Careening through Junior High

In honor of my dear friend, Cynthia Toney’s, new release Bird Face,
I will share which characters most impacted me.
I couldn’t choose just one,
so I’ll just share a bit of my own journey. 🙂

photo (2)

1) Alice reminds me of how I entered junior high.
Like her, I struggled with acne,
and I also played the clarinet,
(I really wanted to play the saxophone,
but we had too many of them already so I got demoted…lol).
I had potential though,
and believed that I could achieve it.
I knew who I was.

2) The relationship that Gayle has with John is similar to the one I had with one of my brothers.
I loved my brother dearly,
idolized him in fact but he never really noticed me.
My brothers attempt on his life was not successful,
but it still haunts me.

3) When I became tired of the snickering in the hallways,
and the ignorance of my peers.
I became John Monster.
I was hurt,
and I wanted the whole world to hurt with me.
I terrorized my teachers, classmates, and “friends”.

4) By the end of grade eight I was an out of control Tookie.
I didn’t have an eating disorder.
But I cut myself.
Lied compulsively.
Drank Peach Shnapps by the train tracks.
Stayed out until 3AM.
And cried myself to sleep.

photo (2)_2

I was a mess.
And no one cared.

That is why this book is so important.
There are so many teens out there hurting,
and no one takes the time to notice them.

Pick up the book, read it and
share it with the teens you love.

Anonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send almost-fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud down a trail of secrets and self-discovery.

Anonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send almost-fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud down a trail of secrets and self-discovery.

As for me?
God saved me from my junior high years,
careening out of control.

Not how you think…
another tragedy struck my family,
and we were forced to move two days before grade nine.

I didn’t know it then,
but it saved my life.

Junior High was a time filled with trouble for me. Feel free to share your own junior high woes. Or, in honor of my amazing, albeit fuzzy, sense of style. 😉 Share something that everyone is doing (or did) for the sake of fitting in that might be (or is) mortifying in the future. Leave a comment below. 😉

Karen deBlieck

Karen deBlieck


22 thoughts on “Careening through Junior High

  1. Karen, thank you for sharing your particular experiences and how they relate to the characters in Bird Face. Prayers for your continued well-being, dear friend. I hope our readers will share with kids that, although they may be troubled and think there’s nothing better awaiting them, there is.


  2. I was so afraid of putting myself out there that I held myself completely back instead. Hubby tells me I came across as a stuck-up snob rather than the shy, reserved person I was. He works with troubled youth and spends so much time getting to know the hurts behind the behaviors, trying to help.
    We both pour a lot of effort into our relationship with our not-quite-yet-a-tween daughter. We want her to always, always feel she can come to us with anything and everything.


    • sparksofember what a blessed gift you and your husband are giving to your daughter! As a mother of four I strive for my kids not to go through the strife that I did. On my knees continually that God may watch over the no matter what difficult paths lie ahead.


    • Hey, Sparks. I still come off that way if I’m not careful. Most of the people who meet me find me intimidating. *sigh* I have to make sure that I’m smiling when I meet and talk to people when inside I’m just thinking things through and trying to figure them out.

      I’m glad your husband is working with troubled teens. There seem to be so many. It’s a rough patch in life, for sure.


      • Me, too! I remember walking through Sam’s Club once and a kindly older man passed me and observed, “so sad, such a sad face” and it took me a minute to realize he meant me! I have to remind myself to smile as I’m usually too focused on something else. Of course, I usually remember just *after* I’ve left the people…


  3. Karen,
    You are one special person, and I’m so happy God has gifted me with your friendship. But the person you are is in part because you went through all that. You have compassion, resilience, sensitivity, and above all a great sense of humour despite all you’ve been through. It’s from those deep holes that you’ve emerged with God beside you and a story that NEEDS to be told! Oh, yes, me? Well, I barely survived my high school years, and was prone to deep depressions because of not fitting in. Bird Face, that was me only more depressed!!! But I was so happy to have my horses to flee to. If it wasn’t for them, I’m not sure how I would have gotten through it all! Er… maybe I do, God would have pulled me through somehow.


    • I agree Loraine. I wouldn’t be quite the person (or the writer) if it hadn’t been for those experiences. And what a shame that would be…lol. Wonderful that you had your horses. Truly a tween girls dream come true! LOL


  4. I never thought of you as a wild child, but I’m glad you shared.



  5. Karen, thanks so much for sharing so candidly. Your post reminds me of how many hurting teens slip through the cracks because no one notices or understands or cares enough to help them. I’m hoping it won’t just be tweens and YAers who are impacted by Bird Face. Parents also need this realistic glimpse into their kids’ lives. I’m continually shocked and saddened by the conditions so many hurting teens live with.

    Thank GOD for his intervention in your life! You bring so much life and vibrancy, humor and fun to our group AND it all shows up in your writing as well. So thankful for YOU!


  6. You win as cutest junior higher. 🙂
    Thank you so much for opening up with such honesty and emotion. Your blog post is such a blessing!


    • Aw thanks gretchen. I definitely thought I was the ugliest girl in the school. Now that I look at the pics I don’t think so. Different yes. Ugly no. Funny how your perspective can change…


  7. Karen,

    When you open up and share your hurts, your words are poetry. Your life comes alive through your writing, even in a short blog post like this. I ached for little Karen when I read it. I am proud of grown up Karen, my twin.

    Now that I’m doing being mushy – I’m curious as to the tragedy that made your family move before 9th grade. (Share when you’re ready). And I’m wondering what happened to your amazing short story you wrote about your brother.

    Great post!


  8. Thanks twin. ❤ I get my inspiration from life. 🙂 My short story is still sitting on a shelf. I don't know where to submit it… Don't know the first thing about the short story market. Especially since it isn't specifically Christian…


  9. Pingback: Coming Soon: Bird Face Review | Writing Stars

  10. I should have written this weeks ago, but March Madness has several meanings for me, one of which is that nothing but the next demand in my life gets my attention. I loved reading this post and picturing you in junior high. I would have been terrified of you, and you would have assumed I was a snob. My behaviors were very similar to Sparksofember’s. Thank God He helps us mature whether we love Him or not, and when we do devote ourselves to Him, life gets even sweeter.


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