Wanton Destruction

One of the themes of my teen years was the destruction of the things I treasured. It was a particularly nasty way of getting at me – I already felt pretty worthless, and destroying the things I loved made me feel even worse than I already did.

I don’t remember individual events much any more – the days all run into each other, the various forms of abuse melt into an amorphous blob of misery. I can’t tell you if the day the photographs from my school play were ripped up and left on my floor was the same day that my baby blanket was tossed into the bush below my house, left to rot in the treetops somewhere. I can’t tell you if the day my deodorant spray collection was emptied was the same day that my nailpolish collection was opened and emptied into its container, which was a gift to me. It all just blurs together.

There’s one day that’s burned clearly into my mind though. I was given a pink lip gloss in a heart-shaped container for Christmas one year. I loved it, and used it very sparingly so that I wouldn’t run out. One day, I came home to find that my sparkly lip gloss had been used to write ‘slut’ on my mirror.

I was thirteen or fourteen years old. I had never kissed a boy. I had been indoctrinated into the idea that even kissing a boy who wasn’t serious about me was a sin against god. And a slut was supposed to be the worst sort of woman, a woman who had no respect for herself and no respect for god.

I was made to clean it off before my father got home to see it.

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