05 April 2010

Courage after all these years

On Saturday, I faced one of my fears.

Maybe not a fear as such - it wasn't being in the same room as a mouse (never going to willingly do that!), or climbing a great height (done that a few times thanks to ChIPS camp) - but testing my courage.

I went to a school reunion/anniversary event.

The little primary school I went to celebrated more than a hundred years of operation.

I haven't been back to that school since I left in 1993, apart from the odd day when my parents went to vote.

As I said, I loved learning. I was good at school. I just didn't like going much. I remember saying to my parents that I wished I could spend more time in hospital because I enjoyed it more than school.

You may remember I mentioned some of my experiences about being bullied.

It was at this school I experienced some of the bullying.

Lots of name calling.

Some pinching and punching.

People avoiding sitting next to me for fear of catching something.


I was spat on once.

Teachers not believing me.

The isolation because of exclusion was the worst.

Mum reminded me that when I was nine, I wanted to commit suicide. No nine year old should know about the act of suicide, let alone want to commit it.

Even though this was happening up to 23 years ago, it made a huge impact on me, to the point I think about it today.

I went to the event with some trepidation. I wondered who I would see again. I feared no one would want to talk to me, or value me, just like back in year three.

When I got there, it wasn't so bad. I actually enjoyed it. I saw a heap of people I am friends with now. It was nice to catch up and hear what they've been doing since 1993.

We laughed a lot. Someone said the day meant constant smiling. That's true.

People were keen to hear about what I was up to. I think some of them were surprised at what I've accomplished. Back then, I felt that people didn't expect much of me. I have often received comments from strangers, saying they are 'surprised I work a full time job', and 'in the public eye'. Vomit.

I admitted to a few that I was reluctant to go to the event. They understood. We cheered in unison, knowing I'd faced a fear that day!

My parents came with me. They loved the day. Seeing people they haven't done in years. I think they also felt a bit of pride watching me tell people my achievements.

I had a good time too. The people I talked to have all moved past our school days. Admittedly, they weren't the ones who gave me a hard time. I am not sure whether I would have spoken to the ones who did do.

It's strange though.

After the event, I wanted to say I had a good time, but I was really just trying to breathe, knowing that I'd plucked up the courage to return to the place that caused me so much sadness.


  1. Good on you Carly for being strong, brave and proud.

    School reunions are good for curiousity value. It seems as if the many of the 'popular' people's lives peaked at around year 12.

    SSG xxx

  2. Well done!! It does take a lot of courage to face demons from our childhood - I think they are the strongest kind. xx

  3. yay u Carly! I think its wonderful that you went to your reunion and had a good time being v proud of who you are! Its sad to hear that you had to go through so much growing up and dealing with people's prejudices but on a bright note it has made you into who you are today :) I hope u had an enjoyable Easter break as well and didn't overindulge in too much chocolatey bunny goodness :p

  4. Good on you Carly! I think everyone has a fear of a reunion - I know I sure do!!

  5. Carly you are so inspiring. I'm so glad you went and it went well. I have never had a reunion and don't think I'd want to go anyway. Though I do often wonder what happened to people. I always say the best revenge is to live your life to the fullest. And you have certainly done that!

  6. Aw, I wish I'd known about the reunion, I would have made an effort to get up there! Never mind. When it comes to the bullying, if it's any consolation when you used to call me "flower" in primary school it used to drive me around the twist. Now I think back on it and smile because it was the nicest nickname that anyone ever gave me in my schooling years *chuckle*. I don't even know why it annoyed me!
    PS - I remember you being able to lick your nose. I think you're one of the two or three people I've met that can do it!

  7. First of all thank you for coming over to my blog and for your lovely comments :) Secondly can I just say how proud I am of you for facing your fear! It definitely takes a lot of strength and courage to do that, and I'm never one for revenge, but the best kind is showing those people you've lived a full life and you're not brought down by what they did to you. Good for you :)

  8. carly, you're honest and earnest and i really enjoyed this post.
    what you said reminded me of a quote from Eve Ensler; something along those lines of "when you push away and out of sight the things that frighten you, they end up consuming you. when you walk toward them and try to resolve them, that's when you can find peace."

    we all have to do that in small and large ways, and i had happy goosebumps as i read your bit. congrats :)


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