Teenage Years; What I Have Learned
I've been through it all. I once was a teen. Looking back now, I can openly admit, I made horrible judgment calls and had very dumb, irrational thinking. I claimed I wasn't a follower, yet I never really realized what a "follower" actually was. Just because I was an outcast, that NEVER made me a leader. Up until about 3 years ago, I was a follower. I may not have drank or used drugs all the time, but in MANY other aspects, I was a part of a cult. The cult being, Stereotyping. I let myself become prey of a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing; a Stereotype.
I remember in Middle School, I had very few friends in school and even less outside of school. All's I wanted to be was the pretty popular girls that could talk to anyone without fear, that can wear anything and do anything without people saying something bad. In 8th grade, I remember feeling ugly and ashamed of my looks, my body size and my over all appearance and life. I would be happy for anyone to just talk to me. I was always shy and never outgoing and even to this day, I have trouble starting a conversation with someone I barley know unless its on the internet or over the phone. I remember liking a boy in my 8th grade class. One girl I sat with in math class caught on and asked yet I quickly denied it. Thinking it was wrong for someone like me to even like a popular, jock type guy like him. I quickly forgot about that boy. The summer before High school, I started talking to a girl I hadn't in nearly 3 years. Needless to say, she was always getting into trouble and doing the wrong things. Towards the end of Summer, I began smoking cigarettes with her and even attempted being bulimic with her but I never could bring myself to puke. I went to my first party that year where everyone was drinking and smoking pot, but using my better judgment I said no to both. Going into 9th grade, I had still not had a boyfriend or even an kind of interaction with a boy. I felt hideous and just horrible about myself. Before I knew it, she had me talking to this boy, one of whom I didn't really even like. He forcefully pushed me up against a wall one night and kissed me. Needless to say, my first kiss was a horrible experience. I pretended to like him long enough to have a date for homecoming. He later left me alone at the dance for some other girl. I remember sitting in the hall wanting to cry. Feeling as if I wasn't good enough for anyone. Shortly after that I began to change. I became a person I thought guys would like. I ended up in my first relationship with a boy. One of which I didn't even like in the first place. I just liked the idea of having someone like me. He pressured sex on me, and after a few weeks of dealing with that I left him. We were together for 3 months, most of which I don't even remember. Shortly after I turned 15, I had another boyfriend. He was forceful and demanding and wouldn't take no for an answer. I learned that one day, what it was truly like to be ashamed of my body. I quickly left him after that. I then became friends with a girl who had tons of guy friends, a boyfriend, a mother who let her drink and she appeared to have the life. She talked to everyone and was friends with everyone. We became close friends and I learned that her relationship was far from glamorous. Her boyfriend actually hit her. I didn't find this out right away but I kind of had an idea that it was going on. The summer I was 15, I had my first drink of alcohol. I absolutely hated it. I also tried weed, which I also hated. I became one of them kids that did things to merely be excepted. My life quickly spiraled down hill after that. I began starving myself, becoming friends with all the wrong people, I continued to drink here and there and even smoke despite the fact that I hated it. I hated the people I was around and I hated who I was, but hey... I had friends. When I was 18, I confessed to this guy that I had liked him. He said to give him a call, and I did. Him and his brother made of joke of it. They made me feel the lowest I had felt in some time. My one so called friend's boyfriend had a cousin who had liked me for sometime but I never liked him. At my wits end of being the third wheel and the loner, I went out on a date with him. I forced myself to like him and we ended up dating for nearly 3 years. In those three years, he lied to me, cheated on me, and pretty much mistreated me in any way possible.I stayed because I was too scared to be alone. I cried every week, sometimes for days. I became a raging detective that would not stop. Right before I ended the relationship he had promised me he wouldn't drink on his 21st birthday because he knew how much I hated it. He drank and lied to my face about it. That was pretty much the last straw. I simply stopped caring. I ended up meeting a guy I had dated in the past. We only went on one date and he disappeared. He apologized to me for that. We talked and hung out for a week or two and he finally got me to leave this guy. We ended up dating for two weeks and parting ways because I refused to have sex with him. I ended up being friends again with someone who made me into the person I use to be, whom of which I hated. I ended up drinking again. I started talking to a guy and for the first time in my life, I felt like I found someone who actually respects me and takes me as I am. I was happy and I hadn't felt this kind of happiness in such a long time. Shortly after, I ended up in and out of hospitals. I stopped getting my period, I started losing hair and I slept for days. I started getting death feeling anxiety and horrible chronic neck pain and head aches. This was nearly three years ago when I finally woke up. I made a lot of mistakes, and I payed the price. I can't have a stable relationship with a guy, I have trust issues from being friends with liars that used me in so many ways. From starving myself, my health has suffered. The stress I put myself under for years has effected me.
The point of me sharing this is to show people what stupid mistakes can do. What stressing and starving your body can do. What letting your life revolve around getting attention can do. I'm still not 100% and God willing, I pray I will be some day. It's hard for me to write all this because it reminds me of things I had wished I had never done. It reminds me of all the mistakes I have made. I wish I could take back a lot of it but at the same time, would I have learned any of this if I hadn't went through it? Would I be half as strong or smart if I hadn't learned from these lessons? I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of, is that God was watching over me the whole time because if He hadn't been, I would have ended up on drugs, pregnant or with some disease. I'm not quite sure I'd even be alive right now. I turned by back on Him many times in the past but He never turned His back on me. I am grateful for that every day. I still may be struggling with different things, but I know He will help me like He has so many times before.
The whole purpose of this hub is to show people and to show teens, there are consequences to all actions. Bad and good. It's hard to realize it when your young because you feel fearless and friends and relationships seem to be what matters most. I let myself become a stereotype of an outcast. I was never an outcast and I know that now. I'm just not a person "of the world", I simply live in it. Even in my bad judgment from my teen years, I know I never wanted to be like anyone else, I just thought I did. The greatest lesson I learned was just that... Learning to love and respect and except myself as I am.
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