A substitute teacher was glaring at me because I asked a question or something, because I wasn't unquestioningly submitting to her, and in that split second before I said anything it looked like she was threatening to hit me somehow, like if I didn't placate her she would come over to the other side of the room where I was sitting and hit me. So I said "yes ma'am" because I was afraid of her. That's the only time I've ever said that, I think. There may have been anotehr time many years later, like maybe if someone who was actually dangerous to me said "yes what" and I had to respond with "yes ma'am" or "yes sir". I don't specifically remember that happeneing, but I've been in enough shit with schol officials and cops that it wouldn't surprise me if I've said it about 3 times in my life. But I specifically remember that one. It's not a thing I generally say because I don't thinkn people deserve that kind of respect. At all. No one deserves it. No one ever.
I wish I had been braver. I don't think she would actually have hit me. But she knew she was dealing with an 11-year-old and that she just had to LOOK scary and that would scare most of us into submission. I hadn't realized by that point that I could leave school, that grades didn't really matter (not that it would really have affected my grade to skip one school day with a substitute). I had been brainwashed to believe that I couldn't leave, that I had to follow orders, so it didn't occur to me to consider anything else. I was trapped in that room with a potentially violent person and I did what I thought I had to do to get them to not hurt me.
I wish I had reacted differently. I wish I had gotten up and left. I wish I hadn't said that. I wish I hadn't bothered to placate her. I wish I said "you want my unquestioning submission, but you're not going to get it," and then gotten up and left. Walked to the park and hung out there till the school day was over and then gone home. I wish I said "Why are you glaring at me like that? What are you going to do to me? Are you gonna hit me? If you do I'll call the cops." I wish I had said, "Why are you glaring at me like that? Is it because you know you have no rational basis for what you said and you have to fall back on threats?" Realistically the most I could have said was something like "What? Why are you mad? All I did was ask a question." I don't think I would have been assertive enough to stand up to her to the end. She would have gotten more yelly. Maybe she would have sent me to the office. And I wouldn't have realized that I could walk out of the school instead.
I don't understand why I didn't know, why I wasn't assertive in some ways, because in other ways I was. I broke rules at home all the time. I argued. I did not submit to authority. But sometimes I did. Why?
I think it was a time in 8th grade, we were on a bus for a choir trip, and I was thinking and I just sort of realize that I didn't have to do what the teacher said. She had said I wasn't allowed to change seats on the bus, I think. and I said to her like "you know, I don't actually have to do what you say." and she glared at me saying "yes you do". and I said "no i don't, it's not like the universe will implode or something" and she said "you'll get in trouble" and I said "yeah, sure, but that's my choice. I can choose to not do what you said and get in trouble. she laughed. she didn't care but it was a big moment for me. Also in 8th grade, maybe later in the year? I don't remember. It would make sense if it were later but I don't actualy remember for sure. (maybe the other thing was in 7th grade?) We went early in the morning before school for informatoin about volley ball tryouts. the meeting was in the gym. when it was time to leave, there was a hall monitor sitting outside teh gym, and there was a door to outside there. The hall monitor was usually tehre, guarding that door. if kids came in that door, the hall monitor would yell at them to go back outside and go in the main front doors of the school. the hall monitor said we had to go out those doors and walk to the front doors and then go back in, instead of just walking down the hallway. Walking down the hallway would take us by the front doors and then we'd turn left to go to the cafeteria. i said like "but it's right there, you can see us walk down the hallway, if we go outside you won't be able to see us, how is that better?" and she just kept spouting the stupid rule. she would not acknowledge or respond to my points. so after a couple minkutes of stupid arguing I just walked down the hall way and there was some random old guy walking the other way towards me and hte hall monitor yelled at me to stop me so he put his arm in front of me and I pushed his arm up out of my way and kept walking and hten instead of turning left into the cafeteria, I turned right and walked out the front doors and tried to walk home but I got confused because the streets around the scool formed a pentagon instead of a square so I went down the wrong street and eventually foudn a payphone and called home and my dad answered the phone andn I told him what happened and he told me to go back to school (why? my dad has his own shit to sort through.) so I did because I was kinda tired of walking and didn't want to still try to walk home (and I know now that it would have been a 5 mile walk if I'd gone the right way in the first place, so with my detour it would probably have been a total of 7 miles) and I thought I might get in trouble at home if I showed up anyway, and I didn't really know what else to do because there's no script for it, so I went back to school and I went to the office and I sat in a chair in front of the front desk waiting for somerone to ask me why I was there, and then after a while the bell rang to end first or second period (i forget which), so I got up and left the office and went to my next class and nothing else ever came of the whole stupid event. except for me walking down hallways randomly to taunt the hallmonitors occasionally.