January 15, 2010

Mean Girls

Many of you know the beautiful, sincere and amazing Morgan of Let Me Help You Help Me . Today Morgan received her very first hate comment...and she responded with class, dignity and respect for herself.

I began talking to Summer about "mean girls", and we both realized that we have our own experiences in this area, and while they were painful, stressful and frustrating at the time, they shaped who we both have become today.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Audrey Hepburn

When I was in college I belonged to a sorority. I made some amazing friends among that group of women. I have countless memories of us staying up late, laughing, making prank phone calls, watching Sex in the City and eating an insane amount of food that was bad for us. My three years in that house were wonderful. I never wanted to come home on the weekends and I loved spending time there.
My senior year things changed....and to this day i'm not sure what instigated it. one-by-one girls started laughing at me. They would make fun of the things I said, they would be whispering and then stop when I walked into a room, they would do things just to make me mad and tell me to my face. This one girl who was very mean came into my room once and sat there all night long making fun of me and getting in my way as I was trying to do homework. She said she was hanging out with my roommate, and not me, so she had a right to be there. Later when she was drunk she admitted she did it just to annoy me and see how I would react, and thought it was hilarious how uncomfortable I seemed to be.

These girls slowly began making my life miserable. The whispering behind the back stopped... and they just began saying it out loud. The ridiculed me for absolutely everything! My clothes, my ideals, the way I talked, I way I handled myself... nothing was free from their comments and sarcasm. Slowly the group grew even bigger, because as the saying goes... "misery loves company"... No one stood up them, and those that did were thrown into the deep end with me and made fun of just the same.

Spencer came into my life at this time, and I remember crying to him on multiple occasions. He would try to comfort me and tell me that they were just being jealous and that there wasn't a mean bone in my body to bring all of this on. But I couldn't believe him and would keep saying that there simply had to be something wrong with me. Something I had done, said, or insinuated. That if so many people hated me then it had to be my fault! That I had to be a mean person, and I just didn't realize it.... that maybe I was one of those girls who thought I was funny, but really I was just inappropriate and rude...

As graduation got closer it only got worse. At one point I was excited and put a countdown on the wipe-off board on the door to my room. There were a handful of us (about 5) graduating and each day someone would change the number without me having to. One night my roommate was writing something on the board. She didn't see me walk up behind her and when I got close enough to hear her she was saying "Jenni is so *** rude! No one *** cares that she is *** graduating!" The girl she was speaking to got really big eyes, and she quickly realized her mistake and discovered me standing right behind her. I walked past her into the room and she followed me in yelling at me about how I should take her feelings into consideration that maybe she was sad that 2 of her friends were graduating and would be moving away and she was sick of me "rubbing my graduation in her face!" (we don't really talk anymore....)

"Jealousy is nothing more than a fear of abandonment."

After graduation I moved home. I did a lot of soul-searching and self-reflection. I looked at myself, and the way I had been in the past year. Wether I had been mean to these girls, what I had said and tried to find a reason for the hateful attitudes. It weighed on me for about 2 years. I would be having a wonderful time, and then when I pulled out my computer and opened up facebook I would get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The horrible memories would come flooding back to me, and at the same time I would become upset as I saw dinners, weddings and parties that all of these girls had gone to together. I missed having girlfriends.
Spencer was very supportive through all of it. He knew I was broken, and it would take some time for me to heal. He truly hated these girls and would tell me on multiple occasions that he felt they just didn't have any "substance".
As time passed I became proud of myself. I got an excellent job, I made friends, I fell more in love with Spencer, I got my very first apartment, Spencer moved in, we would go to the farmers market/cook meals together/watch movies with a glass of wine...I grew as a person.

This past summer it had been 2 years since I had spoken to most of those girls. Spencer and I bought our home and I felt truly blessed. I began posting photos on Facebook of my life, my home, my puppies...and some of these girls came back into the picture asking how things were going. As they told me about their lives and where they are now I felt sad for them. Still single, working horrible dead-end jobs, going out and getting drunk, spending multiple weekends going back to our college town and hanging out with young girls and hooking up with young boys.

I had my housewarming party a few months ago and my friend Katie came. She was one of the few great girls from that time in my life that has stayed in it. She told me, and the few others there, that she had gone to one of those "mean girls" parties recently. That no one had shown up, and that the few that had spent the entire time making fun of girls who weren't present (and one girl who went to the bathroom and while she was in there they spent the time ridiculing everything from her intelligence to the way she laughed.)

Looking back at it all now, I realize that maybe Spencer was right all along. These girls made fun of me to make themselves feel better. They pushed me down and focused on hating me, because they couldn't stand to think about themselves and evaluate their own lives. I was the perfect target...I was well-liked on campus, had good grades, was graduating on time, just started a wonderful relationship with a very supportive, sweet guy...and according to spencer... "I was WAY more attractive" (his words, not mine!) I really hope these girls find a life that makes them happy (but I would be lying if I didn't say it gave me a little twinge of vindication...)

