What Childhood Incidents Stick With You?
There’s a lot that happens as we’re growing up. I think one of my favorite musicians, Ben Folds, put it best in his song “Still Fighting It” when he sings, “Everybody knows/it hurts to grow up”. Most of those things are long in the past, but we all have a few things that really stick with us.
I was talking to a friend over the weekend and was reminded of one of those incidents. He was talking about taking his family to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, a great family road trip for sure, and I remembered a traumatic incident from my childhood.
It was 5th grade (I’ll refrain from naming the district) and I had always gotten the feeling that my teacher didn’t like me very much. You know that feeling, like someone just has it out for you?
I’ll admit, I may not have been the best student as far as my studies were concerned, but I think I was a good kid (and I was later diagnosed with a learning disability, so school work wasn’t exactly one of the easiest things for me to do). And besides, aren’t teachers supposed to recognize when students are having trouble and spend some extra time with them, rather than making things even more difficult for them?
But anyway, I’m getting away from the actual story. So my class was going to be going on a big field trip. Not only were we going to go to the National Aquarium, but we were going to get a behind the scenes tour and get to feed some sharks. I got my permission slip signed and thought all was good to go.
And then it happened. My teacher told me that I wouldn’t be allowed on the trip because I had been late turning in a homework assignment. I was not given any options. I was not offered the chance to make it up, do extra credit, or even do chores around the classroom to make up for it.
I was told flat out that I would not be going on the trip.
My mother has never been a “helicopter parent” and has always expected me to take responsibility for situations that I got myself into as a student. But, that being said, she went to bat for me on this one. She called the school, spoke to the teacher and even spoke to the principal. She felt, fairly enough, that the punishment didn’t fit the “crime”, so to say, and that I was being denied a once in a lifetime educational experience. Not to mention being singled out from my peers (I was the only one who wasn’t welcome on the trip).
The teacher stuck to her guns, and the principal backed the teacher. I sat home while all my classmates went on the trip.
I can still picture vivid details of the whole thing well over 20 years later. I couldn’t even tell you most of my teachers’ names before high school, but I still remember my 5th grade tormentor clearly.
That being said, Mrs. Carter, I’d like you to know that I am a successful, well adjusted adult, who still holds just a little bit of a grudge.
So let’s have a little online therapy session. Tell us about your childhood traumas that have stuck with you vividly into adulthood. Feel free to vent in the comments section below!