Last night, we discussed the challenging passage every young woman navigates at some point in her life: Puberty. When asked, as part of our initial check-in around the circle, to share what made each of us most self-conscious in those terrifying and difficult years, we responded with concerns far wider-ranging than one could have imagined.
Still later, in response to the prompt – write about a transformative change during your adolescence – some of the most tragic life stories tumbled onto the page and out of the mouths of these women grappling with fear, abuse, lack of nurture and opportunity of every kind. Their courage and raw honesty is palpable, as evidenced in the writing of SS.
WARNING: her words are hard to hold. They contain harsh reality and gut-wrenching honesty.
I remember when I was somewhat naïve. Not naïve about me or my body. Just naïve to the adult world . . . As a child, I was forced to be a part of the adult world. I had sex long before I ever started my first period.
I was selling crack before puberty took place. I never noticed my body or the transformation. My mind was grown long before my body. Baggy pants, long tees – I wanted to be like him. Being big never mattered and even though I envied the other girls I grew up with, I never wanted to be like them.
I know I had more to offer than a body and a smile. My mind was worth more than what I had between my legs. I learned the hard way. At 14 I was an adult. I f*d like a grown woman and I paid bills like a grown woman. All my innocence stolen from me. I didn’t see it that way then. It was what had to be done.
I stepped into that role, took the burdens way. Made sure we’d be OK. Continue reading