To start off, I am a 17 yr old HS junior.
The more involved with school I am, the more depressed I am for weeks on end at times. The more dissociated with school I am, the happier I am. When I am with my grandparents, I am often happiest, since their whole lifestyle, conversations, etc don't even mention the place. They ask how I AM DOING, not "How's school?"
When I am at home, it is hard to escape. I've got homework to do (private schools still give it). 8 hours a day is apparently not enough time to work, so basically busywork needs to be inflicted on me. Also my mother is a teacher. God bless her, it puts food on the table, but it doesn't help to distance me with school.
When I am at school, it is more or less torture. I've learned from going to a prestigious Long Island catholic high school (google it...if the na,me begins with a "Ch" you've struck gold) that a jackass in a suit is still a jackass, even though he pays $6,000 in tuition. (Our uniform is a suit... tie, and blazer etc)
For some reason, I seem to be a magnet of thugs, whether I try and be quiet, smart (overtly), funny, cynical, political etc (or a mix). All seem to attract a litany of morons. It's been this way despite having been in 3 different schools. There is always a person who comes from my former school who will end up contaminating the waters with old baggage. I am actually considering college in Ireland to guarantee that this BS won't happen.
I don't consider myself to have any friends. If you consider a friend that guy you can talk to and make jokes with a friend, then I suppose I have a few. I don't have a REAL friend that would stand by me even in my numerous daily defeats. I certainly do not have a girlfriend. I go to an all boys school. We do have dances where any H.S. girl is allowed, but I would rather not socialize in front of people who have no respect for me as a human being and actually pelted me with a sneaker (in addition to the numerous insults). Also, I cannot believe that a girl would be interested in one of the junior division's whipping boys who gets pinched/touched by the thugs. I don't see why I need to make some poor girl a target herself. I would however treat her better than a pair of breasts with an orofice or two that says "Insert penis here" (which is what many guys think a girl is).
Elementary school (public, local) was a nightmare of beatings and being the pariah of a small town. While others can expound for hours on childhood stories (like my grandma), I can only recall a few short scenes, though vivid. My mother and grandma can recall many specific incidences that happened during gradeschool. I seem to have blocked out my childhood.
Middle school (private) wasn't much better, except their damn sex drives went into gear and they subsequently found new ways to be jackasses.
When I began high school, I consciously tried to be as approachable as possible. I was reserved (read: quiet), but cordial when approached. For some reason (probably people from middle school), I was that gay doormat again. And so it begins again.
Of late, I stopped giving a damn and let my political and social insights (mostly condemation) loose describing how my generation is conditioned to act as they are by the movies, music, and tv they are bombarded with day after day for their whole lives.
The depression I get is not a regular crying thing (although it does happen on rare occasion, usuallyt at the start of a long vacation). It is a feeling devoid. If I didn't have my family and a rudimentary relationship with God (something positive from school), I'd probably be on some anti-depressant or something worse.
The worst feeling is the sense of impotency. I can do nothing. The sneers, jeers, and the occasional sneaker thrown at me garner no notice from a teacher. However, if I fought back, all of a sudden someone takes notice, and guess whose fault it is? Cho Seung-Hui's actions were deplorable, but given the torment he got in high school, the most I will say is that you reap what you sow.
The only person I can tell is my mother. As an adult in the future, if my sister (who is a sophomore) brought it up because her future kid was having a hard time, there is a chance I would probably refuse to discuss it, or do so directly with the kid. My father would say to fight 'em, but my mother protests. Soon, I feel like my restraint will burst. During the school day, the prospect is knocking out a row of teeth is so appealing the vengeances tastes delicious. The other option is my maternal grandfather. Like my father, I am terrified to ask him because I'd fear his response. I love him above my own father, but I am in fear of his chastisement of my character. I really should just bite the bullet and ask him. He does kick in $1000 of tuition each year. I'd settle just for a hug or two from him. As far as school authority figures, I've lost all faith in them. Individual teachers (particularly the priests and brothers) are above and beyond the others, but by themselves, they are limited.
What I do do is the old favorite of pursuing something you were interested in, but never got around to. Thanks to bagpipes, I look forward to Monday lessons. I can play Garryowen, the Minstrel Boy, the Inniskilling dragoon, and dawning of the day on the pipes. I've also purchased a Siberian Husky (I'll have him on saturday the 21st of april). I have a lot of love to give. It is all rejected on the social frontier, so perhaps a young puppy will benefit. I will post a picture soon. His coming has been a blazing fire in a hearth that hitherto had a few smouldering embers. If something happened to him now, I'd probably go off the deep end.
I can't identify with my generation. I don't like their pop culture, their attitudes toward life, God, friends, family, and lovers, their collective identity of a generation. I prefer the company of WWII vets to 17 yr olds. I love the songs my great-grandparents sang along to 80 years ago. I collect gold and silver coins. There is a tremendous sense of not-belonging to this era. At family gatherings, when my grandfather speaks people listen. When I speak, a few heads might turn. I crave respect. Maybe it's true I am an old soul.