Ever since I put these girls out of my life, I don't have drama. I have relaxed and learned to appreciate a good conversation over a cup of coffee. I take delight in exercise, cooking, spending time with my family or reading a good book. I have changed for the better, and I now truly appreciate the people in my life who are there for the right reasons. The people who don't make me feel bad about myself after spending a night out with them. The people that hold me up, and make me love being there in that moment.

"We grow neither better or worse as we grow old, but more like ourselves."

"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. "
Barrack Obama

March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path. Kahlil Gibran

If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. Jim Rohn

You've got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice. Steven D. Woodhull

~ &hearts ~
Jenni

14 comments:

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

well spoken! you are a lovely writer and an even better friend and i adore you!

Blair @ Reasonably Swanky said...

Great post and very well said! I have had to ex those mean girls out of my life. I had a friend who just was jealous of everyone and everything and could not ever be happy, she was exhausting!

Have a great weekend!
xo
Blair

Selma said...

Very well said girl. I hear ya. I had troubles in high school, and hated it. One main reason why I moved across the world to get away from everyone and everything. Girls can be mean, and I hate it that certain ones don't seem to understand what it means to hurt other people. :(
I hope you did not facebook friend them, though. I wouldn't. I didn't for that matter. I'm gladly rejecting invitations. Sounds harsh but the hole I'm still carrying with me (as tiny as it may be) has become strong, and won't stand a chance to let these people back in my life.
I'm glad to hear your time of drama ended, too! :)
And yes, Spencer was right...they made fun of you to make themselves feel better and forget about their ugliness. Boo on that one!

Ok, enough said. Have an amazing weekend! xoxo

KatieSPerk said...

Lovely post. You are totally right. Since graduating I have had to "break up" with some friends for those mean girl tendencies. Diploma in hand, I realized if they were talking crap about someone and they didn't know it, they were probably talking crap about me AND I DIDN'T know it. I don't need that kind of "friendship".

GiGi said...

Aren't girls awful? Well, some of them anyway.
I truly believe these are the things that shape us, and help us to become who we are.

Spencer sounds like a class act-no question why you want to become his Mrs.!!

Nicole said...

Your bad year with the girls is a prime example of why I'm glad I never joined a sorority. But your good times are what make me wonder what would have been. I've had some toxic friends before, and it feels so good to finally be rid of them.

ChloƩ said...

aww jenni you are so sweet to write this. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I saw that mean comment on her blog right after it happened and almost thought it was fake or something? i don't know why anyone would say anything like that to morgan. to anyone for that matter! i have had my fair share of mean comments, and i just don't understand why we can't all just be nice. anyway, i am glad you met spencer and i am excited for you guys. i think you are just one of the loveliest girls ever!

Rasha said...

Girls suck.

but i love you, and I love this post.

xoxo

Little H said...

seriously, girls are such bitches! so sorry that you had to go through that. i had a similar experience in high school, so i know how you feel. but it looks like you've become a better person in spite of it. :) just found your blog through K.Law.

SG said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through this especially from your sorority sisters. I was in a sorority (same one as K.Law) and we definitely had a group of "mean girls" they never really directed their meaness at me directly but they treated some of my closest friends like crap which is why I don't really talk to those girls anymore. It's sad but guarantee that a lot of it was due to their own insecurities. Looks like you are much better off without them in your life.

Great post!

~KS said...

I know it's awful to say... but I don't like these girls. Not fair, I know, because I don't know them... but I just cannot stand people who are cruel for no reason. You are AMAZING... no one deserves to be treated like that but especially not someone so sincere and genuine and sweet as you. My heart was hurting the whole time I read this... but I felt a little better knowing you had Spencer to lean on. Thank goodness for him!!!

Simone said...

Oh Jenni......I am so proud of you.....for writing this and for rising above all the crap those girls put you through and for coming out the other side.

This was a great piece of writing....well done. You are worth so much more than all those girls put together - and then some....truly.

And for what's it worth, I would have felt a twinge of vindication too reading about their sad little lives, still being mean and spiteful.....the phrase "you reap what you sow" comes to mind.

I looked over at your friend Morgan's blog to see what had been happening.....OMG! People are so rude and offensive aren't they....unbelievable....thank goodness everyone jumped in to defend her.

Have a great week-end honey! xo

Whitney said...

It really is true what our parents told us when we were younger - the mean people will get nowhere in life. And, as the great philosopher Justin Timberlake once said..."what goes around, goes around, goes around comes all the way back around." So there you have it! Ha!

Morgan said...

beautifully written post! I'm so glad to have found you through this little blog world and I THANK YOU for supporting me this past week. You're a doll!