About six months ago the anxiety surfaced after someone added me to a newly created Facebook group for the 1991 St. Malachy’s High School Graduating Class 20 Year Reunion. Fear ebbed through my body when it happened.
While high school was everything everybody always says it is, it’s not always what people see that is important but that of what people don’t know that comes to light and must be dealt with in an honest, empathetic and forgiving manner.
The first taste of physical violence I ever experienced as a female being targeted by a male was in grade three. A good female friend of mine, who is still a good friend of mine to this day, had a fight with me, well a fight as best as two nine year old girls can have at yelling and pulling each others hair on a front lawn. Kids fight. Good friends fight. BUT her older brother came out the front door. He was 13 years old and twice my size. He kicked me in the legs. He kicked me really hard and proceeded to harass and maim me all through elementary and middle school whenever he saw me walking on the sidewalk alone. He’d surround, throw rocks and worked very hard at intimidating me for years.
Violence from that day forward seemed to follow and engulf me. It wasn’t until I moved away from Saint John at age 19 that the violence that men cast on me ceased to exist which brings me to the 20 year reunion that I attended on Saturday night. Continue reading