High School – Confidence

Things started to look up when I entered high school. During Freshman year I attended Roy C. Ketcham High School and lived with my dad. I have so many great memories from that first year in high school. I had great friends, adventures and went to my first homecoming dance. I vividly remember watching Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time at my friend Samantha’s house and loving every second of it (Tim Curry is a GOD). And drinking became an every weekend event. I am very thankful to still have many of those people in my life today. I will be honest…I couldn’t tell you the name of any of my teachers or even what classes I took. But I remember the important things…time with my friends. I remember Steph and I walking home from Samantha’s or Brian’s houses back to hers singing songs from NSYNC’s Christmas album while freezing our asses off, or being a part of Mask & Mime behind the scenes and eating dipsy doodles every day from the vending machine. Meeting friends that I cared so much about like Marie (better watch out when Marie and I get together), Brian, Cory and Louie. It was perfect.

The summer between Freshman and Sophomore year my dad got remarried. He married my stepmom, Michele. And let me tell you we won the stepmom lotto. I know that I may have not been the easiest teenager to deal with, but she did it. She delt with and continues to deal with my insanity. I also gained a new brother and sister. My stepsister Gabby and stepbrother Michael. I won’t say too much about them here because they will have their own blog coming up. Anyway, dad and Michele had a beautiful wedding. I was happy my dad found love again. Him and Michele are perfect together. However, them getting married meant we were moving to Westchester. That’s where Michele lived. Her job was there. She worked in a hospital and my dad traveled for work, so it was easier for my dad to move there then for Michele to quit her job and move by us. Plus, my grandparents lived in Westchester, so this allowed us to be closer to them as well.

So, sophomore year I started at a new school. I was terrified. I was finally happy where I had been. I had great friends and was “finding myself,” as weird as that sounds. I felt like I was losing all my friends and starting all over. The first six months to a year at my new school was hard. Everyone was fine but I didn’t feel connected to them. They all drove expensive cars and had designer clothes and bags. That was not where I came from. But once I started working at a small daycare in the athletic gym, I met some kids from my school and got to know them. These girls allowed me an outlet at school and at work. I was glad to have them. Even though I don’t feel like I made any true long-lasting friends at this new school, (Facebook friends at best) I have to say it ended up not being so bad and everyone was nice and always seemed to include everyone else. I also discovered a passion during one of my favorite classes Junior year — my film class. I talked about it in one of my previous blogs. I loved this class and it helped me find an escape into movies, specifically old movies. Movies and TV have, and still do, give me away of disappearing for a while. I can get lost in them and forget about life for a while.

Even though I thought I was going to lose my friends from freshman year, I didn’t. I visited them every other weekend. I have fond memories of sneaking into the city with my friends Steph, Brian and Louie and going to TRL. We had so much fun. I even snuck into the city with my sister Ashley and my bestie Jessica. Great memories.

During my late teens and early 20s, I felt like I needed everyone to like me and cared a lot about what others thought of me. Honestly, I still feel that way. I am always worried someone is mad at me or I did something to piss someone off. I think as I have gotten older it doesn’t bother me as much, but I still catch myself thinking this way. Someone recommended once to look in the mirror every day and instead of saying what you don’t like about yourself, name a least one thing you do like about yourself. That is something I try to add into my daily routine. One of the most important things I want to teach Autumn is that she is worth more then what people see physically. I remember thinking one of the only things I had going for me were my breasts. They aren’t even that big. But my parents had friends, I specifically remember this one friend of theirs. I think his name was Shaun, but I don’t know for sure. He used to always comment on my breasts to my mom and Joe. It was uncomfortable but at the same time I was like okay this is what I have. This is my worth. My friends would talk about my breast too. About how big they are or try to shoot paper balls in between my cleavage like basketball. Honestly it was funny, and they meant absolutely no harm but again, it stays with you. I have never been the best at school. I can be awkward around people. I talk a lot and ramble when I’m nervous. I am always trying to make people laugh to get rid of the silence or to feel liked. In my head, things like my breasts is all I had going for me. Recently, I lost a lot of weight which I am very proud of. But along with the weight loss, my breasts became smaller. It messed with me mentally for a while. I had to keep telling myself it’s okay. You look great. There is way more to you. And thankfully I have amazing people in my life to remind me that there is more to me then what I think. I mean some of them have been in my life for more than 20 years so there must be something they like about me.

I think older men have such an influence on young women. I have seen it for me, and I have seen it for people I care about. Joe used to feel my legs and comment on if they were smooth or not. Looking back it was not appropriate.  I hope I can teach Autumn that if someone older then her, in a position of power over her or anyone at all does something that ever makes her feel uncomfortable she does not need to take it. She can come to me or someone she trusts.

I never shared this before and even now I am having a hard time writing it. I want to think of it as the past and that it doesn’t matter anymore. But the fact that I am currently thinking about it means it’s still affecting my present. A couple of months before my stepfather Joe passed away, I was living at an apartment with my brother and some friends. Joe and mom’s relationship was extremely toxic at this point. I began receiving texts from Joe. Always asking me things like “Does the carpet match the drapes?” “Is it hardwood?” Inappropriate things. I would never respond. It upset me so much. I didn’t know what to think. This person I really cared about was making me very uncomfortable. He is someone I trusted. I think the worst part looking back now is that I always forgave him and never told anyone. I loved him and I know he didn’t mean it. He was just depressed and drunk. I only ever told two people. I knew if I told others they would view Joe differently and I didn’t want that. I still don’t want that. He was loving and giving and just made a mistake. Every morning after he sent the messages, he would text me and apologize. But when I think about someone my child trusts doing that to her, it freaks me out. I think this is a story I will have to share with her as she gets older, so she can learn from me.

I hope these blogs do not make me come off as someone who is looking for attention or to be the victim. (Here I am, caring what others think again.) I am not looking for that. I am sharing this with the hope it will help me move on or learn to accept them. I also feel that there are others out there who have experienced something similar or have their own stories. I hope I can give them an outlet to feel comfortable and share with me. We need to support each other. I want you to know I am here to support and listen to you as well. Thank you for continuing to read my blogs. It means so much to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *