Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The girl in the pink tutu
She said later that she was 13 years old. Both of her parents were alcoholic, leaving her to fend for herself at a young age. She relished the time alone because it meant that the house wasn't filled with yelling. She would retreat into her own world.
Going to school was hard. No one understood her. She decided that the didn't fit in with others, except for a few of the wounded that hung out together. This group of misfits who wore black, had long hair, smoked, and wore chains were the ones that she felt most comfortable around.
She thought that she might be pregnant when she was twelve. Her boyfriend was 17. The older boys were the ones that she liked. They had cars, were exciting, and liked her. She had been sexually active for a while but at 13 having a baby was the last thing that she wanted. When her period finally came, she yelled with joy that she was bleeding from her vagina. She kept saying this over and over in a sing song voice.
When her parents decided to sober up, they got wise to her. They noticed the defiance, the sullen looks, the smoking and the frantic texting from her phone. It was as if they were seeing an alien. She didn't look 13 but much older. Her eyes were hard. They wondered where the little girl had gone.
As she gripped the podium in the room full of people, she said that she was nervous. Her self esteem was getting better because after all, she had worn a pink tutu today.
The wounds don't go away. But I am learning where I am accepted and know that there are safe places and people who I can talk to. I'm beginning to heal. And the old feelings, the old wounded part of me, doesn't have as much power in my life any more. I have friends now who had alcoholic parents too. Growing up, the only emotion I ever saw freely expressed was my parents' rage. Eventually, all I felt was rage as well, but I raged without knowing why.
Here everybody loves me, but that isn't based on whether or not they like me. I kept coming back to this 'lame' place because no matter who I was inside I felt accepted and that was a feeling I needed. This was a place that I was given permission to cry and wasn't judged for it. Because of this, I kept coming back. In the beginning I was lost, but now I feel better about myself. If I stop going, I will find myself back in the starting place and that is a bad situation. Alateen speaker