Sunday, July 20, 2014

How Would You Have Reacted At 16? #SundayReflections

#IAmJada. When opinions about a serious matter get expressed on twitter, it's only right to join in.

Ever since finding out about #ASNTALK on Friday nights held by blogger/Author Ariel Williams, I've been attempting to schedule my lunch breaks around that time just to join in. She speaks on all issues connecting to relationships and asks valuable questions for us to answer. Last Friday the conversation was surrounding how 16 year old Jada's rape picture went viral and how we all felt upon finding out about it. Below are the questions just so you can think on them too.

In the midst of the conversation it was brought up that Jada is only 16 several times and someone mentioned how they would have acted at 16. This really made me think. How would I have handled it? I've blogged about a situation that affected my teen years before. It involved someone that I initially thought was a friend until that person set out to show that she was an enemy.

It was definitely my sophomore year. Due to a late birthday, I started off the school year at 15 year of age but turned 16 a few month later. That friendship that I thought I had with this girl was already falling apart. Then it really came crumbling down with a  teacher (that was also a close friend of my mother) told me the girl had confessed to her that she wanted me dead. The teacher informed my mother and all my mom had to offer was to stop being around the girl. HELLO! You can't avoid someone in an already too small school. Plus, why would I want to hang around someone that had made threats toward my life?

I was a teen who had been indirectly threatened, so all I could think to do was avoid her as much as possible. The girl was horrible though. She would try to purposely find me around school at times and she even had some followers. She gave them my number at one point and they were making harassing phone calls. Yeah, my mom was mad but all she did was take it out on me and tell me to make them stop like that helps. So I was a 15/16 year old being harassed.

The only comfort that was offered was I stopped eating in the lunchroom and started spending those moments in a teacher's classroom. It helped me to avoid those girls some and the teacher understood what was going on. I didn't feel suicidal, but I did become depressed for a second. How could I be happy with no one on my side? None of my peers were standing up for me, that teacher had done all she could, and my parents weren't even acting as if I needed protecting. I was also very paranoid when it came to creating any close friendships. I didn't want friends that bad if it meant they would later turn into enemies and treat me bad, threaten my life, or spend their energy thinking of ways to make me miserable. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be alone and finally those girls really disappeared.

This incident has definitely affected my idea of friendship. I'm not quick to call everyone a friend, but when it does happen I take the friendship extremely serious. My circle and the amount of people I communicate with stays small. I feel special or extra excited when someone is on my side, but it's never something I expect to happen. I've lost and cut people off just because of the negativity and the fact that I don't want to know how far they would take their negativity.

Jada has a lot of supporters right now. She'll have supporters in the future too to keep her strong, but she is going to develop some trust issues. She'll be a little more untrusting of the strange men she comes in contact with since boys that thought was her friends physically raped and emotionally abused her. She'll quickly turn her back on anyone she seeing laughing at a serious matter.

How do you think your 16 year old self would have reacted? Do you have any memories of being 16 and something life changing happened? 

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