I know some of you have it worse, and God help you.
To start off, I am a 17 yr old HS junior.
damn i hope ur shit gets better.
my life pretty bad 2, but mainly cuz of parents. i only got like 2 friends, TRUE FRIENDS, but damn man i feel yuh.
I've actually lost my faith in people. Oh sure, it's great when they send a can of food for hurricane Katrine, but what of their day to day interactions? I can love a dog far easier than I can love a person. As an animal lover, if a dog and a person were hanging off the proverbial cliff, I'd probably take the dog.
Amelorn, you sound like a remarkable young man. Maybe you need to hear that more often. I think you would be a hoot to get to know and hang out with. I know, it may not mean much coming from a 34 year old man. But then again, we 34 year old men are more insightful than your idiotic peers, no?
Based on what you wrote, it think you are correct in stating that what you are feeling is just situational. But I'm wondering if your problem is even depression. I dunno. Guess I'd have to know more. If it is situational depression, you are doing two of the most important things you could do to come out of it: pursuing something you enjoy, and looking for interactions with others. The fact that you are doing these so naturally may indicate that depression is not the problem.
So that leaves the question, what is the problem? It sounds like maybe it's a combination of a couple of things. First of all, you're unique. You stand out from the crowd because you have interests and beliefs and such that are WAY different from your peers. That will definitely cause a disconnect...unless you can find peers with similar interests or who share your philosophies and beliefs. The second thing it sounds like is just plain bullying. Because of who you are, and the fact that you are different, you are being bullied. I hate bullying, more than just about anything. But I suggest maybe you approach it from that level. I've worked as a Counselor in a Catholic School, and I believe bullying is worse in those settings because the kids seem to be more homogonized or similar. In a public school, especially large ones, you would find a more diversified population of students and more potential to find kids you can connect with.
Are there other ways for you to connect with like-minded kids? Local clubs, youth groups, whatever?
The last thing you want to do is to lower yourself to the lowest common denominator to fit it. And, fortunately, it sounds like you're not about to do that. Another good thing is that, judging by your posted age, this high school thing will be over soon. This should be a whole lot different for you in college. For one thing, you can choose a college that best suits you.
And kudos to you for understanding how incredible your grandparents are. Too many kids these days miss out on that. Bunch of arrogant pricks thinking they own the world and older people are just disposable bags of bones that have nothing to offer. I'm glad you know better and can see your grandfather and those of his generation for the precious resources of wisdom and support they are.
Good luck and keep posting.
Screw the whales, save the subjunctive!
I agree....most American youth are a waste of flesh and fat. You are right in wondering if its depression. It is weird, yet completely understandable how the depression vaporizes when I am totally disconnected from school. I wonder how many other people get F'ed up by school? I can get my 95, but what good does it do me if I have no feeling of meaning or hope?
This little fellow is tiresome, but a joy. I am focused enough on him that even my hunger has to wait. That miserable essay or homework
Hi Amelorn, that's a lovely dog.
My time at school had some similarities to yours, though my escape was into books and academic pursuits. But I am concerned that there may be another similarity.
When all these people are treating you so badly, the question naturally arises as to why you? Now it may be that you are merely convenient, and have become the traditional victim. That certainly happens. However, I suspect that the distance you feel between yourself and your school peers is contributing, because that distance that you feel, they will also feel.
The distance in itself is something they may react against, but it's also possible that with the distance comes feelings of superiority. You talk of "a jackass", "morons". Such feelings are natural, but they also get communicated back - their subjects detect that you feel yourself superior to them, and react against it. That is what happened with me.
It took me a long time to realise that in fact I was not superior to my persecutors. It's a counter-intuitive idea. But so is the idea of loving your enemies, and it's hard to put in practice, but sometimes it works. I can't give you a straightforward algorithm for turning an enemy into a friend, because it depends on the person, but I can tell you that it can be done - not with every enemy, but with many. One thing that can help is to try to see what they have to teach you. You don't know much about your generation's culture - I think this is a bad thing. Everyone needs some knowledge of contemporary culture. Try to learn!
Generally I kept the jackass/moron talk for when I am not in school.
Generally, I don't bother with people. That's the weird thing. If I was an outright condescending piece of crap, then it would be understandable. There was a kid like that a year younger than me in my middle school who was hated for it.
I neither avoided nor approached people, I went about my own business.
I am so thankful if I can find a quiet half-hour to read.
Maybe a good exercise for the OP is to find a way to connect, on even a tiny level, with someone at school.
I had a good friend tell me a few years ago that I gave off the air of aloofness, maybe even arrogance. That was definitely not what I was intending or feeling. And he knew that. But in my own fear of being disliked, my shyness if you like, I was coming across that way. I learned the value of taking a tiny step toward someone else, even if it was scary and uncomfortable. I began to discover that people really liked me and I wasn't as disgusting a person as I thought I was.
