A memory from school

On Friday I had to take something into school and as I was walking into reception, I could see my reflection in the glass door and staring back, I could see myself limping.

On the whole I do well at ignoring the fact that I have a limp, but then it just comes from nowhere, like a bolt out of the blue. For that split second, time stood still and I was that child struggling to walk in the school playground.

I came away feeling despondent that somehow I allowed myself to be weak. I was back there in school with all my thoughts of children staring, watching my every move, because they knew I walked with a limp and that made me different. It’s amazing that a certain situation reminds us of something that we dealt with in our past and for that split second we’re back in that same place, with the same feelings; the same thoughts and the same struggles as if we were that child again.

I also wonder at myself how I managed to work through all that I did and how I came through the other end relatively unscathed, given what I was dealing with. Whatever students struggle with now, their time in school has to be better than my time was back then. How times have changed. Teachers are more informed in school today and that makes a big difference to the child.

I don’t always feel so comfortable walking in and out of public places so walking into school was hard for me. I think this time it was easier for me, because students walking to and from the playground were preoccupied with each other, weren’t paying much attention to me. That helped.

It also helps for me to write about these things, get my thoughts out into the open. I feel better now.


30 Jan, 2011

8 thoughts on “A memory from school

  1. Glad you feel better. I have many bad memories from school that I just forget about because the kids were kids and they can be mean.

    With me it was either be afraid of her because she has diabetes or make fun of her because she has big breasts. I had one good friend in school that stood by me no matter what and she is still a friend today. I know how you feel.

    So many things can bring back those memories but we are stronger now and can handle the ignorance of others.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I do feel better. I’m glad you had someone you could rely on. From my own memory, I think I had someone today… but today is another day with another thought, for both of us.

  2. In my experience kids can be cruel and in my younger days at school I learned for the most part to ignore them.

    As I grew older I was curious how parents with little kids would react to me. I would hear the kids ask their parents why does he walk that way the parents would tell the kids to be quiet.

    I would always tell the kids if they asked me directly that I was born this way. Or I may tell the parents their kids were only curious.

    1. I think a lot of this went on when you and I were little.

      From what you say in your response Randy you sounded very together about what you were dealing with. Possibly the major influence from your mother and that’s good.

      I was aware of other children watching me, particularly those who didn’t know me, but I cannot remember all that happened in the playground.

      It’s amazing though, how certain situations bring back those memories.

  3. I’m so glad you feel better now! Even as an adult, I get stared at but it’s so much easier to ignore than as a child and adolescent.

    Even if I walk to a park with my children, people in general will stare. I get the impression they’re wondering why I’m taking kids to a park if I can hardly, but it leaves my head right away because I simply don’t care anymore.

    There’s parts of growing up that makes having a disability easier and then there are times not much. My earliest memory was first grade. There were two boys that asked me to run and promised they wouldn’t Laugh. Being 6 yrs old, of course I trusted them and ran.

    They burst out in laughter and started demonstrating how I looked at trying to run. I never tried to run again after that. I was fortunate enough to go to a real small school, so as time went by, my classmates became a little more protective over me when it came to bullying.

    1. Thanks Bonnie. Yes, children can be absolutely cruel, but personally I cannot truly remember whether children in school were cruel around my physical difficulties or not, but I do remember walking in town with three friends and like you I was being stared at.

      I love the fact that as you got older, you eventually found friends who became protective over you. That’s the way it should be; but as your case has shown, our lives in school don’t always start out like that.

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