your fellow grads has served you well. Over your life span, you have treated others with a greater understanding for the way you were treated. And as a teen, their behavior taught you how to survive in a world where everyone does not think you are the best thing since sliced bread.
The lessons you learned from your fellow grads may have lasted longer than your memory of the French verbs or Spanish nouns your teachers had you studying.
Dressing perfectly does not disguise the meanness hidden in people. Look for the grads that spent the last 40 years dressing up their personality, their minds, and their hearts with meaningful things. They were the quiet ones in high school, the ones that fell between the cracks. You may have missed seeing them. The reunion offers you a chance of finding them.
Sure, have your teeth whitened, buy a new fresh outfit, put your best face forward, but realize that it is who you are deep down that counts, that never changed.
People love to talk about themselves. Walk into the reunion determined to learn all you can about the other grads. They all want to prove themselves. They are all worried about how they look, or how successful they were over the last decades, and if they will be seen, accepted and finally recognized. Your reunion will be an eye-opener, and the more questions you ask about them...the more they will think you are fabulous!
Maybe you will re-meet your next best friend at the reunion. If you don't, quietly close the book on the past and when you go home, hug all your wonderful friends and family. For in the end, you are the most successful one of all!
Greater than 20% of Mary Ellen's and Kathe's graduation class became teachers and university professors. Possibly to stop the flood of bullying and re-educate the world to kindness.
"Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead -
The Happiness Bug
by Mary Ellen & her Angels
Tired of holding in your childhood anger? Is it stealing the joy from your todays and making it difficult for your loved ones to live with you...or love you...as you explode in rage?
Are you spreading your anger like an emotional poison to your children? Most likely creating in them, the same unrest that lies in your soul?
Or are you tired of feeling sad or depressed and looking for a way to climb out of the well that you fell into?
Here is a new and fun way to swallow a smile and begin your day with laughter in your heart.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath and let out all your invisible-held tensions. Now smile. Bend the sides of your mouth upwards and hold the smile.
Visualize this smile turning inward and lighting up your eyes, floating up to your brain and washing it with joy...then moving down to your nose, and slipping down your throat. All the time...the smile is bringing a new sense, a new energy of joy to your face. It is like you are catching the "Happiness Bug."
Let the smile melt into your heart, shine its light into your stomach, relax your lungs, so you can take an even bigger breath. Let the smile you swallowed move and refresh every limb, muscle and organ of your body. Let it infuse into your blood cells. Sit a moment and enjoy this experience. You will open your eyes and truly feel like a new person.
Enjoy your smile all day long! And so will others enjoy being around you more!
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You may only be one person to the world,
but you may also be the world to one person.
~ Anonymous ~
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