The constant bullying and teasing was relentless. I would come home sometimes in tears because of it. I was so glad to get home where I could relax and recoup from the bullying.
It was nearing the middle of June; the warm weather was finally here. The green in the tree’s, and the grass made me happy. Mum and Dad had planted the flowers a few weeks before and the garden surrounding the house was full of purple, red, and orange flowers. Dad had opened the pool on the May long weekend, and I enjoyed being in the pool when ever I could. Floating suspended in the deep end under the water was peaceful. I could not float, as my body type was the kind with a lot of muscle so I didn’t float on my back.
One of the other places I loved being was at ballet class. I loved the smell of the leather in the ballet shoes, the feel of the costumes, and how the wood floor creaked in spots when we practiced the jumps. Mum and Dad put me into dance when I was three to help with body awareness, movement, flexibility, coordination and more. As suggested by the NICU doctors and specialists.
We had just finished up our recital for dance. Mum and I were out shopping for summer clothes. When I came out of the change room my Mum smiled at me and with love said to me “You don’t look like a dancer, you can’t dance next year.” She wanted the bullying and teasing to stop. “You’re going to be so busy with the swim team, and band that you will not have time to dance either. You’ll have to focus on your studies too even more than you are now. You’ll be in grade 9, high school!”
I shuffled my feet, and looked at the floor. What was I to think? A tear welled up in my eye. I loved my Mum then and I still love her today. I know looking back it now it was not said in spite, or being mean. She said it out of love and concern for me.
She was right though, high school was going to be hard, with all the subjects, the homework, being in the concert band, and the swim team. I wasn’t going to have as much time to dance.
Grade nine arrived before I knew it. I was meeting Karen to ride the bus to go to the high school for the first time as an actual student. It was the same high school I had my ballet recitals out of. So, I knew a bit of where things were. Like the gym and the stairs to get to the gym. But that was it!
Finding my home room which also turned into my first class as well. I wonder who I would see there. Will anyone from my grade 8 class be there? Will, I see the bullies at all? All these questions swirled around in my head. I was grateful for Karen, she actually showed me to where my home room class was.
I did have a couple of the girls from grade 8 in my homeroom class. It was typing, my business course I needed to take for graduating high school. Each high school student needed several different classes to complete their diploma. I took to it very easily. Typing was a great skill I didn’t realize I would need later in life.
I had the normal classes like math, English, science, French, music, history and gym as well. Not at the same time though. That was something new too. Only four classes between September and January. Then the other four courses between February and June.
The gym class was different, it was only girls. I was terrified of gym class. Even though I liked gym. I wasn’t the greatest at it, and I also had the fear of being physically assaulted again like I was in elementary school while in the locker room.
However, it was soon after grade 9 started that I saw a sign on a wall near the gym about being a part of the swim team. I had no idea how that would change my circle of friends.