Episode 3 of the Merit V. Bidwell saga. Sparky suggested the title “The Trials and Tribulations of Merit V. Bidwell” but I have rejected that one. I’m open to other suggestions.
I don’t much like to remember middle school. The high point was in 8th grade English class when I submitted a poem to the scholastic poetry competition and it was accepted for publication. It felt pretty good to have something recognized. Of course I hadn’t let my parents read it, nor the English teacher. I had submitted it on my own by forging a couple signatures and asking the library aide to give me a hand. I was riding pretty high until my parents read it in the copy of the journal that was sent to the house. It was a very angst-ridden adolescent poem about death and dying and exploring the possibility that there was no God. It makes me chuckle now but the fire storm that it precipitated was horrific. I think I spent every Thursday for a year in one or another psychologist’s office. By that time I’d decided that the only way to escape my life was to embrace the crazy. I cultivated an “up is down and down is up” approach. If my parents made any statement of opinion or fact I immediately took the opposite stance. It didn’t matter the topic, venue, or company, I was going to be contrary. At one point I was evaluated for Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Sadly I wasn’t able to convince the psychologist. Instead I had so many “time-outs” that I developed a rich fantasy life. That of course alienated me further from my peers. I just didn’t want to care but that is easier said than done. I did care and it ate at me. The end result of 8th grade should have been a moment of rejoicing instead I was in the hospital having my ulcer cauterized with a laser. Yeah, I was hoping that high school would be better.