Note: This is a long Post! It’s a bit challenging to fit an entire diary into a few blog posts but I’d rather not do 60 million parts. I was able to fit this one into 3.
This diary starts off after I “went” to a going away party thrown by a member of my dance company. My mother went inside the party with me, but instead of dropping me off, she made a spectacle of asking where the parents were. Since the chaperone was one of my peer’s sister in her early twenties, my mother then told me “let’s go” and walked out, embarrassing me in front of everyone. The post starts the next Monday I was back at school.
“December 17, 2007: Macy asked me what happened and I told her, everyone who was there wanted to know what happened. Adam asked me if my mom was mad at him. Bryan said it was funny. Macy said that Angie took off her jacket to try and hide the tequila on the counter. (That’s alcohol, Macy told me.) Everyone was trying to crowd around it too. I had to explain it 50 billion times.
“December 18, 2007: We watched CSI. A girls boyfriend killed her after they had sex. It happened to another girl too. So this guy worked at an exotic restaurant where they cooked night-crawlers, centipedes, spiders, beetles, etc. But they had live octopus too. Both of the girls had marks in their mouth, and their mouths and throats were jacked up because the guy fed them the squid the wrong way. You have to wrap the octopus legs around a stick and then slide it backwards in your mouth and eat it whole. When he fed it to her, the legs weren’t wrapped around the stick correctly. She choked on it, I guess. When I was watching it, mom was like “euw” and covered her eyes. Then she kept trying to cover mine and I said ‘please stop’. I said it twice. Right when she started to realize the octopus wasn’t going down right, mom turned it off because she got mad because I told her to please stop. So I left and she was saying ‘gosh I was just kidding.’ I mumbled under my breath and got up here fast. Now I see why they say I have behavior problems. Nicole wouldn’t have done that, but mom wouldn’t have shut the TV off on her like that either. Oh well. I really wanted to see the squid jack her throat up.”
Apparently my parents thought I had behavior problems. If speaking up to my mother when she does something that makes me uncomfortable or upset, and leaving a room when I’m angry is a behavioral problem, I guess I’m guilty.
This situation with my mother was an example of me trying to set boundaries with her and being “punished” for it. In this case, she turned off the TV while I was obviously engaged and excited about watching something. I suppose she got angry when I told her to stop covering my eyes. I was not allowed to contradict her in any way, even if she was bothering me. There were other instances where she would shut off the light in a room I was in and walk out if she didn’t like what I said to her. I never cursed, insulted her, or showed disrespect. These were always moments where we were in disagreement. She unintentionally taught me that if I disagree with someone, I will be punished.
“December 21, 2007: Today was so special. I have this feeling of warmth because of U.R. As you know Christmas is Tuesday. I didn’t get any presents for my friends. I only got 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night making people presents and studying. In U.R., we got there and filled everyone’s stockings. Then we ate. It was delicious. Then people gave their presents to their secret Santa. A person would describe their secret Santa and give it to them, then their secret Santa would go next. It was hilarious hearing peoples’ stories. Tessia got me leg warmers after getting me arm warmers by mistake. I wore them today! All the guys handed out flowers to all the girls and said we were beautiful and they love us. I almost started to cry. They had background music on too. It was so sweet! Then Frederick thanked everybody for giving him a Christmas because no one else gave him presents and he appreciates it. He started crying and everyone else did too because we were so thankful. It was just so heartwarming. I love everyone in there. Mom was supposed to bring lasagna but she was too late so we’re going to eat it for dinner. She’s been in a funky mood all day and it’s ruining everything.”
“I just came back from Kay’s party about an hour ago. It was fun. I probably thought so because I don’t get out much. When I got there it was me, Kay, and four other people. Then Leah the birthday girl came and Marty showed up from the fourth grade! We used to have a crush on each other. I actually talked to him. I was still my usual shy self, but I felt like I was part of the group more. Marty is hecca cute! We played music after walking down to Leah’s house to get her iHome radio. We played cards and small games and talked more. Me and Kay were up dancing and we kind of messed around. We practiced lifts with Leah. All the girls were laying halfway under the table and talking. That became the thing, to talk under the table. Leah was acting crazy. We started talking more and listening to more “intimate” music. This led to spin the bottle as time went on. It was mostly girls kissing each other on the cheek. Leah told us how she made out with three girls, but it doesn’t mean she’s a lesbian. It really doesn’t mean anything. Her brother was drinking in front of us because Kay and Leah asked for alcohol and cigarettes. Leah was trying to think of ways to sneak it. I’m tired.”
“December 22, 2007: 8:55AM: This morning I uploaded a pic of boobs to be my picture for my YouTube account. That attracts more people I guess.”
“1:22PM: I got the huge blanket I wanted. Too bad they have to go under the tree. My sisters got one too, although mine is much thicker. “
My parents took us to a flea market and we were all allowed to pick one blanket to be our Christmas present. On one side was a beautiful illustration of several wolves under a full moon and the other side was a few flowers. I never gave a shit about the flower side. I connected with that blanket and felt protected by it. I kept this blanket until this year when I threw it away since there was a gaping hole and stuffing coming out of it. I was sad when I had to let it go. It would be nice to have another wolf blanket one day.
“December 23, 2007: 7:04AM: Me and my sisters are getting ready for the xmas choir production. I’m wearing a xmas present. It’s a pant suit. I’m wearing a collared shirt (red) and a cute jacket. They’re pinstriped.”
