Pardon my manners! It seems that I have yet to formally introduce myself . My name is Rikenya Bramble and I am a Writer/Blogger/Journalist, and Dreamer.
I was born in Miami, Florida on July 19th, 2000. Yes, I was born between the confusing time of the Tide-Pod generation and “The Best Decade Before The” Bluetooth and Camera Phone Generation, Generation.
Miami may have been my birthplace, but after about 5 years, my mother and I have moved around South Florida a bit, even moved to New Jersey and Connecticut. Moving around use to be a thing I grew accustomed to. Every Summer, or sometimes in the middle of the school I would move, meaning, new school, and new friends. Well I didn’t make any real friends in school until 5th grade.
Kindergarten through fourth grade has been tough for me, I wasn’t really popular, I didn’t know how to “be normal”. I don’t know it’s kind of hard to explain.
First Grade there were these three girls, the cliche “Mean Girls” the Regina who thought she was better than everyone, the Karen who was always stuck to Regina’s side and the Gretchen who wanted to be just as popular as Regina, but wasn’t because she tried so hard. I had acquaintances, yes, but I don’t remember them being good acquaintances, not people I would call my friend. However, my half sister,Asia, who is a grade lower than me was my only friend, but we would only see each other before or mostly after school, because some times she would go to her mother’s house from my house at night.
Second Grade is where I would actually say I made friends. Two ,as far as I can remember, their names were Dawson and Wyoming (I think). The only way I remember is because Dawson was a cute little boy who had a higher voice compared to the other boys, it was adorable, he reminded me of a dolphin. And I’m pretty sure “Wyoming’s” name is Naomi, but I can’t get Wyoming out of my head, that’s what I get for finding things to remind me of people’s names. Remember this was 2007, not everyone kid phones or iPads at this time, and now that I think about it, I never really tried to be friends with those two outside of school. I just thought neighborhood friends and school friends were suppose to be separated. I know, my 7 year old brain’s logic was…weird…I guess. This time Asia stayed with us, Which I enjoyed very much because I wasn’t use to living with a sibling, it was just my mother, my imaginary friend, Sasha, and I.
Yes I had/may still have an imaginary friend, whenever I’m alone, no one to play with Sasha would be there and we would play school with more imaginary people. I guess you can say I had the best childhood.
Long story short for third and fourth grade…well they weren’t the best 2 years for me. This was around time I was first being bullied, but at the time I was desperate to have friends, I hated not having friends. I was so desperate to the point I gave my ice cream money to one of my classmates to be friends with me. I know, I still cringe at that memory today. My teacher found out and had a talk with me. The next PTA meeting, I was nervous that she would tell my aunt what I did. (I was living with my aunt at the time). Fortunately she didn’t, the only problem she had with me was that I needed to speak up, I was always quiet. Fourth grade, 2009, the year that I dread till this day! Like I said, long story short, I didn’t belong and I was bullied for it.
Let me get into detail on what happened before that, horrific school year. For my fourth grade school year, I attended 3 schools, the first school, I only attended for literally one day, I knew I was going to love that school, it was closer to home, everyone wanted to be my friend, I was so happy, but my mom had problems with the school, so I had to transfer to another one. I would say this is my “Second fourth grade school” I didn’t get the same first day vibes as my first fourth grade school. No one were running up to me asking if they wanted to be friends, but at the same time they weren’t really mean to me, they weren’t mean to me at all. This was just suppose to be my time to speak up, I don’t remember if I have…probably didn’t hence the fact that my teacher had to put me in speech class because I wouldn’t/couldn’t read loud enough for the class.
In my Second Fourth Grade School, my teacher had writing time, which I discovered to be my favorite subject, narrative writing. She would give us prompts and we could write anyway we would like, create our own characters, settings, genre! Writing was a way I can make my own friends, they were never fake, they wouldn’t bully, and I would never move away from them, they were always there. It felt good to have my own world . I also felt the same thing about reading, all the books I read at the time had happy endings, so I would use those books to escape from real life. This helped me through my Third, fourth grade school. My second fourth grade teacher always supported me with my writing, although I didn’t like how she read our writing out loud to the class, but she gave the best feedback.
