Middle School

A frustrating consequence of being human is having feelings. Yesterday an assortment of them boiled up and bubbled over while talking to my best friend Angela, and I felt immensely grateful and lucky to have her by my side. Far too often people employ the "just get over it already" approach when it comes to unresolved feelings, no matter how old they might be. I am blessed to have someone who can hear my middle school miseries**, wrap her arm around my shoulder and nod in agreement that what I went through was indeed terrible. It doesn't make me stay in that place of despair and self-loathing; on the contrary, it helps me move beyond it. What is an almost-32-year-old doing processing through feelings that originated in middle school? Well, I suppose we all have to take some time, whenever it feels right, and pat our wounded junior-adolescent selves on the head and tell our younger selves that everything turns out okay. I only wish I had Angela when I was in middle school, and that she had me. What a formidable Leonine hurricane we would've been!

Was middle school tough for you, too?

** I talk about them in the manner that Bill Murray worked through his past in Scrooged; kind of matter of fact coupled with complete confusion as to why I let myself be so tortured.


  1. Middle school was horrid and painful physically, but especially emotionally. I was bullied and even beat up. Kids called me gay and queer and some boys called me a man.

    Girls were hateful and called me a freak and made me feel like I had no right to exist in the same space as them, especially during P.E.

    I just wanted to be invisible, but I stuck out like sore thumb. I kept my hair long and wore clothes that were as gender-generic as could be, but I still couldn't fit with the girls and wasn't enough to be one of the boys.

    Middle school was hell on Earth.

  2. Middle school is THE WORST. I technically failed 7th grade just because I was trying to spend as much time as possible out of school (thank god they didn't make me repeat it).

    If I were offered a million dollars to go back and be 13 again, I wouldn't do it and that isn't an exaggeration.

  3. Oh, and I forgot to mention - I found my old diaries from middle school a couple years ago and starting re-reading them and then ending up tearing them up and throwing them out. It was way too visceral, even 15 years removed.

  4. Yup, hell on earth. It seems like I channelled my pain and misery into my studies. I couldn't wait to leave - home, school, regional Australia...I escaped to Uni in Brisbane. LOL - now am back living in regional Australia!!!
    For me also, I didn't know I was lesbian back then, just knew that the opposite sex held absolutely no interest for me. Combo that with a fundamentalist Christian upbringing and I was already wierd in the eyes of my school peers...


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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.