Start the school day with friends, end the school day crying, go home and play with friends, go home crying. That’s what I remember for most of my childhood when it came to friendship. It never mattered to me how bad these people made me feel, the next day I was back by their side like their words hadn’t cut me like daggers. There was one time we were at school for girl scouts, every girl in my class was a girl scout. I remember it had been a pretty tough day for me and the girls I hung out with were talking to my big sister.. not even just talking, they looked like every word coming out of her mouth was a rainbow. I was so annoyed and mad because I always wanted to be looked at like that and my sister did it so effortlessly. So, I got on top of the yellow monkeys that were in their view, my legs hung over one bar and my arms over the next. I was trying so hard to be cool, instead I fell right onto my back. Their laughter was almost more paralyzing to me then the breath that I wasn’t able to breathe. It wasn’t until my sister was hovering over me to make sure I was ok that they stopped laughing. I have never seen people pretend care so easily. The next day of school, went back to being friends and the next afternoon, went home crying. At home, we had neighbor kids, they also looked up to my sister, and they also teased me almost everyday. And everyday, I went back and rang their doorbell to play. I don’t know if it was because I was lonely or pathetic, but I never really stuck up for myself, just return to the ones that hurt me and apologize to them about crying and beg for them to accept me for another day. The worst it ever got was seventh grade. By this time I had already written a few goodbye letter, cut myself, starved myself and whatever else a preteen girl could do to her own body. I started therapy at school because of my actions, stupidly the school allowed for one of my bullies to join me. I remember finding out everything that I had told in session my whole class knew. Not just that, she added, she told people I was being promiscuous with boys behind the movie theatre and where ever else her imagination put me. I hadn’t even had my first kiss. My parents took me out of private school for eighth grade, to start fresh. There are times when I wish I could talk to little me and tell her that I should just make new friends that were kind, caring and accountable. Then again, I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t experience all of the heartache that I had known as a kid.
The first three days of my life I was Theresa Marie Bulisco, I had two older sisters, one older brother, a birth mother and a birth father. I was born in a hospital that no longer stands and the only place that Theresa existed. At least, that’s how I saw it. Twenty years later I received a phone call informing me about the siblings I had, the birth parents that let me go and the human I was for three days. I found out that in those three days Theresa was almost kidnapped because my oldest sister feared that I would grow up into the same life she had escaped. One of my aunts had also offered to adopt me so that I would at least still be in the family. The entire time I had been growing into Nichole, an entire family was dreaming of Theresa.