Does anyone ever really fit in at high school? We try so hard to be in a group, but really we are still discovering ourselves. As people in high school we are only living up to other’s standards so that we may be accepted.Aside from my eating problem, school still proved to be a problem. I was now drifting from one group to another trying to find a place to belong. I was continuously on the outer, a step behind the rest of the group as I had joined the group that moment too late. Along came my favourite friend “non-existent”. I swear I wasn’t meant to have been born sometimes. I felt as though I was invisible, literally having to push my way into a circle to be spoken to or noticed. Admittedly I wasn’t very talkative then. I never knew what to talk about, so found it easier to just listen. But, still I desired to belong in a group and feel secure.
One afternoon in a history class some girls from another group came to talk to me. I hadn’t had much to do with these girls at all because they were pretty much a quieter group. I found this very inviting and sensed that they were nice and genuine people. They asked me about what school I came from, and a bit about myself. They said that if ever I felt like it I could join them to sit with. On assembly mornings we had the choice to sit where we liked. Obviously I sat with whatever group I was in at the time. However, after talking to these girls that day, they saw me sitting with this group then invited me to sit with them. It felt unusual at first because I was actually being invited to sit with them. But at the same time I was delighted. They were a genuine and lovely bunch of girls. The classes we shared we sat together in. at lunchtime they told me where their claimed spot is and I joined them from then on. I did feel secure with this group, as they were similar to me in that they believed in having fun for having fun’s sake. Not to go and get drunk and make an idiot of yourself. We shared lots of laughs at lunch times. I was happy for a change because I could be myself as much as I let me be, except for eating. I had to think up excuses for not eating, as they were wondering why they never saw me eat. My excuses ranged from not being
hungry, forgetting lunch, or eating during class. I hated lying to them but I just couldn’t eat now. I was almost tempted so many times because I felt so comfortable in this group. I knew they wouldn’t judge me either way. We sometimes had social get togethers, which did make me anxious, as I had to work out ways to avoid the food. No one really noticed that I stayed away from the food so I wasn’t particularly worried. I was just safe in knowing I finally found a nice group of friends. Mum was happy for me to. She was a bit worried a first when I started going out more with these girls, fearing they were like the others. But soon enough she worked out they were far from that.
At the end of year 10 was our year 10 formal. Our school decided to have finger food in the canteen, which all parents are invited to, then have a disco including the rest of the school. Mum was adamant on not attending. This really hurt me as it was just one of the many things she never attended of mine. Her excuses were that she had seen Mim go through it all and couldn’t be bothered to go again because it was all so boring. Even when orchestra played mum tried not to be there. I once bought her ticket to go to a concert, and for the rest of the night she complained that it was boring and she would never go again. So when she said she wouldn’t come to my year 10 formal I was rather upset. In the end I arranged a lift for her from one of the girl’s (Pam) parents. She went along unwillingly, and left early. I tried not to let this bother me, as some people were in a worse situation. But, it did make me sad because all of my friend’s parents made a willing effort to see their children graduate from year 10. The rest of the night I made sure I had fun. After the disco, our group went to Pam’s house for a sleep over. This was a heap of fun. We had a real girlie night chatting and laughing. We looked through the school magazine picking out guys we thought were cute or not, or discussing people from our year that we just did not like. The next morning we went swimming in Pam’s pool. I was paranoid at getting in the pool because it meant putting on my swimmers. They were pretty pathetic swimmers, and did my body no justice. My thighs looked like tree trunks. I quickly ran into the pool so no one had to view this. I was so ashamed.
The school holidays then commenced. I was rather restless this holiday, and apparently moody too. Mum came into my room one day absolutely fed up with me and threatened to send me up to Queensland to stay with friends. I didn’t care. I figured if she did that at least I wouldn’t have to eat. Nothing came of that though so I’m not really sure if she really ever meant it. It was a nice school holiday because I had all different friends to do things with.
I had also developed an unusual fascination of food. I had a thing about looking through cookbooks and imaging cooking everything. I did a fair bit of cooking over the holidays, but felt horribly fat after anything I had cooked. It felt as though I had eaten the whole lot of food I cooked, even though I had only tasted little bits of it. I couldn’t wait for the holidays to be over so I could get back to school and back into the routine of not eating lunch.