If I’ve learned anything about comfort zones, its that nothing ever good comes from them, if we challenge ourselves and move out of our comfort zones, thats when we will progress as humans. It’s taken me a while to be okay with that, its a constant thing.
In my Beginning story, i mentioned that my mother and i moved to another town and left my sister in a rental home while she finished school, id like to elaborate on that a little more today.
I was around 15 when we moved, making my sister 17, with only a year left of high school. I was a rebellious ‘dark’ teen, when we moved, i thought id leave it all behind and start new, no body knew me or my past, it was a clean slate for me.
I didn’t wear my dark clothes or makeup anymore, it was an overnight switch to be honest. I felt like this was my only chance to start over, so it began.
Luckily we lived on the street of the school i was going to, so all i had to do was walk up the street and i was at school. I could come home for lunch, it was what i always wanted in that respect, from growing up on farms out never near a town like this.
I started to really love it. School was school, it was fine, i didn’t make friends really, the girl that was showing me around was supposed to look after me until i found friends of my own but on day two she started running away from me and hiding, so i took the hint and just sat alone.
Not long after, i started talking to people in class and found some people i thought it’d be cool to hang around with, and it was good at the start, they were kind and sweet, made me feel welcome, i was greeted with hugs everyday and i felt on cloud nine.
Little to my knowledge, these were the trouble makers of the school and i was a recruitment, we could call it that. It hadn’t even been 2 weeks and i found myself in my first physical altercation at this school, i didn’t want that, i wanted to leave it all behind, not long after i found myself in the principals office, a great place for a new student to be.
I wasn’t in trouble, to my surprise, the teachers all knew who the real problem was, which i was beyond grateful for.
Sadly, now i was seen with these girls, the people that hated them, now hated me, which was the whole school it seemed.
I was that kid that loved math class, i was really good at it actually and it was kind of a relief subject because it just made sense, after a day of fights and bullying from other students i was just happy to go to maths then go home, if only it were that simple.
I was in class, doing my work, when someone handed me scissors, confused i just said i didn’t need them and handed them back, it wasn’t the gesture it seemed, they proceeded to make comments about cutting my arms, pointing out my self harm scars. All i could think was, ‘ great, here we go’, no long after, the bell rang and i just packed up my stuff and left, my class was on the top of the block, do naturally i had to walk down the stairs to get out, i was halfway down the second set of stairs when i heard someone call my name, as i look up, a wall of girls, were yelling and screaming horrible things about my self harm scars and telling me to die as they threw all their scissors and razor blades out of there sharpeners at me, i couldn’t believe it, i ran, i had never run so fast home.
Thankfully no one followed me. I didn’t really know what to do, i didn’t want to go back but i didn’t want to quit, i thought quitting would make me weak.
My mum got home and i cried into her arms, i told her everything that had happened and she asked me what i wanted to do, i said i didn’t want to go back, but i didn’t want to quit my schooling, we sat together and researched my options, finally we found a program that sends out all the learning materials, all i need to do, is complete them in my own time and post them back, there was teachers i could call on the other end of the line at any time of day and most of all, it was completely free, it seemed perfect.
The next day, mum and i went to the school and i was taken out. We explained the situation, they tried to persuade me to stay and promised to change things but i couldn’t do it, i felt like home schooling would save me. So it began again.
I started my home schooling, i was excelling, i got to be in a safe environment and learn, what i loved to do. The only down side was, i didn’t drive at this time or have friends, i was so anxious to leave the house from these girls that tormented me, so i didn’t leave.
My mum was working from really early in the morning to really late at night, something like 6am until close to might between two jobs, no one at home, no friends around, and not really talking to anyone online at this point, i was really alone, on so many levels.
With mum working so many hours, i had to look after the house, which kind of made me forget i had no friends, i had housework to do, dishes, vacuuming, washing, everything, i learned a routine and i started to enjoy it, it became my therapy.
Even though mum was working so much, we still didn’t have much money at all, we were helping pay for my sisters rent as well as some of her utilities plus our own rent and utilities, there was no money left for food, and I’m not even exaggerating, i wish i was. We had around $10 a week for food, for mum and myself. We had the no name brand bread, 500ml of milk, butter, no name pasta with canned tomatoes to make pasta sauce and thats about it. The shop up the road quite often would have amazing specials, so almost everyday we would take $2 with us and walk up to the shop in hope to find something, usually protein of some kind, we barely ate meat or anything like that, even vegetables seemed like a luxury.
Soon with mums work, she was no longer home for our afternoon walks and we would have no food in the house a lot of time, sometimes if she had the money, she would leave $2 on the counter for me to go up the the shops. Most of the time i couldn’t, i was so riddled with anxiety, i honestly couldn’t bring myself to leave the house at all. id rather have no food and just water for days, then to go to the shops where i could possibly run into someone i knew from school.
I had a phone with credit and i needed credit to talk to my ‘boyfriend’ at the time, which was some guy i met online and started texting but i couldn’t bring myself to go to the shops, it took me about 7 hours to get up the courage to walk up the shops. When i eventually started walking to the shops, the world didn’t seem so bad, but i was on edge, i was checking over my shoulder constantly, trying to walk with my head down and not make eye contact with any one, i wanted to be invisible.
A couple of doors up from our house was a lovely elderly couple, with an amazing garden, always filled with roses and flowers and everything pretty. Morning, midday, evening, it didn’t matter they were always in that garden taking care of it. As i walked past, this man said something to me, i didn’t quite catch what it was, i smiled and kept walking, he persisted, not in a creepy way, he just seemed eager to talk, i was so nervous, on the verge of tears nervous to even speak to anyone. I looked down and i noticed he had a cat sleeping in his garden, my mood was lifted straight away, i bent down and started to pat his cat, and we began talking, nothing important, just small talk, but it was important to me and somehow i think he knew that.
I made it to the shops eventually, did what i needed to do and went back home, i was so proud of myself, i managed to do what i needed to, and speak to someone along the way without my world crashing down, it seemed like a miracle.
About 2 days later, i decided to make my way up the shops again, i only had a couple dollars in my hand to see if i could find something cheap to buy for dinner. I walked out the door with my head held high, i looked forward to going past this mans house, i look forward to the mindless small talk, i enjoyed the company and pointless conversations because it saved me.
Without knowing it, maybe even with him knowing, he saved me from myself, just by going out of his way to converse with me, it seems so simple but it changed me, it changed how i seen the world at that time, i looked forward to walking alone to the shops just to say hello to him and pat random animals.