“2:49PM: The performance went great. Me and Nicole got so many compliments from our harmony. We did better at second service. The J brothers and their cousins were there. Yes! I looked hecca sharp too with my red heels and my hair in a flipped up bun with straightened hair. I actually talked to Milo! Well, with Nicole standing there. She kind of got the conversation going. They sure were talking. I’m jealous. I wish I was a social butterfly.”
“10:42PM: Today I slept a lot because I got a huge headache. It was so bad I was crying and I couldn’t go to sleep. Mom prayed for me and then I went to sleep. I woke up at 6 something. Me and Nicole went to Aunty T’s house to see Denise. Her boyfriend was there. They’re thinking about moving into an apartment together. She’s a senior in high school and she’s living with him and his mother. We ate dinner while watching the choir performance from yesterday. “
“12:00PM: Santa hasn’t come yet, duh. Sasha wrote a letter and left milk and cookies. I think she knows he’s not real, but wants to keep hope alive. I caught dad last year so… “
The previous year I was 13. It was 2006. I decided that I was going to set an alarm for midnight and see if I could catch my parents putting presents under the tree. I figured this would be a good time because they would assume my sisters and I would all be sleep (normally we would) and it wasn’t too late for my parents to still be up. Sooooo, at midnight I woke up and crept down the stairs a bit and saw my dad with large bags of presents in his arms heading towards the tree. I don’t remember the exact exchange we had when he caught me watching him, but I think I said something like, “I couldn’t sleep, so I was going to the kitchen”. I felt awkward and a little guilty for catching him and went back to sleep. Looking back, I’m glad I investigated to confirm the truth; Santa is a Black man.
“December 25, 2007: Christmas!”
“2:31PM: We opened presents already. I got a Google cup, some Google bags, a yoyo, Google chapstick, socks, boots, a dress, shirts, and a bubble gum machine from Sasha. 75% of the presents, no 50% was jewelry. 25% was Google stuff. I got gift cards too. We got a lot of Google stuff because mom and dad don’t have much money. I already knew because there weren’t so much presents this year. I’m good though. Let me go help Sasha set up her pony game I bought her. I still have a headache˙
My aunt worked at Google at the time and bought us a lot of Google merchandise. I was super excited for several reasons: I adored my aunt, I used Google as a search engine, I knew no one else, meaning my peers, were getting free Google stuff, and I had more presents to open. It really meant a lot to me.
“December 29, 2007: We’re up early because mom and dad have to go cook breakfast for church. I’m learning how to solve a rubik’s cube.”
“12:41PM: Family Meeting…”
I wrote a few notes about the family meeting in my journal. At the top of the page is a bullet point that says “Why are people annoying to me?” Probably because people can be irritating and also because depression in children and teens can manifest as irritability. I learned that in graduate school and it was an eye opening moment for me. Suddenly my constant irritation with others growing up made so much sense.
“January 2, 2008: I can finally figure out the rubik’s cube on my own! It took me about 4 or 5 days total. I had to watch the instructional video on YouTube maybe 6 times. Plus notes. Now I know! My fastest time is 3 min 14 secs.”
“January 3, 2008: Me and Ann went on YouTube this morning. She deleted hers, but I checked my messages. She has an email address now. That’s cool except she’s emailing this boy. I should tell her not to give up any personal information. I wish I had her password. But I trust her.”
“January 6, 2008: When Lynn came, we watched the ANTM marathon. Lynn told me about how she was Bi. I told her I was Bi. So, we talked about her boyfriend Dre for hours into the morning. Then we ended up feeling each others arms and chests. We were going to to bed so she turned the light off and we laid there. She took my arm and put it around her. Let’s just say she ended up on top of me. I don’t really like making out with girls, it was weird. It definitely doesn’t taste like chicken. We went to the movies the next day, everything was back to normal! Me, her, and Nicole saw Juno. Mom bought me and Nicole a makeup kit and Lynn did mine. It looked good.”
That make-out session with Lynn was my first kiss. I assumed I didn’t like kissing girls because it was awkward and felt weird. However it has nothing to do with gender and everything do with the fact that neither of us knew what we were doing. There was a lot of tongue involved and it takes practice to do it right. I did really enjoy the rest of the experience and wanted it to happen again. Because of the book Walk Two Moons that I was required to read in Language Arts, I had a curiosity about whether or not a kiss would taste like chicken, as one of the characters wondered this before they had their first kiss.
“11:25PM: I still can’t believe I had my first Bi encounter with a girl, my BFF, Lynn. I hope she doesn’t tell anyone. I think she likes me though. She hasn’t done that with anyone. I’m trying to forget.”
Though I enjoyed that experience, I knew it would not be okay with my parents if I wanted to date her. I had to pretend like I was heterosexual in order to have an “easier” home life. This is why I wanted to forget it. In my world, I was not allowed to be anything other than straight.
“January 10, 2008: I’m in the bathroom. Usually I’m not. I was scared by being downstairs by myself.”
I had recently moved from upstairs to downstairs. There are four rooms upstairs and one room downstairs. My move ensure that my three sisters and I would have our own rooms. It also ensured me the space I so desperately wanted. I no longer had to share the upstairs bathroom with three other girls. More importantly, I was farther away from my parents room. Being near the kitchen was also a plus.
Part 2 Coming soon.