Note: My journal entries will now be italicized. I think it will visually look better and be easier to distinguish between journal entries and my current writing.
“June 24, 2007: OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG church was horrible! The J brothers were there. Whenever they’re there, everything goes wrong! They make me so nervous! They came with their tall friend and another short one. They seemed a little shy. They also kept looking at me. After church, here’s the humiliating part, I helped dad with the poles and I took them down and put them on the cart thing. J#2 seemed to be looking at me. He was sitting at a table. I kind of looked at him, but not like staring. All the other boys were helping. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I noticed that when I bend down my bra and a ton of cleavage shows! I am so embarrassed. Cleavage! My bra is white! I know I should’ve worn brown. Worse, he probably told the other boys. J#2 probably thinks I’m a slut. I had no clue. See what I mean by everything goes wrong? Oh man. I need to call Ash. I won’t talk to her about it, too weird. I want to talk about her brother!”
So, when I was tearing down after church, I had to get these poles that held up the curtains and put them in a pile. When I bent down to put the poles in a pile, my shirt, that was very loose fitting, dipped down really low. The boys were in a position where they would be able to see down my shirt. Obviously, it embarrassed me to no end. I assumed the boys thought that I revealed myself on purpose.
“I’m in the van now. We’re going to the mall. Mom is so annoying. She acts like I’m Sasha by the way she talks to me. Now I’ll read my book.“
“June 25, 2007: I took a shower and I have on my dance clothes. I feel so nervous. And hot! The workshop should be fun. The only thing I think I’m scared of is the fact that I don’t know dance terminology. That’s okay. It’ll just be like tryouts. I wish mom could stay. I sound like a little kid. I’d feel better if it were just my team and no other schools. “
I used the word “tryouts” like I was going out for a sports team instead of “audition” for performing arts. I think this terminology confusion continued for a while.
“5:24PM: The workshop was great! I learned one and a half dances. The modern one was hard because the teacher was awful.“
“June 26, 2007: 9AM: Mom said Lynn and I probably won’t be able to go to the mall this week. Oh really? Not fair. When are we supposed to go? Field day at my old elementary was fun. I got very wet. We have to go to Ann’s Taiko Drumming thing. The Taiko performance was pretty good. They did a stomp too and sung We’re All in This Together from High School Musical. There was a girl, Ms. Sandy’s niece, who helped her with Taiko Drumming last year. This year she was pregnant and she’s a little bigger. Her stomach was huge. Her boyfriend and family, including little David looked all ghetto wearing black.“
I want to take a short detour to talk about the word ghetto. At the time, this word was really popular with my age group and it became a part of my vocabulary. I didn’t know what the word really meant. I was making a judgment based on how people dressed and how they talked (usually people I thought were ghetto swore a lot). However, now I want to talk about what this word means as an adjective and as a noun. The history of the word has never had a positive connotation. Though its origination goes back to the 1500s, during the holocaust, more than 1,000 Nazi ghettos were established to hold Jewish populations, with the goal of exploiting and killing the Jews. Ghetto (noun) definition: a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships. The older I got, the more I disliked the term, as it was mostly used to describe men and women of color in a negative way. When someone is described as “ghetto” (adj.) it is used to describe a person’s state of mind. It is a derogatory term used towards individuals who lack the standards of manners and ethics. For some reason, “ghetto” is normally directed towards black individuals. However, it is believed and has been proven that other individuals of a different color can and have acted just as poorly. “Ghetto” is NOT black or being black. It is how one represents themselves in how they act, dress, and speak that acquires itself from the poor conditionings of a “ghetto” (noun) upbringing. In my personal experience, I have interacted with people who were rude, lacked manners, didn’t speak well, and/or seemed generally unconcerned with social standards and behavior. I don’t label these people as ghetto, though different definitions claim that they are. I am uncomfortable using this term, not unlike my refusal to use the N-word regardless if it has been “reclaimed” or “repurposed” by the Black community. People act differently based on their upbringing, environment, etc. Now back to our regularly scheduled diary entry…
“I know David’s only a sixth grader, but he looks like he’s my age. My arm hurts like hell for throwing squeegee ball at 6th graders. By the way, there’s a new reminder, just don’t talk to mom much and do whatever she says. Here goes mom saying ‘Open your door unless you’re changing.’ Gosh, she’s such a nag. Everything has to be her way. Now she’s saying everyone’s getting “loose lipped”. That’s when she tells us to something, and instead of acting like slaves and doing it right away, we’ve obviously been telling her why we shouldn’t or questioning her. She doesn’t get it that I want to get away from her. I’m sick of her.”
