Grandma Marilyn Coming Of Age
Coming Of Age
Usually at the age of 18 a young girl is getting ready to graduate from high school, get their own place (if they aren't going to college and staying with their parents for a while longer), and going out and conquering the world.
Not so with Grandma Marilyn. She had always been a shy and backward girl. She was what I would call a double introvert. If she even thought that someone was thinking bad things about her or that they were mad at her, she would start crying. She was scared of the world as a whole. She could not go up to someone and start a conversation. She was too scared that they would reject her. Now, if someone were able to get close enough to her to start a conversation on something Grandma Marilyn knew, then she could talk with them with no problem. But, never, never could she be the one to initiate a contact.
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Coming Of Age Gifts - For The Graduating Child
The Scared Little Girl
That Would Hide From Her Own Shadow
Grandma Marilyn had learned to fear critism from her life before. She had an abusive step-father that loved to ridicule her. He called her "his skinny alleycat" for so long that she started eating so that she wouldn't be skinny anymore. He was a verbal as well as a physical abuser. Unfortunately, this lead her to become a fat little girl that everyone loved to ridicule and did at every chance they got. Everywhere she turned she was getting ridiculed. As an example, when she was a freshman in high school, she had a crush on a gorgeous blonde god. He asked her on a date one day and when she said she would love to as this was her dream come true, he started laughing and told the world that she actually believed that he would go out with the fat girl. She was crushed and devastated by this event. Needless to say, she didn't go out very much during her high school years. She had one actual date but nothing became of it. She missed her high school prom also because she didn't have a date and would have dared be seen at the prom as a wallflower. She could just imagine the ridicule she would get for that and couldn't stand the thought.
Unfortunately, no matter how self confident She becomes, there will always be that scared little girl hiding in the background to come forward.
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With Only Books For Her Friends
She was one of the unfortunate ones that never had more than one friend. She had Lynn Hepner (Johnson) when she was in elementary, junior high and the beginning part of high school in Merced, California. Then in the last part of high school, she had Janet Read Lotz. Since then, friends have been few and in between until she came on the internet. Of course, on the internet, a person can feel more secure. If people start criticizing you, you can delete their messages and block them from ever contacting you again.
She turned to books as her friends. She loved to read and would read every Nancy Drew book that she could get her hands on. She even read a few of the Hardy Boys book. Books about Horses were her favorites. She really loved horses.
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A Way Not To Be Alone
Her mother had told her that when she became 18, she would have to move out and get a place of her own. Wow! This really brought out the scared little girl. In preparation for getting some money coming in so that she could move out on her own, she was working as a waitress. Being as shy as she was, she never got very many tips. The time for moving out was getting closer.
She dated a few of the older airmen on the base that she lived on but nothing to be lasting. Then when she was a senior in high school in Minot, ND, one guy started asking her out all the time. He was a tall good looking airman from Texas. They were always together when her parents would let her. He would take her to the movies and get something to eat quite often then walk her home. She was falling in love with having someone pay attention to her. During this time, he wanted to have sex with her and she refused because it was in an office he was working in and she was afraid someone would come and catch them. Too bad little girl, he wanted it and took it. That should have been a sign to get away from him quick but he was the only one that was paying attention to her. Mom was working all the time and Dad was either working or at the NCO club drinking. So she kept going out with him. She graduated from high school on May 1968. Then on the 4th of July 1968, he asked her to marry him. She didn't love him but he was offering her a place to live where she wouldn't have to be alone. She felt this was the solution she was looking for; So she jumped at it. They were married October 30, 1968 with his brother as their ring bearer. First husband's mother attended the wedding in Minot AFB, ND.
Years later before her mother died, she told her mother why she married husband #1. When her mother heard, she was devastated and said that is not what she meant when she said that. Much too late to save the scared little girl from all of the abuse and horror that she lived through in the 20 years she was married to this man. Don't get me wrong. There were good times in there, too. But, not enough to make up for the bad.
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Note for Parents
Keep Communication Lines Open
Many young girls withdraw into themselves and have fears that no one else knows about. When you make a statement like the one that my mother made, please clarify it, mom and dad. I went through horrors because I misunderstood my mom.
If you are lucky, your daughter will be the type that will become fighters and you will know what is going on in their mind. I raised my daughter to be a fighter just to find out that she had that little scared girl in her, too.
Keep lines of communications open with your children. Be very open around them. Let them know they can come to you with anything....and, I mean anything. Do not over react to what they need to talk with you about. Listen to what they have to say in their own words. Do not interrupt unless your child needs you to answer something. Your time to respond will come after they have told you whatever it was. I didn't feel my parents were open enough to tell them what my first husband had done while we were dating. Maybe if I had things might have been different.
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