Nov 7, 2010 [Day 007] “Purple Part IV” – Seattle Picture

Nov 7, 2010 [Day 007] “Purple Part IV”

Purple Part IV

My parents honored the conditions and called the high school to let them know I would not be attending there in the fall and to this day have not asked what I did in those two months and I have never shared that with anyone, and no I didn’t kill anyone (I thought I better say something before someone made the wrong assumptions).

In the fall I enrolled in a high school program put on at the local community college. It was nice to be around new people, people who didn’t have a clue who I was and being in that type of environment people were much more mature. I really enjoyed the year and did so much better with grades than I had in years. I finished spring term and was ahead of everyone else. I was happy, happier than I had been in years.

How long could this happiness last? Not as long as I had wanted. The high school program wasn’t covered by any programs and was being paid out of my parent’s pocket. I got the news late summer that my parents could no longer afford the program and that I wouldn’t be able to return in the fall. Dropping out of high school was not an option in their eyes. That left me with one option… going back to the place I hated.

Fall came quickly that year and before I knew it, it was the start of senior year… That is a lie, I actually did know damn well what day it was and how many days there were from the time I heard I couldn’t return to the college and how many days there were until graduation.

I was surprised my first day a lot of people didn’t even know who I was… I did luck out when they made my schedule I had so many “college credits” (at the community college I was allowed to take both high school and college courses) I didn’t have any required classes I needed to take so I took really laid back classes and a lot of lower classman classes like Earth Science… that kept me clear of most of the people who bullied me and I didn’t mind as much being there but there were times when I saw the guys in the hall who bullied me and they still were shoving me into lockers, pushing me from behind, knocking books out of my hands, spitting on me, calling me foggot and queer as often as they could… At some point, I just kept it all inside, locked in a box hidden deep inside and that got me through the days, weeks and year.…

The school year was going by at a fast pace and soon I would be turning 18. January was an interesting month, I was turning 18 and we were going to war. I remember people saying I was going to be drafted if the war lasted a long time (I wasn’t worried, I had a secret, not to say I wouldn’t fight for my country… but I did have an out if needed)… School was actually fun for a change… I could write myself notes for being late or missing a day which was a blast… I was a teacher assistant for 3 morning classes and all I did was grade papers… a breeze… and again, there weren’t lack of incidents with bullies so there is that and the occasional James is going to stand up to a teacher… Oh that’s a whole other story and it’s entertaining… well at least I think it is. I will have to share that sometime down the road…

The two biggest blows would come in May during the last 2 months of school…

It was prom time and I knew I wanted to ask my friend Shannon to go with me, which was not an issue at all and we went as friends… The issue was with her best friend who was dating Glenn… Glenn from freshmen year… Glenn who I had fooled around with… Glenn who I hated for what he did to me… They were going to the prom together and wanted to double with us… I can’t describe what I felt when Shannon asked me if that would be okay. She knew what Glenn had said about me, that Glenn had bullied me… I decided in the interest of Shannon having a good time I would honor her request.

Prom night came and I figured I would try my best to be nice. I drove all of us to dinner (which was awkward to say the least, I hadn’t spoken to Glenn in 2 years) but we managed to get through the night. We made it to the hotel where the dance was at and hung out for a couple of hours…. We all headed back to Shannon’s after the dance to watch movies. I was doing okay; I was making it through this… I excused myself to use the bathroom… When I came out Glenn was standing in front of the door, he kissed me and said I still think about you, lets hang out like we use to. I was in shock. I don’t even recall what I said other than I told Shannon I had to go home… I was so confused and hurt.

I decided to put that out of my mind and in a few weeks I wouldn’t probably ever see him again anyway…

The second week of May I was called into the Senior counselors office. I figured it had something to do with the graduation gown I had ordered… I was close in my assumption but didn’t hit the target…

I was told that my college/high school credits were not all going to all be transferred and that I wouldn’t be graduating. I think my jaw dropped and I asked how this could happen and why are they telling me this now? When I had come back for my senior year I was told by the counselor and Vice Principle that I had more than enough credits to graduate but now I was being told this wasn’t the case. My parents were called in the next day and we had a meeting where they explained to them that I wouldn’t be able to graduate as I was 5 credits short, although I had 25+ credits past what I needed. I remember my Mom asking if I could at least walk through the graduation but they said that couldn’t be done. I was heartbroken, I figured I put up with all the bullshit, I survived and I felt I was actually getting ahead in life but this seemed to crush all of those feelings. I did end up going to Graduation but as a spectator only and was not allowed to attend the senior after graduation party. I think one of the hardest parts of not being able to graduate was actually watching it from the stands. I still have my gown and hat, never worn.