Fifth grade, 2010, was my favorite year. The year I realized my neighborhood friends can be my school friends too. I made two best friends, they hated each other so it was kind of hard for me, but I let it work. One of them were 2 years younger than me, I grew very close to her and her family, this was the first friendship I had where my mom and her mom were also friends. This friend helped me make my first Facebook account so that we can keep in contact because she knew how often I moved. (Yes, I had to have a talk with my mother when she found out, but she let me keep it, supervised of course) When this friend moved away, we were still friends! Her mom would pick me up and let me stay for sleepovers, I met her aunts, grandmother, cousins, this was my first real friendship. The other best friend I had was the same age as me, I’m a month older than her, but it’s whatever, haha! Her classroom was conjoined with mine, so whenever we would do activities, our classes would do it together. She was so mature for her age, she loved cats, and I’m pretty sure she still does. She actually got me my first cat, only because it was a stray and her mom wouldn’t let her keep it.
I thought this time around we wouldn’t be moving around for a while, I was actually able to start another school year in the same house as the year before. I made new friends(Started middle school), and I was happy. That didn’t last long, 2-3 months later we moved, again. New neighborhood, new city, new school, I couldn’t stay in contact with the friend who was my age because her mom wouldn’t allow her on social media . I kept in touch with the other for a while and then we eventually…slowly stopped talking as much as we used to. I was able to stay at this new school for two years, then I moved to New Jersey for a year (Long story short, I hated middle school).
Coming back to Florida after one year, everything seemed to be foreign for me. My closest middle school friends were in different schools, and I never hung out with them after school so I couldn’t see them either way, it was just school friendships. I was nervous because, first day in high school, and the two years before New Jersey, I’ve gone through some experiences that killed me mentally…the time I became depressed, the time I begged everyone who bullied me to tell me why they hated me, asking them if I were gone, would they be happier?
One time one of my “friends” wrote me a letter, after that whole break down, that I need to be myself, but I can’t do these things (basically saying I can’t be myself.) Stop smiling all the time you look weird, you walk weird, you need to do your hair and dress better, etc. They gave this letter to me 5 seconds before the school dismissal bell, I don’t remember this part vividly, but I do remember crumbling it up and throwing it in the trash, then they had the audacity to give back to me before I got on my bus, I sat next to the realest friend I’ve had since I started that school and ripped it up, she wanted to know why I was crying so she tried to piece it back together, but I just told her to forget it, since that, I tried to change as best as I could, just so that I can have friends.
They said I was slow and talked too much, I just stayed quiet, they said I looked weird when I smiled, I stopped smiling as much, they said I walked weird, I made sure everyone left the classroom before I walked out. I would walk even more weird when I feel like someone was judging how I walk again, my head would tremble, my ear would twitch…That’s when it began, my social anxiety I mean. I feel like I’ve always had it but, as far as I can remember, my symptoms began to worsen in middle school.
Starting high school in that same town made me want to crawl in a hole and cry. The experience in 6th and 7th grade made it hard for me to be myself my freshman year. I was scared to present poems in English class. When I finally was ready to present my poem, I had a panic attack before the second bell rung. My English teacher gave us poems/essays to present every month, out of the 10 months, I’ve only presented 2 times. And no it wasn’t because I was too lazy to write my essays or memorize the poems, because I did, My anxiety would not allow me to go up in front of my class. When I did, I would do it too fast or stumble over my words. It got so bad that I had the same thoughts from middle school. This time the students weren’t bullying me, my anxiety made me feel like my teachers were.
I made two friends that year. At the end of the year, they helped me open up more, so the next year I wasn’t as scared. I was passing my classes without being at risk of failing. The two of them helped me through it all. 2014-2018 was the first time I stayed at one school longer than a year and a half. I was able to grow my friendships without worrying about moving, (Although I did want to move schools a few time). Me not being use to having close close friends, it was hard for me to get in the habit of hanging out with friends outside of school. All I wanted to do was stay home alone with my writing and books. I would sometimes tell my friends that my mom said that I couldn’t go out…I lied. I never asked, it took until my mom told me to go out to call up my friends to see if they wanted to hang. Graduating I left with the same friends I made in high school. All 4, I am still in contact with them, with the same love I have for them since High School. I try to do better with contacting them, but it’s hard, so I’m working on it.
This post was a bit longer, and sentimental than I thought, I hope you enjoyed reading this. There will be another post, this one just touched on my school life. My apologies for the grammar, I just learned that I should write how I talk to add on to the uniqueness of my blog.