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Rookie is no longer publishing new contentbut we hope you'll continue to enjoy the archivesor booksand the community you've helped to create. Thank you for seven very special years! Rookie is an online magazine and book series for teenagers.
Each month, a different editorial theme drives the writing, photography, and artwork that we publish. Learn more about us hereand find out how to submit your work here! When I was in high school, I plotted a murder—my own.
The murder was never actually meant to happen, because there was no real murderer, and even the so-called plot itself was never plotted; it just kind of happened. I felt bored one day during a free period at school, and I taped a Polaroid of my smiling face on the first of my new spiral notebook.
Then I defaced it with curse words and death threats. This is so disturbing to look at now, but at the time, for some reason, I thought it was hilarious. I took it a step further on the nextwhere I, playing my own killer, fantasized in writing about murdering me.
I found this even funnier. I showed the notebook to my best friend, who shared my morbid sense of humor, and we chuckled over it in class. Then I accidentally left it on my desk and went off to my next class. When I did, I learned that a couple of students had found my notebook and had apparently not found it as hysterical as I did. They thought the threats on my life were real. He had already made copies of the s and sent them around to the faculty so they could help figure out whose handwriting it was.
I confessed immediately. It was the first time I ever saw my mom cry. I would characterize it as volatile. I was angry with my family with no way to express it, so I shut them out. No one with a great self-image would imagine her own violent death, much less fill s with elaborate, explicit plans for same. My mom and dad had long grown tired of trying to shape me into the good daughter all parents hope to have. They wanted me to behave well, but they finally realized they could not make me change.
So they sent me to an institution that promised to do that for them—a therapeutic boarding school. When I was in middle school, I saw a movie about girls in s Ireland who break too many rules and embarrass their families. Their scandalized parents send them to an asylum, a grim convent run by cruel and abusive nuns. I may be the only kid who saw that movie and thought, I wish that would happen to me!
I was hungry for something—anything—different from the life I was living, and I longed for some way to make visible the private emotional prison I was locked inside. There were few freedoms at reform school. Every window had a screen that was rigged Reform school spanking stories an alarm, to prevent students from running away.
We had no cellphones or computers; our only contact with the outside world was a one minute phone call, monitored by school staff, per week with our parents. Our lives were defined by countless rules and regulations, and the girls—only 25 percent of the student body—had an extra set of specific gender-based rules.
High heels, makeup, and thong underwear were contraband. Girls with big breasts were asked Reform school spanking stories wear oversize shirts to conceale their silhouettes. Sometimes the staff would bluff. Truth lists were nerve-racking—even the smallest infraction could earn you restriction, which meant you would spend your weekends performing senseless manual labor and your weeknights in a silent white room, writing essays about how you regretted your wrongdoings.
This punishment lasted from a few days to six weeks, depending on the severity of the transgression. I went on restriction four times: once for playfully spanking a friend, another time for making out with someone, a third time for not telling staff members about a friend who had broken some rules, and once for reading a book by Chuck Palahniuk.
But somehow, the lack of freedom was liberating. With nothing left to hide behind, we had no choice but to be ourselves, completely. One time I noticed that my roommate had long red marks across her arm. Then we got into a long discussion about whether or not she wanted to continue cutting. I pointed out that, as bad as it felt to get in trouble at the school, letting people know might ultimately get her the help she needed to stop. Later that day she came clean to her therapist.
Years later, she ended up getting a degree in social work. The bonds I made with my reform-school friends are stronger than steel—I have lived with them, moved to new cities with them.
I have turned to them when I needed help, and vice versa. I consider them family. The administration justified their harsh practices with one constant and cardinal contention: We were Reform school spanking stories. After 15 months of hearing how awful I was, I started to believe it. Earlier this year an article came out bashing that school and others like it for the cult-like practices they used break students down psychologically. A couple of months later, the school shut down. My former classmates rejoiced, but I had mixed feelings. Reform school was a place where I had grown, learned, and felt so much, and suddenly it was gone.
How should I feel about my time there, or what it taught me, or how it shaped me? Was the school as bad as I thought I was? Today I am still troubled by the gnawing belief, instilled in me at that school, that I am a bad person. I learned this tactic from Rachel Simmonsa self-help writer who came to the education center where I currently work to conduct a workshop for young women.
There were 20 of us sitting on the floor in the classroom. We came up with at least 30, including:. I thought about it and decided that my utmost goal as a person was to embrace the grand mystery Reform school spanking stories life and everything it took to actually live a good one, which I determined included a sense of compassion, openness, and vulnerability. Here are the tools that got me there, and might help you get there too:. How to Not Freak Out. The next time you feel overwhelmed with emotion, after a fight with your parents or when a friend lets you down, ask yourself: How do I feel?
What you show others the eyeroll, the door slam, the silent treatment usually masks a more vulnerable, painful emotion. How to Drop the Shrinking Violet Act. How to Be Cool in the Face of Conflict. You share this world with other people, and sometimes they will piss you off. Your job is to face conflict in a smart, healthy way. Step back and recognize something you did—even something tiny—that contributed to the situation, and acknowledge it.
I can make an effort to be less self-deprecating—can you not make jokes about whom I date? How to Be Your Authentic Self. Pick one and write about how it restricts your life. Once you get there, being true to yourself is like that awesome feeling when you get rid of unworn clothes in the back of your closet. The difference is that instead of spiraling into a place where I think of myself as eternally damaged, I accept that all of this, including the setbacks, is part of being human.
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Issue Family. About Rookie Rookie is an online magazine and book series for teenagers. Illustration by Caitlin.Reform school spanking stories
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