A Horrifying Look Back at My Early Teen Years

I’ll admit: Crafting ‘10 Ridiculous Lines from Cover Letters I’ve Written’ was a wakeup call for me. After diving into the vault of desperation that was my 2008 outbox, I thought my esteem for the younger me couldn’t get any lower. But that all changed after a visit with my parents last weekend.

Due to an impending move down south, my parents have been cleaning up shop for the past six months. As a result, I’m greeted with relics from my past every time I visit them. Clothing, books, photos; they’re resurfacing like decomposing bodies. My parents want to be rid of extraneous memorabilia, and it’s my gift and burden to become reacquainted with the things that’ve been lost to basements and garages over the years. This time, they’d cleaned off my bookshelves and I returned to Brooklyn with a bag full of yearbooks, calendars, and best of all – journals.

I was nervous about rereading these things. Part of my anxiety arose from the knowledge that my entire family had passed my journals around like they were fuckin’ Mad Libs. Everyone had read everything. This concerned me, because I don’t have many specific memories from that time period. I know I had some bouts with untreated depression and I was addicted to boys like someone had liquefied them and shot them into my veins, but over time, my childhood has become like a film I know well but haven’t watched in years. Well, I dusted off that VHS tape. I hit rewind. I pressed play. AND IT WAS LIKE WATCHING THE RING.

1999 (Age: Too Young) – Disturbing rap lyrics I wrote

I’m the undercover lover/I’ll treat you like no other/I bump so hard the cum is dripping from your brother [!]

July 25, 2000 (Age 13) – In which I say goodbye to god, forever

Tomorrow, if things finally go my way, I’m going to see [redacted]! Finally, finally, I can’t believe it I’m so happy it’s unbelievable. Knowing my luck something will go wrong!

I called John’s before & [redacted] supposedly picked up… the person said it was [redacted] but it didn’t sound like him. Then he put me on hold for an hour… that part was definitely him. Amanda was probably on the other line. It’s 12 AM now… if I’m still up & kicking I’ll call at 12:30.

God please let things go right tomorrow I haven’t seen him in five months please let him go to Rio [teen club] please please please! [sad face]. That’s all I ask… I always ask you to help me but you never do… I don’t know why. Not even for serious stuff like Bud & the girl that might be pregnant… he’s only 15 you can’t do that to him! I love him so much he’s still a kid… God please… protect him he’s so young & he made a mistake… and if he kills himself because you let this girl be pregnant I’ll never talk to you again.

~Stephanie

PS It’s 12:30 I’m on the phone with [redacted] & big surprise they ain’t goin to Rio. Thanx a lot, God. THANKS! Bye forever! [sad face]

Fall 2000 (Age 14) – In which I write a highly suspect ‘Good Outcome’/ ‘Bad Outcome’ list evaluating a leadership retreat I went to

Good Outcome:

  • Got to see old friends and make new ones
  • Realized who was a true friend all along
  • New guys! Sweet [smiley face] Too old [sad face]
  • Realized I have to put friends before myself sometimes, especially when they do it for me

Bad Outcome:

  • Serious back and arm injuries from heavy bags
  • Realized who wasn’t a true friend all along
  • Painful memories in every song, moment, and activity from one old guy
  • Loneliness
  • Everyone having someone except for me!
  • Dumb hikes
  • Lost beautiful ring
  • Not enough pity [OMG]
  • Dealing with over-enthusiasm [OMG]

July 15th, 2001 (Age 14) – In which I am ‘depressed’ in a way I don’t remember being

SHIT [written in bubble letters]

I just need to let it all out but I don’t know how. Why am I so depressed? It’s not that bad! Shit! I know for a fact that I need medicine. This depression shit is all in my mind and I CAN’T GET IT OUT!! Without drugs.

I don’t know what has become of me, in every depressing image, I see myself. It’s like looking in a mirror. And like a mirror, I can’t change what I see. I can just OBSERVE.

My room is so happy but I am so sad! I don’t get me. I don’t get anyone. I don’t get why I am so antisocial?? I never want to see my friends anymore?? For a while I thought that I needed love but for some reason when I get the feeling I’m in love it just makes me more depressed! Well I’m going to think.

July 29th, 2002 (Age 15) – GOD AWFUL EMO ASS POEM I WROTE ABOUT MY ONLINE CRUSH WHO DISAPPEARED IN 2000 AND WAS PROBABLY A 45-YEAR-OLD MAN

Something beautiful was waiting on the other side

But I didn’t make it there

Some days I wish I were someone else, someone unaware

Something so beautiful exists but I can’t find him

And if I could I’d do everything I could just to remind him

I want to know that my stranger’s okay

Without him I’m very lonely

And although I never met him

I wish that he would hold me

I wonder where he is and if he’s even real

But could something imaginary have the power to make me feel

Like I can never rest again until I find my beautiful friend

What I would give to see the face of someone I know but don’t know at all

Your depression was beautiful; it made me fall

You were always dead but I would never hesitate to love your dead soul

Touch your dead hair

Kiss your dead lips

[WTF]

An acronym I made of my name, date unknown

S – Stupid

T- Tortured

E – Endangered? We wish

PH- Phuck up [LOL]

A – Asshole

N – Nothing

I – Idiot

E – Empty

Revisiting what will be referred to henceforth as “the dark years” was bittersweet. It’s disturbing to witness all of that angst from a safe distance – it felt like watching a burning building on the evening news. I feel overwhelmed and helpless. That crazy ass pathetic sociopath was ME. Conversely, it humbles me that despite being completely maladjusted for a few years, everything turned out okay. Besides, it’s the law that every teenager operates on the ‘hot mess’ setting. …Right? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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