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I Overcame: A Story of Refuting Pain

Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 1
Inverted Existence
In ninth grade, grudges were something I held sparsely, but heavily.
Come sophomore year, the ones I held became debilitating.
Let me introduce myself. The name's Taylor, and I have ideas that could've changed the world. Not that I would be inventing the fuel-efficient hovercar or anything, but I saw a need even greater than that. All it took was a glance around me to figure out the world's biggest problems. Air pollution and heart disease are things our society can deal with.
I am speaking of the mutual respect that is slowly creeping into its grave. When I was in sixth grade, I noticed the world around me to a degree that my sheltered eyes could not perceive. And suddenly, I wanted that veil to cover my eyes again, to crawl back into the safety of my mother's arms.
Coming to school each day was the equivalent of chopping off my own hand; it was a black market of insults and come-backs. So I set out to fix the problem.
The idea was this: an organization dedicated to seeking out those children who had been thrown under the bus by their peers. Those whose self-esteem was so low, they'd find themselves with a gun barrel at their heads the next day, or tying a noose out from their own bedspread. The aim was to befriend them and help them feel better about themselves.
I found a group of kids who agreed with my observations about our school. We knew that if they just had a friend, maybe they'd last a few more years.
We did plenty of good. I recall someone who was, even after nine years, still struggling with sexual abuse from her dad. In eighth grade, one young man told me about his former desire to commit suicide, but one of the people in this group helped him, even though this individual had no knowledge of the situation.
As we worked over the course of three years, we tried to keep these ideas somewhat secret. We didn't want anyone feeling like we were judging others.
But, as happens to all secrets, this one was uncovered in March of my eighth grade year. One young woman in our group was sick of our ideas, and decided to spread the word. It hurt a lot of people outside of our group, but it especially hurt me.
In the months that followed, I transferred schools, and wallowed in my rage. My pain was such that I rejected all attempts at befriending those wallflowers. I was bitter, hurt, and defensive.
It took a year for those feelings to die down enough for me to think logically. I started recognizing all my mistakes before and after the betrayal. Before, I was just a manager, not really participating in the work I had designed. And after? I had become the sort of person I was working to repel: full of insults and hatred, just ready to pour like scalding water on some poor person.
I worked to rebuild these relationships with people. I made amends with those around me. I became a somewhat popular person among the downtrodden. My life was almost as it was at my former school, with my entire thoughts focused on the guy sitting alone in the lunchroom.
Then I began to think about my actions prior to the fall of my idealistic organization. I was, as I said, a manager. A failure of a leader, but a manager all the same. But there came a point when I was so focused on the work that I had forgotten the intent. This turned me into a juggernautish monster in our team, disregarding the others' wants and needs.
I recognized how painful it must have been for that one young lady who indirectly ruined me. I was not the person I should have been.
So, after two years of not talking to one another, I finally visited the school, and we had a long talk. She told me about what she felt, and why she felt it. I listened, vision blurred with tears. Tears of guilt. Tears of a child removing a splinter buried deep.
This year, I overcame my guilt, anger, and disappointment. This year, I brought everything full circle, with an extra touch of happiness.
This year, I refuted my pain.
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