The fact that I was not allowed a break from my mother is significant. She hovered around me and continuously demanded my attention or services. My only way of relaxing and taking time for myself was to go into my room and close the door, however, by not allowing me to close my room door, she took away my privacy so she could come in and out of my room as she pleased. I couldn’t separate myself from her and it drove me crazy. After reading this excerpt, I’m noticing that perhaps this was the start of feeling like I’m constantly in a heightened state of anxiety or on edge. If I couldn’t be “safe” from my mother with her scrutiny and demands, I was forced to be in a constant fight or flight mode. I had to be alert and aware of her at all times so I could field her “advances.”
“June 27, 2007: I really need to clean my fish tank. I can’t stop thinking about J#2. I’m totally crushing on him. The only problem is, I think I like the fantasy version I create in my head. I don’t exactly know how he is now.”
Wow, I’m amazed at the self-awareness I had back then. I pride myself now on being self-aware, perhaps to a fault sometimes, because it causes overthinking. But go teen me for realizing I was fantasizing about the perfect relationship with a boy I didn’t really know.
“June 30, 2007: Ann graduated from the sixth grade yesterday.“
“July 2, 2007: On Sunday the Js were there. They were playing around and I think they were talking about me. Jo calls the oldest brothers Beaver and Leprechaun. They are so hot. I wanted to stare at them, but when I did, they kept looking at me. Jo said they’re mean. That did seem true, but when I first knew them, I thought they were so nice and sweet. What happened? I’m going over to Jo’s house on Thursday. I’m going to see her on Wednesday too when we see Transformers! I hope I get to sit by her and Boston. Definitely not Ann. Too talky.”
“July 4, 2007: We went to see Transformers today. It’s my fav movie now. Shia Lebouf was the main character. He made the movie even better. I loved it when the robots transformed.”
Side note: Seeing a movie like Transformers was a movie milestone and very memorable. It was the first movie of its kind and quality that I had seen. Equate it to the first time you go to a professional basketball game. Before that, you’d only seen the neighborhood kids play. Am I saying that transformers is the greatest movie ever? Of course not. For me at that time, it was the best. I was captured by the way it was filmed, the acting, the plot, and the action. I was a Disney kid through and through. 90% of my television consumption was Disney. I had finally crossed over to the other side. I wanted to know what else was out there. Steamy romance? Yes. Sex scenes? Hell yes. Violence? Please. Gore, blood, swearing, magic, paranormal creatures, etc.? Yes, times infinity. I wanted to absorb it all. It felt good. Part of the reason for my interest in these genres etc. was to tear myself away from the pure religious stink that permeated every corner of my life. But I was also discovering myself, more specifically what I liked, and was naturally drawn to. Basically, I was beginning to notice, I was a little heathen.
“We went to Buddy’s house and rode on go-carts in the dirt. They were really fast! Then we went to the Henning’s for the fourth of July! I lit fireworks and whenever I wasn’t completely busy I was checking out Marlin Dorcia. Sigh. What a hottie. He’s Tina’s older brother. He is fine. If we had babies, they would be so pretty. I wish he would notice me. We might have made eye contact once. I hope I didn’t make myself look like a total idiot. He’s a heartthrob. There’s only three people who do that 1) Marlin Dorcia 2) Milo 3) Jason Dolley TV star. I didn’t want to leave. Marlin’s good qualities are: shy, quiet, takes care of his little sister, nice, excellent sports player, and resembles Benny from the Sandlot.
End of Part 2. Part 3, the final part of this journal, will be posted soon.