I was a shy child. I had friends, but that changed when I hit junior high. That is when kids become cruel. My parents didn’t buy me the most fashionable clothes, because I was shy I did not stay with the friends I had as they branched off. Then came 7th grade.
In 7th grade, I was screened by the school nurse for scoliosis. They lined us all up in our underwear in the girls lockeroom and we had to bend over for them to see if our spines were straight. Mine was not. My mother told me to tell them that my left leg is shorter than my right leg, and that is why I appeared crooked. They didn’t buy it.
I was in biology class when they announced over the PA system, “Anybody that requires a second scoliosis screening should report to the nurses office now. I ignored it and kept working. I did not want to be the one to stand up and leave the room, announcing that I need a second screening.
My back eventually began to hurt, so I saw a doctor, and I found out that I do have scoliosis. In fact, I have a 38 degree “S” curve. At 40 degrees they operate. They put me in a Boston Brace (a fiberglass brace that fit around my waist). I could not wear normal clothes because they had to fit over the brace. So I had to wear either an elastic waistline, or wear jeans with an oversized shirt to cover the fact that they wouldn’t zip or button shut. It was obvious I was hiding something under my clothes.
I was picked on, and then to make things worse, our family moved from Florida to New Hampshire in the middle of 8th grade, and to a wealthy town at that. I was the target of bullying. I was the strange, quiet girl from Florida who wore strange clothing to cover her brace. I was so depressed that I nearly failed 8th grade. It was aweful.
None the less, I graduated from 8th grade and when I started high school, the brace came off except for nights when I was asleep. The high school was in the next town and there were new faces, so things started to look up. I made friends that weren’t from the snooty town that I lived in. I could dress in cool clothes that fit me.
High school was not much better, but that is another story for another time.