I made a promise to myself this year. It’s a pretty big goal, especially because I gave it a deadline, but I tend to look at things and tear them apart to make sense pretty quickly. Every time I listen to music from when I was in high school, it takes me back to that time… and how I felt. This was further amplified when I took a day to wander around Telegraph.
Even though things were so different, they’re also very much the same… So, I’m going to attempt to sort through my fear, loathing, and inner pain that I felt all throughout high school in context to the time it was happening. That means talking about the nineties as I remember them from when I was in high school.
Oh, the halcyon days on the nineteen nineties…
Yeah, right. It was all but halcyon. My life was in turmoil. I was abused both by friends at school as well as my family. I had no real sense of safe space. It took me many years to understand that safety isn’t just four walls, it’s the people who you invite into your family. I become more aware of that as every day passes.
Maybe it’s because I now feel more capable of being myself instead of fitting in some pre-poured mold that is gender. I now know the people I’m with are going to accept me for all of me, not because of expectations.
I certainly didn’t necessarily have it when I was younger. I also didn’t understand what my gender really was. Being non-conforming was… difficult. It was so difficult to deal with because there was a lot of puerile jokes, including repeatedly calling me she male… This is what my friends called me.
It made me realize how angry I was. I didn’t lash out like most teenagers. I didn’t lash out at my parents or do things like drink and smoke when I was in high school. My issues… were a little more personal, even if lashing out at my parents would be the entirely appropriate course of action. I did it by hurting myself. More importantly, I did it by cutting myself. It’s a behavior that I kept up with for… well… I think up until I was 25. I’m more to lash out on myself than anyone else.
This included my desire to do heroin. This amplified exponentially after my rape… which occurred not even one month after I started my freshman year. Surprisingly, as hell-bent as I was to actually shoot up… and having it repeatedly offered to me… for some reason, I couldn’t. Everything in my wanted to sublimate, to take the pain away by any means.
But I didn’t…
And I’m not sure why.
I dealt with the pain every day. I would often not fall asleep until 4:30 in the morning, only to need to wake up 3 hours later to go to school. Every time I went to school, it was this cruel reminder of what happened to me, how it felt to be cornered and incapable of leaving. It also brings up the mixed feelings of how I should have been able to fight back, but I didn’t. It’s something that I always take out on myself. I consider myself to be a strong woman, yet I couldn’t fight back. I couldn’t get out of the situation myself. Which is something my parents and specifically my mom used to tell me. I need to get myself out of difficult situations.
This is probably why, by and large, that I tend not to talk to people about my issues. I largely deal with them myself. I’ve never felt like I could talk to anyone or depend on anyone… I have always been made to feel that I can only really ever depend on myself… in all ways.
So, I always feel like I should have had the ability to get out of that situation. It makes me cry sometimes because I didn’t/couldn’t fight back.
So, that’s something that I still struggle with. I blame myself for not fighting. I don’t blame myself for the rape itself. That’s something that I need to stop doing. I need to look at myself and realize that it’s not something I could have really controlled.
And while I can say it, I don’t necessarily believe it. That’s the hard part, believing that I couldn’t have fought. I don’t know what to do about it though…
But it’s something that I have had in my life for over half my lifetime now… and the older I get, the bigger a timeframe it will take up. It can’t be like this forever. And it’s something that I will work on and kill (hopefully with fire).