Note: The quotes are passages directly from my diary. I corrected some grammar, but not all of it, wanting it to be representative of how my flow of thought translated to paper. The text without quotes are my own personal thoughts, explanations, realizations, additional memories etc. I have changed the names of everyone mentioned for anonymity.
This journal was written from April 2007 to June 2007. It was the tail end of my eighth grade year.
This journal wasn’t as pleasant to read as the first. I had a negative self view and low confidence. I was convinced I was ugly and unimportant. There are a few things that contributed to this perception. My mother tried to keep me a child for as long as she could. She did not allow me to indulge in things that were typical for teenagers such as nail polish (I was only allowed clear or sheer light pink), makeup, clothes that fit snugly (not skintight, just snug), and she took care of and styled my hair, which mostly consisted of two puffy braided pigtails. My edges were not laid, and I walked around looking frizzy most of the time. I did not learn how to take care of my thick curly hair until I was 15. Since I could not dress how I wanted, use any type of makeup, or wear my hair how I preferred, I didn’t feel cute. I didn’t have those girly things to give me a little boost. I was also lectured by children’s pastors and my mother about modesty to the point where the underlying message was that the female body was inappropriate itself and should always be covered up completely. Swimsuits were inappropriate, shorts that weren’t halfway down my thigh were inappropriate, snug jeans were inappropriate. When I went shopping with my mother and she didn’t like an outfit I chose, she would inspect my clothing with a look of disgust plastered on her face, often asking me to assume positions that would make any outfit more revealing. This tactic she used always worked to her advantage as “proof” that a garment was not modest enough to wear. Even in my adult years, I am not allowed to wear crop tops when I visit them.
In Christianity, we are sinners. We are gods children, sheep, and servants. We don’t control our lives, god does. Anything I wanted, I had to receive permission, either from my parents, or from god. I had no voice, and I had no control over my life. I was also living in a sea of white where blackness was not celebrated, but commonly acknowledged in a joke or a reference to a celebrity.
Reading about my crush that never crushed back was difficult. I felt sad for my teenage self. I was so in love, I was consumed by it. My over analytical mind tried to dissect every little variable to try and get his attention and figure out why he didn’t like me. My social interaction with Milo was next to none. We rarely directly communicated, but were always in the same environment due to our church youth group. There’s a part of me that’s embarrassed of all these things going on in my young mind. But that’s just it. I was young and just entering into my teenage years. I cannot judge myself for not acting like an adult because I wasn’t. Today, I still remind myself to be self-compassionate. It’s all too easy to judge and criticise oneself. But it is worth it, to learn how to be kind and to and uplift oneself.
A few years ago, I was in therapy seeking help after being in an abusive relationship. I discovered, from the insight of the therapist, after sharing my childhood experiences with her, that my tendency to over analyse people was a lingering self-developed survival tactic: hyper observance of my mother. I developed this behavior to detect her mood, so that I could try prevent conflict, scrutiny, and punishment. Living in that house, it felt like being trapped in a cage with a wild Tiger. It would be a mistake to take your eyes off of it.
April 3, 2007: “I had to move because Nicole was vacuuming, although I was on the couch and not on the floor. I was just finishing the last sentence and closing my diary to move when she turned off the vacuum and just stood there. I think she has an attitude problem. Actually, all my sisters act too much like mother. They’re always telling me what to do.”
“So mom said I have to have my homework done tomorrow and I said ‘I understand’. Then she got an attitude and she smiled a fake smile and said ‘OK’, so I sat down. Because she is how she is, she came back and said ‘just to let you know, it has to be done by 12 noon.’ She had to make it worse. I don’t know what the point of that was. It [homework] really won’t be a problem at all.”
April 4, 2007: “Mom woke me up early. I guess her clock says 8AM. She wants me to mop before my homework. Let me go do a rush job so I can come back upstairs.”
I was watching a movie called Python about a giant killer snake. No doubt it was on the sci-fi channel. I narrated THE ENTIRE MOVIE in my journal. I don’t even know how I was truly watching it if I was scribbling down every scene, plot point, twist, and jump scare. This movie was the first time I was exposed to two women having sex. I described two women in a camping tent, one laying down on her back with her shirt open revealing bare breasts. The other woman was kissing down her torso. I kept right on narrating the rest of the movie without any extra commentary on what I just saw. However, I remember feeling surprised, but very intrigued at the site. I really liked the display of breasts and was turned on momentarily (at the time I only knew this sensation as a tingle in my nethers, which happened from time to time). I also did a quick one, two glance around my shoulders to make sure my mother wasn’t lurking when that scene popped up.
