you’re in the 3rd grade and you start to notice your chest is expanding and hair is beginning to grow in places you’d never seen. You look around and notice that no one else is experiencing these things. It’s just you.
It’s 4th grade and you’ve got boobs. Not training-bra boobs; a full B cup. Still, you seem to be the only one wearing bras and just to top things off, “mom, why am I bleeding?!”
By the 5th grade, you’ve had your period for months when most girls your age don’t even know what a period is. You sit out from gym class because of the excruciating cramps, while the newly sex-educated boys make rumours that you’re pregnant ??? ( Ya, I’m not sure how that even became a thing.)
Now you’re in the 6th grade. Your chest has become the talk of the grade. The boys come up from behind to “cop a feel” while the others laugh, and the girls become jealous of the attention that you so badly do not want. You receive a death-threat in your locker before you even knew what hating someone was.
7th grade. You notice changes in your mood and behaviour. The thought of going to school suddenly sends you into emotional distress. Sunday nights have you crying yourself to sleep and Monday mornings have you on the kitchen floor at 8am in utter panic. The doctor tells you that you have depression and anxiety disorder. Here comes therapy and medication; like you didn’t already feel weird enough.
You’re in 8th grade now. The only people that know about your mental illness are your parents and your teacher. Your teacher understands why you’re distant, but your friends do not. Oh, and your boobs didn’t stop growing – now you’re a D! Well the boys are fascinated and the girls call you names. You lose your best friend from rumours and 8th grade bullshit. You’re alone, you’re insecure, and although you wouldn’t take to any extremes, you’re tired of living.
Now, it’s finally your grade 8 farewell. And even though the last 6 years of your life were difficult and lonely, you’re excited to celebrate with the people you’ve grown with. But instead of celebrating, you get rushed to the hospital (but that’s a whole other story about kidney stones and torn cartilage). It seems as if your finally goodbye represents exactly what the last 6 years of your life felt like.
Imagine… You’re 13 years old and this is what you truly believe you deserve; pain, sadness, and confusion.