Mostly I try not to remember. Why is it the bad is so much clearer than the good? But sometimes, sometimes all the memories rush in at once.
I remember starting school in 5th grade and being made fun of pretty much from day one. I was a straight-A, teacher's pet, nerdy little thing whose clothes were very different from everyone else. I also didn't know what a cherry was.
I remember a horrible science camp trip in 6th grade. Too embarrassing to this day to even write about. And being in awe over Nick McVicker. That lasted until the summer I graduated high school.
I remember my best friend giving me her hand me downs because I hadn't had new clothes in two years. I didn't stain or rip or grow out of my clothes, so that meant few new clothes. That's kind of what I got for being such a prissy girly-girl. My favorite pair of jeans ever came from her. Gray with a zig zag pattern and zippers at the ankles. And being the cheerleader with the generic Keds from K-Mart instead of the real ones.
I remember my best friend turning on me for what I meant as an honest, not judging but warning comment, and then turning everyone else against me by saying I was talking shit about the triplets. I remember trying to slit my wrists that year because I was so afraid to go to school.
I remember two years of being afraid to leave my house, walk between classes, go anywhere in public without adult supervision. I remember my head being banged against the bus window. Of being shoved, mocked, and chased.
I remember a boyfriend my freshman year inviting me to a dance just to break up with me in front of one of the bullies and then inform me he was going out with her instead.
I remember the boy who took my virginity making fun of me and giving me a complex I still have to do this day.
I remember my first and only fight, when I'd finally had enough after two years of total misery. And the school trying to expel me even though I'd been trying to get their help to make it stop. And that my life was slightly more peaceful after that day.
I remember my first true love breaking my heart and dumping me for someone with the same name but a different spelling. The wild binge I went on that summer to try to prove someone wanted me. And a crazy week together many, many years later that helped me see it was for the best we didn't stay together.
I remember my 21 year old "fiance" dumping 16 year old me at "our" New Year's Eve party to try to steal his friend's girlfriend away. And trying to overdose on pills but only managed to pass out and feel like shit the next day. I remember deciding I needed to finally get out of this town.
I remember going to a friend's apartment the summer I was 18. A guy friend I'd known for several years. A friend who said he always thought of me as a little sister since he was several years older than me. And being given drinks in a hot tub. And waking up to him having sex with me, me crying and asking him to stop, and him refusing. Him finishing and throwing me - still crying, bleeding, and feeling woozy - and my girlfriend out of the apartment. Of crying as I drove us both back home. Of feeling humiliated and ashamed.
I remember going out dancing with a friend just last summer and people making a point to come into the area my best friend and I were at to point and try to intimidate me. It was like high school again, except this time I wasn't afraid - I was just royally pissed off.
Tomorrow, or maybe even later today, I'll remember the good. Because there really is so much more of the good than the bad.