Sugar and spice and all things nice

My therapist has remarked a few times that I don’t talk much about my teenage years. No, I don’t. I’m too embarrassed and ashamed; too afraid to go there. All this time I’ve thought I was the problem: that there was some inherent defect in me; some inherent badness that I’ve not wanted to reveal.

I’m starting to wonder, though, if I wasn’t the problem after all. Well… I was, but only because of circumstances and the things that were done to me – not because I was inherently bad in any way.

Even after all these months of therapy I’m still not sure about this.

I was very unhappy for most of my teenage years. Aside from the regular awkwardness of growing up, there was the fact that I lived two lives: one pretending I was “normal” when at school… and another life at home.

I was a social outcast, particularly with boys. I avoided being around the boys, except in groups. I’d go to parties, but I’d act the fool and get drunk. It got laughs and also blocked out the hard stuff.

I didn’t get asked on a date until I was about 17. I never got asked to the “prom”. I never had that gooey, gushy awkwardness of teenage boys and girls. I was even too embarrassed to hang around too long at the tram stop after school. I was fat and ugly and I thought that’s why the boys didn’t like me. Perhaps it was, I don’t know? Or perhaps it was just that I didn’t understand life and boys and stuff like that? Perhaps it was that my father had scarred me so I was too scared, I don’t know?

When I was about 15 my father started accusing me of being a lesbian. It sounds so silly now, but when you’re 15 and growing up and life is awkward and fumbly and hard anyway… well, it just adds another scar. It shouldn’t, but given that everything my father said to me was negative, he only meant one thing with these comments. (As I sit here now, I wonder what the hell sort of father makes those kinds of comments to his daughter anyway, but I haven’t digested that.)

So I felt alone and unloved and that I didn’t belong, either at home or at school/with friends. I hated going home after school. My father and I would fight. When I grew up a bit I started arguing and fighting back… and that always spelled trouble. Eventually I learned that and I’d hide away in my room and do my homework… and cut myself or burn myself, just to take myself away for a little while.

Back then I’d tell myself that I didn’t want to go out anyway, but I did. I didn’t understand why the boys didn’t like me. I thought I was broken in some way. I just wanted to be pretty like the other girls and dress up in pretty dresses. Even now I’d like a pretty dress, but I’m still too embarrassed and ashamed to wear it.

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7 thoughts on “Sugar and spice and all things nice

  1. A lot of adults in my life suggested to my parents and to me that I was gay, because of my creative interests, my inherent tidiness, and the fact that I didn’t date. I don’t know why people feel the need to say things like that to kids who don’t relate to the opposite sex when they are teenagers. I didn’t date until I was almost 20.

    I think you should buy yourself a pretty dress, and practice wearing it in the house, by yourself, until it feels less strange to you. You deserve pretty things, and to feel pretty in them, but sometimes that type of deprivation responds better to incremental acclimation.

  2. K,
    Teenage years are difficult enough without asshole fathers to mess with your brain. Please go out and treat yourself to some feel good clothing and and try to bury those feelings of being different…we all love you…Hugs

  3. Hi, Kerro. This is the first time I’ve been here to your Korner! I would like to add you to my blog.

    I’m sorry, your home life was so bad. Parents are often ignorant in the ways of how to raise children. I hope, too, that you get the courage to buy a pretty dress and wear it, and feel beautiful.

    Ivory

  4. @ Bird – you’re on. That sounds like fun!

    @ David – Odd as this sounds, it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one. I should buy myself a pretty dress but I’d be too scared to wear it – even in the house.

    @ Strangename – You’re right there. Teenage years are hard enough without asshole fathers. Thanks.

    @ Ivory – thanks for stopping by and adding me to your blogroll. I will work on the courage. 🙂

  5. Hi Kerro,

    It sounds like you are making some amazing progress. Those kids suck. They are the damaged ones, to hurt you. I’m sorry. I can relate to that so much.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  6. Pingback: The magic of therapy « Kerro’s Korner

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