Funny story… It had to be around this time when my mom discovered I was googling pictures of naked women. When it happened, my mother called me into the kitchen where the desktop was, showed me the search history, and asked if I was the culprit. I told her I was. There was no lying to my mother. She had an almost supernatural ability to detect any kind of dishonesty. Luckily, I was not a dishonest child, but her talent for extracting the truth through intimidation and fear made it impossible for me tell a lie in situations like this. I still to this day have trouble with trying to lie. It’s not a bad thing to be terrible at, but there are those rare moments, when it’s actually a useful skill. Surprisingly, I don’t think I was whooped for this occurrence. I did, however, feel shame and embarrassment. I quickly learned how to cover up my online endeavors.
April 5, 2007: My older sister Nicole and I went on a trip to spend time with our grandparents on our father’s side in Oakland. When we got there, Nicole and I watched Batman and Robin for the first time. I narrated it in my journal, of course.
We went on a shopping trip and my grandmother gave us each $100. I made a list of things that I bought. Among those items were: a two-piece bikini blue and red and white hearts, Skintight (this was an erotica about a Vegas showgirl. It was my first time reading an erotica. I enjoyed it a lot and hid it in my underwear drawer waaay in the back. One of the perks of shopping with my grandmother is she didn’t go through the books I wanted to make sure that they were appropriate. I suppose in this case it wasn’t appropriate, but I have no regrets. That book added some much needed excitement to my life), Stephen King’s Carrie, and Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.”
Later, Nicole and I watched Batman Forever (my favorite to this day). I wrote “Robin is extremely sexy. Wow. To make out with him would be awesome! His soft pink lips interlocking with mine. His warm breath from his nose would brush my cheeks. I’d wrap my arms around his neck and he’d draw me closer around the waist. We’d be lost in a world of love, entwined by our hearts. Our lips would unlock slowly and I’d stare into his eyes… I’ll stop now before I write something inappropriate or R rated or something. That’s how I feel about him though. It makes my emotions run wild.”
That night I dreamed of Robin. He took me to the batmobile and we got inside. As I was trying to feel his muscles through his suit, he told me he couldn’t be with me because I was 13 and he was a college student. I kissed him again and said I still loved him. We agreed to keep it a secret. No, as a 13 year old I was not thinking of the age gap or the fact that I was a minor canoodling with an adult. I was thinking about Robin, a fictional character, being my one true love.
More sensual/sexual dreams followed about different boys. They were celebrities, peers, or people I didn’t know. I suppose you could call this time in my life my own personal sexual awakening. I craved love, attention, and touch. The only way I could make this happen was in my dreams and with words written onto blue stained journal paper with a gel pen.
April 6, 2007: I went shopping with my mother and my sister for an Easter outfit. There’s a page of the journal that’s missing so I’m not sure what was said right before this. “…in her head, she thinks it’s too short! I love that skirt. I’ve always wanted one like that! Now because she thinks it should be 1 inch longer, I can’t wear it. She said bend down. So I had to, not like I’m going to be doing that. She ruined my Easter outfit. It would’ve been perfect. Now it’s ruined because of her fucking opinions. This is bullshit. I am so mad. She ruins everything! And you know what else? Nicole doesn’t even care since she got everything she wants. She doesn’t even freaking care! Now I will endorse myself in my Stephen King book and try to scare myself.”
April 7, 2007: “Me and Nicole are going to leave Grandmother’s house today! The fire guy in the Fantastic Four is so hot! Literally. I wish I could make out with him too. Anyway, I need to get all my stuff together.”
“I hate living here! My sisters are a pain in the butt and I have to clean the stupid kitchen because no one can clean up after themselves. Then mom said in order to wear my swimsuit, I have to wear another shirt over it. You know what I really hate her for? She won’t let me wear my skirt! I made shorts out of my shiny holy leggings. I was hoping mom would let me wear the skirt if I have the shorts on underneath. When I bend down nothing shows. She acts like everyone’s going to see my underwear. If she says no, I have to buy more capris I guess, and then I’ll ignore her to the best of my abilities.”
“Marine world is Friday! I’ll have on a cute outfit and I’ll make sure my hair is pretty. Rides not to ride: Medusa, Vertical Velocity, anything that drops from the air. Rides to Ride: Kong, Water Logs, Roar.” The Marine World trip was for students who had a high enough grade point average. Being a 4.0 student, I felt special and proud to be able to go on the trip.