Monday, April 12, 2010

+ remembering. +

When I was twelve, my friend had a slumber party birthday. Best friends, silly girls, sweet girls. I was shy, and worked hard to get along with the other girls. Anna was my friend, that was all I needed. I didn't understand the other girls. Cornfields, puppy, tire swing. After the day in the sun, we set up a spa in the basement to paint our nails. I was again unsettled, nervous; I'd never painted my nails. We soon discovered that I was the best. I finally fit in! All the little hands waited til I could paint their nails the best. For my own nails, I turned down every color given to me, until they got to pink. Daddy only liked pink. Pink is for ladies, I'd heard him tell my mom. Little girl pride, excitement, novelty.

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


Dori the Giant said...

This made me sad.

Unknown said...

You are so loved. And you are such an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I admire your openness and honesty. I would say I'm sorry but I know you didn't post for sympathy, and relationships with family are challenging and complicated sometimes, unfortunately. I love your blog. You remind me of myself in ways, and I'm happy for you - you seem to have really been growing/stretching and content lately.

Paige Baker said...

This is really beautiful. Really.

frankenstein said...

i love you. really proud of you for writing this.

Nate St. Pierre said...

When I read this, I thought of my own little girl and read it as though she were writing it to me. It made me realize how damaging some of the things I may say to her without a second thought could become.

I get to go see her in a couple hours - I can't wait to give her a hug and tell her that she's beautiful.

Thank you.

jess said...

I hope by you writing this you can release the shame and guilt. The honesty and rawness of your words can be very freeing and you deserve the freedom for the hurt. Just by not saying it doesn't make it any less real so you can be faulted for "airing it out". It's tremendously brave. Parents don't always realize the impact they leave on us and we should all acknowledge the power we have in those circumstances. It was very eloquently put. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

i think its totally fine to blog about it. i feel the blog is the best place to help let go of emotions and pain that no one else can understand or help you with. i've done it on more than one occasion.

Annie said...

I admire you so much, you are incredibly brave, strong, and despite never really being close to you, you make me proud and I'm so glad to at least know you in passing :)


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