Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The girl in the pink tutu

She looked ridiculous with the black tights, the pink tutu, the tight top and the knit cap pulled down over her black-rimmed eyes.  As she puffed on her cigarette, she gave little darting glances at the people standing around her.

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

22 comments:

  1. Oh, my heart breaks. The little girl was gone. Some things you can't undo.

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  2. The good news is she has a safe place now and she is recovering herself. Some people go many many years on the hard core anger merry go round till they fly off and land on their feet. This is so well written and way too close for comfort as well.

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  3. loneliness was preferrable to the inevitable fighting... i understand that. i'm glad she's putting herself back together.

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  4. A very touching story, and well told. It makes me feel both sad and hopeful. Thanks for sharing it.

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  5. Perfect. I linked this to the teens in my life.

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  6. I heard an Alateen speaker a few years ago that told my story. I sat the entire time entranced. I never had a chance when I was a teen but these kids do. They inspire me..every time.

    namaste

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  7. Wow. I can relate to this and I can see how H could relate to certain parts too. The part that hits me is the way that anger is self perpetuating. Thanks for sharing. Very very powerful.

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  8. Hearing the stories of the Alateens is another learning curve for me. I'm so glad they have each other.

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  9. It's an amazing thing the power that works to keep someone alive, moving, growing in a broken world.

    It's like those beautiful flowers that sometimes grow up through the cracks in broken decaying sidewalks.

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  10. oh how i've missed my favorite recovery blogs. excellent post syd- i can certainly relate the girl with the smoldering eyes, slowing learning to trust once again

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  11. What hope I hear there. Profound honesty and hope. Good things overcoming bad. That girl will surely blossom now I bet.

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  12. wow. if my priority wasnt people at risk of drinking and alcoholic death, it would be the youngest people I could help, as they have so much life left, and if you help them when they are young, the effects can set them up for life.
    we are so lucky to have so many really amazing service opportunities available to us. they are incredibly meaningful opportunities.

    thanks for sharing this great story.

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  13. Thank you. Have a great Wednesday Syd.

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  14. So many "ordinary" people have no idea how alcohol can be a killer, not just of people but of emotions and of future growth.
    I'm so glad she is on the mend.

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  15. I love her fashion sense. I was a rebel too once. Hated everyone and myself included. In the grip of F*** Everything And Run. The rooms can save people. That's the amazing part of her story.

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  16. The power of recovery keeps shining brightly. In that light things die and new things are born.

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