Problem with academic mentality
Sorry for the long post.
I've had depression/anxiety since I was 13 yrs of age. Before the depression, I was a great student. I was in a private school in California from kindergarten up until the end of the 2nd grade. In the private school, teachers were strict on bad behaviour such as; if you talked in class - you had to sit in the corner by yourself and put your head down on the desk in shame- facing the corner of the walls. I was a talkative kid so I was punished a few times- but I didn't mind too much because I had friends that I could laugh and joke around with. I could imagine teachers being much more strict during the baby-boomer period.
Though my parents were quite strict.
One day I remember my mom spanking and screaming at me because I accidently had some dog poo rubbed on my hand when the class was outside sitting in the grass for some lecture. I didnt even realize there was poo on the back of my hand until I got into the car a minute later.
I also got yelled at by my mom for falling in the mud one day (because the bully pushed me in) - they sent me home because my school-issue jeans were muddy. Cant ruin those jeans because those are damn expensive.
If I was having trouble at math my mom screamed at me and spanked me and made me stand in the corner (while crying) to memorize my multiplication tables - if I screwed up she would yell at me some more....So I learned my math pretty well through this method.
Even disneyland with my parents sucked...
I remember my mom yanking me up and down like a yoyo by my hair when I was complaining at disneyland-I remember my scalp hurting pretty bad after that..
My parents argued/fought each other pretty much every other day - sometimes violently.
Even though I was picked on/bullied in private school by the 'cool' kids - I still had some friends. That was what kept my self-esteem up.
I didn't have the best grades - but they were mostly A's and B's
I remember my first grade teacher making fun of me in front of the whole class because I was the only one who had to stop, sit down, and rest on the middle of the soccer field when we did our daily running laps around the field. I was lazy and cut corners of the field.
Then we had to move to Colorado since my Dad found another job - and I was enrolled into the public school system. I was now in the third grade. As the new kid, the other students were interested in me for no more than a week because they suddenly realized I wasn't 'cool' and was too 'goody'- 'goody'. I actually missed private school even though the teachers were far more strict since I had good friends. Now I had none.
I found the curriculum in the 3rd grade to be surprisingly easy - I got first place in math and grammar competitions - which only further increased my geekiness factor. The material I learned in elementary school and junior high wasn't at all challenging - so I became increasingly bored. I had straight A's without even trying (or studying).
In the third grade, I had two kids pick on me during reccess. I just wanted to shoot some hoops. Suddenly the fat kid in my class told the Russian kid to take the ball from me. So the Russian kid (who was quite strong) kicked me in the face while I was crouching down to pick up the basketball. It didnt hurt that much because my adrenaline was pumping- but then I decided a fight wasn't worth it for a stupid basketball so I just stormed off into the classroom and told my teacher what happened - she didn't care a damn and didn't do anything even though blood was coming out of my cheek.
When I got into the car, my mom noticed blood coming down my cheek - apparently the kick to the face caused a cut that I didnt even feel - and my Mom and Dad freaked out. I thought it was no big deal and just wanted to move on with life but my Mom and Dad firmly urged me to tell them who did this to me and point the perpetrator out to them during recess. I even remember them yelling at me to tell them who fought me.
I knew this was just going to embarrass me more and lower my self-esteem. I eventually caved in after a few days and I pointed to the russian kid out during reccess while my mom was with me. I dont remember what she said but I remember I felt humiliated.
I know they were just trying to protect me, but they were over zealous in their efforts however well-intentioned.
I was also a gullible kid and I was always trying to be nice to other kids. In an Arcade, a kid asked if he could have a quarter so I gave him one to play air hockey with me, but my dad got quite angry at me and told me never to let anyone take advantage of me. He said I shouldn't have given that kid a quarter unless I get something in return. I don't know why that memory still sticks in my mind, but at that point on - I was always afraid to be nice to people.
By junior high my parents had become more progressive/liberal so I wasnt yelled at nearly as much and not a finger was lain on me. This may sound weird but, I had already become accustomed to learning by fear/intimidation.
Eventually, my academic abilities have degraded partly as a result of the poor public school education system. The culture of anti-intellectualism didn't help either. (Colorado has one of the most poorly funded and poorly performing public education systems in the nation)
I was now leveled out with all the other students so I was average in academics - but still had the qualities of a nerd/geek. I was still a little above average in my math skills. Though I had basically adopted the worst of both worlds.
I had a small group of friends in junior high - we were all on the same swim team. I was made fun of/picked on by my friends quite often. And wadda ya know - history repeats itself. During a game of basketball - one of my friends was taunting me and trying to poke, prod and slap me around to take the ball from me obviously breaking the rules and fouling (no referee). I told him to stop - he was being very annoying and the slaps hurt. this brought back earlier memories of the bad basketball incident I had in third grade- so I felt a sudden wave of rage overcome my body - I jump-kicked him in the face so fast that I dont even know what happened - his nose started bleeding. He was humiliated and left the court. He
You would expect me to feel good about this, but in retrospect I just felt worse.
I will right more later- need to go to sleep.