I was given many labels when I was growing up.
A friend’s father once told me that he always remembered my name because I’m shaped like an ‘S’… he was referring to my butt sticking out.
My brother, followed closely by the rest of my family, often called me “Thunder Thighs”. The funny thing is that when I look back at photos my thighs were not that big…. however the paranoia about my thighs remains.
But the one that really REALLY HURT, the one that has stuck with me ever since, happened one day in high school.
I went to an all girls Catholic high school (thanks Mum!).
It happened in a Phys Ed / Personal Development class.
We all sat in a circle on the floor in the gym.
We were asked to get out a piece of paper and write our names at the top.
Now pass the paper to the person on your left.
Write one word that describes the person whose name is on the top of that piece of paper you now have.
OK….this could get ugly.
Repeat the process until you get back your piece of paper.
What does it say?
Mine read something like this…
…you get the picture.
I tried so hard to fight back the tears. I wanted to shout…out LOUD! These people don’t even know me! I don’t understand. I wrote nice things about everyone else… even those girls I didn’t like.
Being quiet is not a great quality to have… OK it can be but it’s not everything that I am!
This day had a huge impact on my life. I withdrew into my shell even more. Self fulfilling prophesy. And I pretty much stayed there until I left school.
…but that’s another story!
This post is in response to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompt 1.) In what way were you labeled as a child and how did it affect you?