This will be very hard for me to write…even more so than the post I published a while ago about my sexual assault. I’ve been struggling with the idea of writing this for quite some time, because I don’t like opening myself up to people. Peeling back the layers so they can see the internal and external struggles I’ve been through – a few I still struggle with. It puts me in a vulnerable position and allows people to see something other than the resilient, self-deprecating, funny girl that I’ve made myself out to be. I’m sure there will be things in this post that will cause some of you to form opinions and judgments without taking the time to get to know me, but it’s my story and everything that I’m about to say made me who I am today, and will be a part of who I am tomorrow. However, that doesn’t mean that my past represents me. It means that I’ve made peace with it and have accepted everything that I’ve done, everything that has happened to me and every single part of who I am inside and out. I don’t regret any of it. #noragrets Some things I’m choosing not to share, as they involve other people and it’s their story to tell, not mine. Maybe these posts will help some of you understand me a little bit better? If it doesn’t then I probably didn’t like your ass to begin with. Quite a few of you probably don’t really give a shit and that’s totally ok. I’m not asking you to, but maybe for some of you my story will help you get through some tough shit or inspire you to keep pushing/make a change for the better. This will be broken up into about three or four posts just due to the mass amounts of content. Long reads, but in my opinion worth every minute. *flips hair in satisfaction*
Life became a little difficult for me around the time I hit puberty, at just 10 years old. All of the sudden I had boobs…huge boobs…and I stood out like a sore thumb from the rest of the girls in my 5th grade class. As a pre-teen/teenage girl I struggled with my body image. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t look in the mirror and think I was fat, or wonder why I didn’t look like the other girls. Boys constantly made remarks about the size of my chest. Every now and then a boy would show me attention (what I thought to be positive attention) and some of them were quite a bit older than me. One boy in particular was the older brother of my friend, Ann Marie. I was 10 at the time and I believe he was either a freshman or sophomore in high school. One evening Ann Marie invited me over to watch movies and spend the night at her house – which was insanely exciting to me because I didn’t have a ton of friends – kids are assholes. Ann Marie, her brother and I got all situated in the living room for movie night, complete with popcorn. Halfway through the movie Ann Marie fell asleep, which apparently meant that it was time for her brother to make a move. Because I started puberty at such a young age that also meant that I had to start shaving my legs and armpits before all of the other girls in my class did. I remember sitting on the floor, her brother next to me, with a blanket over my legs. The next thing I remember was his hand under the blanket, rubbing my legs and making comments about how smooth they were compared to his sister’s legs (I didn’t realize how fucked up that comment was until I was older and going through therapy). He then started touching my chest and telling me how I had bigger boobs than most of the girls in his class. I knew what he was doing was wrong, but I was too scared to say anything. Fortunately, Ann Marie woke up shortly after and we went upstairs to bed. To be honest with you, I’m not sure whether or not anything happened after we all went to bed…I blocked it out of my mind and made myself forget about it. It all came flooding back to me when I went to therapy for the first time due to the sexual assault when I was 19 years old. Maybe those memories were hidden and harder for me to address than the rape because I was just a kid? I don’t know, but what I do know is that was when I started feeling lots of anger and sadness towards everyone and everything, clear into my mid 20’s. The only person I have ever told that story to, other than my Therapist at the time, is my Mother. Until now.
So not only did I have huge boobs when I was 10, but I also had a shit ton (clinical term) of hormones surging through my body. Hormones + jr. high/high school girls = tons of fucking attitude. I was a straight up dick. More so than just a regular hormonal teenage girl. I was angry and I didn’t understand why. If something I didn’t like happened, I’d snap. If I was in a bad mood and someone bothered me, I’d snap. Of course I never physically harmed anyone, except for my brother and sister (I kicked my brother in the nuts a lot). My weapon of choice was my words. They became my defense mechanism. The worst part was when I would get sad. I wouldn’t just get sad, I would be down for days. I spent a lot of time in high school crying and isolating myself from everyone. I never let people see me cry, though. I considered crying to be a weakness and I was too tough for that. I created this, “Fuck you. I’m tough and you can’t hurt me,” persona. My mom was at a loss with what to do with me, so she shipped me off to my dad’s where I’d have more discipline – I don’t blame her. BUT, I was still a miserable person and I didn’t have the power to shake it.
My dad is an amazing father. He taught me a lot about life. He taught me to work hard for everything I have and not expect anything from anyone. He taught me to be strong and push through the shit. He taught me to not complain and to always put 110% into everything that I do. On the other hand, he grew up with tough love. He grew up on a dairy farm, which if you’ve spent even one day on a farm you know that’s the definition of hard work. His family is also very German…like brutally honest, to-the-point, old school German. His upbringing obviously transferred over into the way he raised his children. He was and is full of love and taught me some insanely valuable life lessons, but there were times when I felt like no matter how well I did at something if was never enough. He had very high standards for us to live up to and I didn’t always meet those standards. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “you did a really good job, but….” There was always something. It was never just, “you did a really good job.”
As far back as I can remember there was always a big emphasis on weight from my dad’s side of the family. My great-grandmother, Bertha Binder, used to call me the “chubby one.” When you’re a young girl trying to come to terms with your body the nickname, “chubby one,” doesn’t really help build the self-confidence. Throughout jr. high and high school I was always being watched when it came to the type of food I put in my body. We were allowed sweets, but I felt the ever-watching eye every time I put something unhealthy in my mouth. I would have to read the nutrition labels on the food I was eating as my dad stood over my shoulder explaining to me how much fat I was consuming. I’d like to point out that I was and am an athlete. In grade school I played softball and soccer, and jr. high through high school I played volleyball, basketball, softball and threw javelin in track. I also played summer basketball on a traveling team and was part of a summer track program. In college I attempted to throw the javelin on the track team. I, by all means, was not a big girl. I just had certain body parts that were larger than others, but my mind had been warped to think I was fat. Please don’t get me wrong here, I love my father and have mass amounts of respect for that man. He was a single father, paying child support for three children on a teacher’s salary. He did whatever he could to make sure we had a happy childhood when we were with him. I have mass amounts of respect for all four of my parents. My mother is the most kind and loving person I have ever met. I was lucky enough to be blessed with two step-parents that stepped in and loved me from day one as if they were my blood parents. They all taught me so much about life and I never had to wonder what have loving parents felt like. I can never thank them enough for all that they’ve done for me.
So you throw in body image issues, short hair, braces and glasses and you get the definition of me in the 90’s. Jr. high was ROUGH for me. Like seriously rough. If any of you have seen pictures of me in jr. high you understand. My brother was one year ahead of me in school and was fond of making fun of me with his friends. I guess that’s what brothers are supposed to do, but because of my self-esteem issues the teasing hit me differently. It had a big impact on how I looked at myself at the time. I was self-conscious, sad, angry and confused. Boys didn’t look at me as someone they’d want to be their girlfriend (not much has changed in the department). The boys I had crushes on always ended up dating my girlfriends and that shit hurt. I was a bystander the entire time, numbly making my way through jr. high. It wasn’t until the Summer between my 8th grade and freshman year in high school that I really started to grow into my body. I lost the braces, got better glasses, grew my hair out and I started to get curves rather than just having huge boobs. However, high school produced even more emotional trauma for me. One event in particular that I’ve never been able to forgive myself for…to this day.
To be continued – The Diary of a Fuck-Up: Part II…..