A bit later, mom and dad picked me up. I wasn't allowed to spend the night; they didn't know all the other little girls. Still bubbling, I slid happily into the backseat. My hands folded in my lap, I smiled into the window at my reflection. Lauren Nicole. Yes?! Let me see your hands. Fear, panic, anxiety. I held my hands out, shaking, to show off my stubby hot pink nails with my special 'glitter dots.' Lauren. Terror. The minute you get home you will go to the bathroom and take off that horrible nail polish. But... No, Lauren. It's trashy. You are not allowed to paint your nails. I will not go to church in the morning with a daughter who looks like that. Disappointment, hurt, shame. My pretty pink color was trashy. I was trashy. Daddy didn't think I was pretty. Daddy didn't want me to have fun with all the other girls. Daddy didn't want to be seen with me. Those girls...they were trashy. Too grown up for their age. I wanted to be pretty, but pretty was wrong. Those girls were wrong. I was different, again. I wasn't allowed to fit in, again. Just me, like no one but myself, again. Plain hands, again. I cried myself to sleep.
Ten years later.
Lauren Nicole. Fear, panic, anxiety. You are miserable because you haven't repented for when you've dishonored your parents. You are the wrong type of girl. You aren't the girl your father is proud of. Disappointment, hurt, shame.Your father has never hurt you, ever. You're wrong. He's always loved you. Your father has never treated you badly. This is all your fault. It's always been my fault. Don't expect a birthday card for the fifth year in a row. You don't deserve it. You were the one that hurt your father, not the other way around. No! I was hurt! Lauren, your father won't be seen with you, ever. I'm the wrong type of girl.
Note: I've had two or three people ask me if it's wrong to post publicly about family issues. I want to say I'm aware of this concern, and I've wrestled with it in prayer. What I write is from the depths of my heart, and as a girl who is fighting to learn to finally speak these things, I've found a new 'letting go' and freedom in honesty of being open with past hurts. Despite everything, I love my parents very much. But this is me, my life, struggling to piece things together for myself. The encouragement I receive from all of you helps me in incredible amounts. Thank you for listening, understanding, and loving. xoxo