I have to admit that it’s getting more difficult to expose my diary entries as I emerge as a more powerful, less sympathetic teenager. In the previous diary entry alone, I am both the victim and instigator of sexualized acts of aggression. But here it is. This is the way it happened for me, and I hope continuing to share these diaries will reveal how multi-faceted and entrenched sexual bullying and slut shaming can be.
Monday morning reading material:)
The inspiration for this blog is of course the quote from the movie (and perhaps the memoir although I haven’t actually read it) from ‘We bought a zoo’ about only needing 20 seconds of bravery to do anything. I’ve found myself unable to find the courage to even contemplate 20 seconds lately, because the last time I did it did not go so well… or perhaps it will eventually. Regardless, I don’t feel brave. I feel weak and powerless lately, I feel terrified, which reminded me that before action takes place on those 20 seconds, it feels like being terrified.
The first time I consciously remember acting on those 20 seconds was when I was about 7 or 8 years old and at a big outdoor community swimming pool. My mom was trying to bribe me to go off of the high diving board and I was having none of it. In defence of my mother, she had had to put up with me being a fearless demon-child my whole life up to that point- jumping off roofs into snow banks, any and every ride regardless of height, weight, or age limitations, diving boards, water slides… I was a regular miniature- johnny knoxsville. But for whatever that day I was terrified. the idea of walking to the end of the blue diving board and jumping into the pool was too much. I don’t remember the bribe. But I remember my heart pounding, my breath being short, hearing every bit of blood rushing through my head as if it were a river and my head it’s bed. I remember tensing my body, grinding my teeth, cutting my skin with my nails. And I remember the deep breath I took as I stepped off that board. I even remember telling myself that nothing bad would happen, and if it did, there were adults, lifeguards, and my mother there to save me.