At school, until recently, I usually liked to keep to myself and I hated to participate in class. Everyone thought I was weird – they still do – and it seems I wasn’t doing anything “normally“.
“Does not participate in class”
I can’t tell you how many times my teachers have told my parents that I’m “a good student, but that I don’t participate in class”.
Actually, every single report card in my entire life says precisely that: “Excellent student but does not participate in class.”
What’s really great is that because of the other kids who thought I was weird and teachers thinking it too, constantly reminding me that I was not normal, I’ve come to think that it’s true. After a while, I didn’t need anyone to belittle me anymore. I did it very well myself and kept reminding myself that I wasn’t normal, too. From that point on, the hard times began. Because from the moment you lose all self-confidence, nothing goes right anymore.
I’d like to take a stand every teacher who once said that “I didn’t participate in class”, without ever going any further.
Children naturally love to participate
When you put a child with his or her brothers and sisters, with his or her cousins, or with any other friends he or she feels comfortable with, he/she plays, he/she talks, he/she screams. Basically: he/she participates. Unless there’s something going on there. It doesn’t have to be tragic. It can even be positive. Maybe the child keeps to himself or herself because they are highly sensitive, or perhaps gifted. But the bottom line is that they feel like they don’t fit in for some reason, and that reason must always be determined.
So instead of just saying that I wasn’t participating in class, didn’t you want to ask yourself WHY I wasn’t?
You might have found out that I was uncomfortable, since everyone was making fun of me all the time! You might have found out that even some of the teachers scared me, and that I felt that no matter what I did, I would never be good enough. So yes, of course I kept to myself!
Going up to the board: a true nightmare
I was often there, quietly sitting and listening, when suddenly it would happen: “Zabeth! Come up to the board! »
In those moments, I just wanted to die. Whether I knew the answer or not didn’t matter. I was so stressed out about being in front of everyone. I was so afraid of being made fun of, or having garlic cloves thrown at me, that everything got mixed up in my head. My heart would start pounding.
Because I have tiny lungs, I would start hyperventilating. Then I would end up being sent back to my seat under the other kids’ mockery, feeling completely miserable. And after all that, you would have wanted me to raise my hand to answer questions?
I spent my time finding myself in situations either where I was told that I sucked or I felt like so because I kept losing my means in front of everyone.
This idea of being a loser stuck with me for a large part of my life and became a certainty that I’ve had a hard time getting rid of.
Luckily, I decided that things were going to change.
For now, I have to go. My mom didn’t have time to make dinner tonight, so she put some frozen blood in the microwave… if she lets it heat up for too long, we’re going to eat blood sausage again, and I hate that.