What’s the most important thing you have learned in high school ?

This might come as a shock to people who expect me to say stuff about complément d’objet direct. Which is truly the thing we practiced most. The teacher drilled us about those compléments d’objet direct, indirect, qui est-ce qui, etc. all year. It would have been something mathematical if I had given a damn about it but, really, the only thing I wanted in high school was art classes all week long, to be invisible but still be the only girl visible to Luc.

Anyway. What I learned that was most precious was to tell people to close their flytraps. To shut it.

First time I told someone « Ferme-la », it felt like a miracle. Kathy was a real mean girl and she bullied me. It was terrible. Teachers did nothing about it. When I told her to shut it one time, she gave up ! She stopped. Never heard from her again. Abracadabra.

Then I changed school and there was this stupid guy always making ridiculous jokes and making fun of me. I told him to shut it. The guy, Martin, really shut it. Never heard from him again. Abracadabra.

Most of the time I don’t say a word when people really annoy me. I act as if nothing’s happening. I stay away from people like that. But it was really difficult to accomplish in high school. At work, I can avoid them but at school I had every classes with them or their friends.

It took many more years before I learned not only to tell people to shut it but also to stop it, tell people « NO ».

Plus forte

Mars 2008

I went to my pilates class this morning. I now keep my alarm clock on every day so I’m able to get up early enough to enjoy morning classes and, of course, the day. Every day I wake up at 7, even on Sundays. Unless I went to bed late and then on Sundays I get up at 9. For the last years I used to sleep all day because I had nothing better to do, I felt lonely and was so depressed with my life. Losing a fiance, a cat and a job plus abuse the same year will do that to you. Starting therapy was really hard on my moral also.

Since I started going back to the gym – after being on house arrest for two years because of an ankle injury – I feel so much better ! I don’t sleep all the time because I have more energy. I feel stronger, more present in my body.

I had taken pilates classes a few years back. I really liked it but I have to give credit to the instructor who was incredible with us. I have started it again a few weeks ago and it does make me stronger. I already have more muscle and a better posture. At least I know when I slouch, bend the spine, etc. The yoga class I take also helps.

Yesterday was my yoga class after work. The instructor just came back from India for a month long class. She says she missed us. Well, we missed her as well ! She teaches with blocks and a belt so we are more careful in our postures. Less accidents. The instructor who replaced her made us practice our balance which is difficult for me because of my ankle. My arch isn’t …arched anymore, so I wobble. I have to do beginner’s balance poses instead.

Being more grounded and solid in my body reminds me of when I had taken a self-defense class. I felt so more confident knowing I could defend myself. It has been a while but I still have the reflexes I developped in that class. I wish I had taken it before that. A friend had offered to pay for this type of class because he knew I had a tendency to be in trouble. But I had refused, I wasn’t ready, didn’t think I needed it that much.


If I had been more lucid I would have seen how much I needed to do this. It took a 300lbs and 6’3″ guy that I couldn’t get off me to make me angry and afraid enough to take the class. I have never regretted it even if I was shaky in class and had flashbacks. I think it’s the only thing that makes it okay to have flashbacks. Otherwise I could do without. If it didn’t cost this much I would take other classes that interest me.

You learn how to defend yourself when you are abused verbally and physically. There are classes for defending yourself against guns and knives also. Of course, if you get shot then…you’re dead. But if the attacker comes toward you, then you can disarm him/her. Or maybe just injure the attacker. In self-defense, the goal is to punch/kick/render blind and deaf (lol) and then run away. Works with me.

What I love is that I can kill with a pen. And I was the only girl in class who had no problem with the thought of sticking my fingers in the nose or eyes of my attacker. I knew that it could come to that. Now I know how.