Monday, February 29, 2016

My Story: Part II - Grade 9

If you missed Part I, click here.

Part II: Grade 9

Moving to San Jose turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me, although it didn’t start out so wonderfully.
 
The previous two times we had moved cross-country, we found out in January and didn’t leave until July. This time around, we found out we were moving in August and left three weeks later. When we first went to look at houses, our real estate agent informed us that the schools in our area weren’t very good, so recommended the school her sons went to: Valley Christian High School. At this point in my life, I would have describe myself as an Atheist if anyone asked. The logical side of me just couldn’t believe that there was some all-powerful man up in the sky controlling everything, so when a Christian school was put on the table, I was not pleased. We did end up applying to the school and when I had my phone interview with the admissions advisor, I lied. I had previously talked to my Aunt, a very strong Christian, and wrote down a lot of what she said, and used it when I did my interview. Thank goodness for her, because had I not known how to properly answer the questions being asked, I may never have been accepted and my life would have turned out very differently.

The week that we found out we were moving was also the week that Valley Christian began their school year. This is why our move happened so quickly. My sister, mom, and I moved first, leaving my dad to complete his final months at his current location, as well as work on selling our home. We moved the first week of September and he joined us in January. We waited the three weeks because I decided to attend the first day of high school in LaSalle with my friends before officially moving to San Jose. It was a strange day, but it gave me a sense of peace being able to start with familiar faces. On September 11, 2006, I started at Valley. Starting school late was very difficult. I had missed the window where there were other new students trying to make friends, so I stuck out like a sore thumb.

The hardest part, though, was that I was sicker than I had been the previous year. The stress of moving and trying to make friends perpetuated my illness, making every symptom that much worse. I lost even more weight, putting me at less than 100 pounds, and I was so nauseous I could barely stand. I started seeing Dr. W. fairly soon after moving, a doctor who started out great, but ended up doing nothing but make things worse. She consistently put down how I was feeling, always questioning what I was saying and never truly believing any of it. For the longest time, she told me that it was all in my head and that I was just depressed. What she couldn’t seem to grasp was that I was depressed because I was sick, not sick because I was depressed. Thank goodness for my parents who went to bat for me against Dr. W. They convinced her to send me to specialists, where I had test after test. We eventually found a new doctor who changed everything, but not until my second year of high school.

My freshman year, I was severely depressed. I was in a new place, incredibly sick, only attending half of my school days, and had no real friends. I was living a very lonely existence, not able to find my place at Valley. I never voiced my depression to my family, but rather just dealt with it internally. There were times that I thought that if I was just gone, all of the illness and pain would disappear. I knew that I loved my family too much to ever do something drastically, but the beginning of 2007 was filled with dark thoughts and overall deep depression.

One benefit from all of this was my sister. Because I didn’t have any friends and was home so often, I began to talk to Bethany. She was the only person I had and despite what I thought in junior high, she was incredible. She will forever be the silver lining of my first year of high school. She became my friend that year, a relationship that would become the one that mattered most.


Finally, in April, I started hanging out with a group of girls that would change my life. There was a girl named Chelsea who I had three classes with, and we had started talking and getting to know each other – she even remembered my birthday and gave me a card. I finally worked up the courage to ask her if I could sit with her at lunch and when she said, “of course,” I was over the moon. For those first couple months, I was very shy with that group, feeling them out and making sure they were a good fit for me. The more I learned about them and enjoyed their company, the more I knew they were the perfect group for me. That group of girls made high school amazing. At the end of the school year, I decided to have them over to my house, a big step for me. Little did we know, my house would become everyone’s second home throughout high school and university. The rest of that summer was spent getting to know these Godly women. I learned so much from them in such a short period of time and felt honored to be their friend. I actually looked forward to starting grade 10 and going to school - a big departure from the year before.

To learn about grade 10 – the year that I became a Christian, click here: My Story: Part II continued.

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