I fell into a deeper depression over the summer and tried to focus on getting a job and moving out of my parent’s house, which I accomplished in a few short months.

I am not proud to say this but I never finished high school and never got my high school diploma. I do regret that to this day but I can’t undo anything that happened and all I can do is move forward and share my experiences and maybe someone who is experiencing bullying or was bullied in the past can be helped by reading my story.

Those school years of being bullied taught me a lot of life lessons, not all good ones but lessons never-the-less.

I have to say I still struggle a lot with self image, self worth and where I fit into this world. These are normal struggles for a lot of people and I hope you the reader didn’t leave these posts with the feeling that I am trying to say I am the only one who was bullied or that there aren’t other kids that aren’t gay that get bullied. I just wanted to share my experience and honor those youths that don’t feel like they can go on.

It does get better and no it’s not always easy and life can kick your ass pretty damn hard but you owe it to yourself to fight back and to make the best out of your life that you can. If you need help or advice then find someone who will listen. I didn’t have the internet when I was in high school and I think that would have helped me so much to read other stories and be able to get support.

Thank you for reading this story and I hope that you take something away with you, and you can decide what that might be, but if you know of a youth whom you suspect is struggling… take the time to check in with them and even if they brush you off, it might do a world of good and you never know, after they digest their feelings more, you might just get a phone call or a knock on your door.

I finally did come out to my family in 1994 which was anything but easy… but I think it helped them realize what struggles I had gone through and for me it was a mighty weight off of my shoulders and I felt I could be myself around them. I was still struggling with being gay and understanding life. I was living with a straight guy who I had a major crush on and in my head we had the perfect relationship… but reality was he was a major homophobe and when he finally found out I was gay (he went through my room and found gay porn magazines) he waited until I came home from work that night and when I walked through the door he grabbed me by the throat, almost strangling me to death to the point I passed out. When I regained consciousness he told me I had 12 hours to get the fuck out of the apartment and if I even motioned anything about his hands around my throat he would kill me. I believed him and this is the first time outside of a few people that know about that night.

Deep sigh… If only we could go back, go back and change things. Say things, do things, redo things, tell ourselves watch out or it gets better or for fuck sake wake the fuck up!

Now, 16 years later I have the best relationship with my parents then I ever had (probably since pre-teen years) and they are very supportive which I give them a lot of credit for and also have to pat myself on the back a little bit for helping educate them.

I lost a partner in 1995. I was devastated. I finally found the love I had been wanting since I was a young boy. Life is full of surprises some cruel and some that are life changing for the good and the bad. Though I had only been dating my partner for a year the impact was life deep.

After my partners death I didn’t care about anything or anyone mostly myself. I got caught up in a very destructive abusive relationship and I didn’t give a shit at all. Put me in a corner and leave me alone. I tried to kill myself but again failed. Failed became an even uglier word than its Webster definition. I would attempt suicide 4 more times throughout the next 10 years, coming closer and closer to death with each attempt…. A handful of failed short term relationships and one long term relationship which can be described in one word… Fucked.

It does get better but you also need to make sure you are making it better. It does not magically happen. It’s not like one day the sky opened up and alazkazamy it was better… Not even close. Life can kick your ass and fry your balls in an incinerator and when you are an adult you really have to watch out for yourself and the people you love. You have to make choices sometimes that are hard and sometimes you have to be honest as a T and not waiver an inch and other times you have to roll over and show your balls to the world and prepare to get them crushed. I know it may not sound like it gets better, but it does… you just need to make sure you are actively making it better.

Image published by James_Seattle on 2010-11-07 08:04:30 and used under Creative Commons license.

Tagged: , purple , gay , homosexual , bullying , coming out , youth , october 20 2010 , 365 Project , November , 2010 , teen , suicide , high school , James_Seattle , Nikon , D200

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