“You’re my favorite,” daddy said.
My stomach tightened and I immediately felt nauseous; his statement made me uncomfortable but I didn’t know why. I felt ashamed and dirty inside.
My level of shame escalated the morning of my first menstrual cycle at age eleven; I thought I was bleeding to death ! My mother was at work so I frantically called a friend’s mother and found out what was happening to me. She was so angry with my mother for not preparing me. I felt betrayed. She didn’t loved me enough to share anything important with me. When I returned to school I thought I was the only girl in my sixth grade class going through this painful and shaming experience !
I was attending a new elementary school because we had recently moved two miles north of our home. Dad bought me a brand new TV and placed a blue princess-style phone by my bed. I had my own bedroom and my own bed for the first time. I felt loved by my dad because he had never given me any gifts in the past. Much later I understood his motive. Our new rental home was much larger with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. I thought we were doing better because dad had a gas station and we had food in the refrigerator.
Nothing improved in my relationship with my mother. She ignored me the older I became except when I was performing musically in school and church. Otherwise, we had no connection; I didn’t feel loved and didn’t trust anyone.
I became infatuated with a boy in my classroom. I didn’t let anyone know because I thought I was too ugly and poor for anyone to like me though I was at the top of my class academically and was elected as secretary of my school.
Nothing I achieved gave me any sense of self-worth. On the outside I had the appearance of perfection, talent, and intelligence. However, it masked the inner turmoil and lack of self-esteem brewing in my soul.
Within a few years I was covering up my promiscuity, feeling ashamed of myself and not able to stop my behavior. I trusted no one so I couldn’t talk about it. I just knew I was flawed deeply and didn’t know why . . . .