Shoot, you might find out people think your fun and good looking and wanna be around you.
And, once again, if you're battling depression or anything like that, the mere act of stepping out toward something can change everything.
Screw the whales, save the subjunctive!
Update: THings are really getting worse. I am losing my ability to function, I am about as trusting as the most cynical, defeated 80 yr old on this planet, and I am hating what I am becoming.
I am ready to gouge the eyes out of the next person who has their little fun at my expense. I am seesawing between hating my mother and desperately hoping she'll try and talk to me.
At school, I am actually yearning to run away to my grandparent's house, which is about a 30-40 minute walk. As I rationalize it, what sane person goes to a place where they are kicked down and made to feel subhuman when there is 2 miles away 2 people that you'd die for out of love and that love you just same. My grandparents could hack my legs off with a blunt axe and I'd still love them.
At school, one of the more hateful things done is that some teachers will laugh and encourage the people who'll tear me down. It's easy when you don't have to be there for the breakdown at 10:30 pm at night.
The wmost hateful of all the aspects is to what I must become. I have to plaster some idiotic smile on my face, make a few asinine jokes, and pretend that I care about the newest version of AIM or their myspace page. It's by no means ideal, but it causes this BS to be less than if I were myself (quiet, speculative, private). I'd really rather prefer that my teachers and students pretend I don't exist. While it is naturally not conducive to friendship, it is better than this wonderful form of attention I receive.
Then I see wonderful little tidbits like this:Quote:Mona O’Moore, Ph.D, asserts that "There is a growing body of research which indicates that individuals, whether child or adult who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior are at risk of stress related illness which can sometimes lead to suicide."
My Christian Humanism class (read: Morals, Ethics, and Psychology) is probably the most depressing, since I see everything that is wrong with me. On a johari window, I have a large hidden area (info I lie about or do not discuss/disclose), I probably have too much self-hate (which explains my selfishness), I never made a switch from mother-centered attachment (dependent) to father-centered attachment (more masculine, independent). There are also so many other characteristics (like imagining yourself conquering the bullies) that can match up to me which are highly undesireable.
I just can't wait for Love, Sex, and Marriage next year... While I am physically all there (height, genitals etc), I just don't have the feelings. My own problems, along with other concerns of mine, really don't allow an interest in those more...interesting aspects of life. In simple language, I'm sexually dead. While I don't necessarily envy others my age with their girlfriends and sexual experimentation, you can't help but feel left behind. I am not vain enough to put this among my top 25 concerns, but it does come across my mind every now and again.
I find myself more easily overwhelmed by work, and engulfed in a meaningless sea of work, people at school, and the lack of concern at at home. Even my grandmother will ask, "I know things have been hard at school." It stops there. It is mildly comforting to know that she knows, but for God's sake, help me. I cannot help myself. After a series of blows from my teachers, I cannot trust any of them. Seeking out school officials (the marianist priests + brothers) is futile. I have dealt with them before, and they protect their own teachers at the students' expense. I would go to blows (fists), but my mother forbids me from doing so, lest I get in trouble.
I am faced with a few options:
A) Suffer for the rest of this year and senior year. The school's diploma is worthless to me. Before I had this falling out of sorts with my mother, I would have given it to her, bidding her never to let me see it again.
B) Leave the school. It would mean 3 years of work wasted. Apparently though, Chaminade's name on a diploma is worth something to an employer.
C) Ignore my mother and beat the first person who breathes in my direction the wrong way. This option is becoming more attractive.
D) Beg my grandfather for help.
E) Walk out of school at some point during the school day, after some incident happens (Gym tomorrow would lend itself to this). Then go to my grandfather and beg for aid, notwithstanding the request of living with him.
A combo of C, D, and E are looking so voluptuous at the moment, I can almost taste its sweetness. I can't live with my mother and father, who've mortgaged my character, my innocence, my soul, my happiness for a diploma. Every check of tuition they send is a knife, in the style of MacBeth to my heart. When my mother wakes me up in the morning, she hugs and kisses me, knowing full well what will happen. She does it (I think) in hope I will get dressed. My dog gives me kisses because he thinks I am his older brother. I have nothing to give him but a hug in return. My mother kisses me so she can get something out of me...a relinquishing of my own self for a few minutes convenience in the morning. Love requires sacrifice, but not where you are made a worse person. I have descended into a hateful and petty person. I cannot and must not absolve that.
Amelorn, can you get an appointment with a professional counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist? If your parents won't countenance it, perhaps your grandparents will help. It's clear that you are near the end of your tether, and the school and its teachers will take more seriously what a professional says, especially if teachers have been ignoring or supporting abuse - there's potential for expensive lawsuits there.