Another Pagan Blog
 
I really hope you all hate the title of this post and are willing to argue that those are not in fact "typical high school emotions."
I was naive. I still am, but not nearly to the extent I was in High School. I felt so many emotions, I let so much affect me in a vastly negative way. I was supposed to be growing, but every corner I turned was another obstacle stunting my growth and sending me back into my shell. When I thought I had a poem published it turned out to be a scam, stunting my confidence in myself, not as a poet, but as a writer. The pieces and photos I put up on DeviantArt would get a few good reviews, but mostly resulted in insults or weren't ever noticed at all. Regardless of the fact that I had talent, anytime I ever auditioned for a solo in choir, since it was determined by democratic vote, I never got the solo. The one time I did, I wasn't allowed to take the solo for competition, only for the concert that only a handful of people who mattered would ever see. (Ironically, the girl who got the solo for the competition forgot an entire section of it, completely blowing the competition for us. We barely got an honorable mention. I remembered every word.)
My self-confidence was already battered into the ground before I ever got to High School. By the end of Freshman year I had made up my mind that I wouldn't be able to get into a University when I graduated, so I never even tried, I never even took the SAT. And it only got worse as the years wore on. From my dad calling me a satanist, to questioning my sexuality, to sitting in "church" every Sunday morning, convinced I was going to the Hell my parents and pastor didn't believe in, but still managed to make me terrified of.

It was my Junior year of High School that I really started pursuing my poetry. I think I honestly had a knack for it, and a love of exploring different forms of poetry. Most of it didn't rhyme, but rhyming has never been a problem for my poetry. My sister/best friend and I were really into Amy Brown and Nene Thomas at the time, so I had gone onto their sites and printed out several of their pictures that really spoke to me. Then I picked up a black journal and carried that around with me, the pictures taped to pages inside, and I would write poetry based on those pictures. In the front I had some kind of childish warning of horrible things that would happen to anyone who read or tried to publish any of that poetry. The poetry was for myself and those I cared about that I wanted to share it with, I never had any intention of any of it getting out to the public eye, it was just practiced to me.
One day I had left it by the computer that my family shared, probably in a pile of my stuff, and hadn't thought much of having left it there.
My dad was upstairs using the computer, and must have picked it up. I don't know if he ever bothered to look at the poetry or if he didn't even make it past the first page, but he was angry. He yelled a lot while I was in High School, nothing I could do was enough to make him happy. But that is one of the few times I remember exactly what he was yelling about. How he called me a satanist, long before I was ever even pagan. How he forced me to throw away my own poetry.
(Later that night my mom snuck out and picked it out of the trash and kept it hidden in her room for a couple weeks before she showed me that she'd saved it. I had her hold onto it for as long as she could. It still brings up a lot of bitter feelings whenever I look at it, and I certainly never could pick up the poetry again.)

My dad and I fought a lot. Nothing terribly different from other families, everyone has arguments with their parents when they're teenagers. But I never tried to rebel in High School. It was always over some shoe I'd left in the living room, or dishes I hadn't washed. He would be angry, probably because he just got home from work after a two hour long drive through rush hour traffic, and I would be angry that he was getting so upset over something so small. Words would be exchanged, but I would try so hard to turn the other cheek. Whenever I felt like I was getting to a point where I just couldn't say anything that wouldn't dig me further into the hole I was try to walk away, but he wouldn't ever let me. He'd get upset that I was walking away from him. The fight would continue. I'd eventually get sent to my room, which was what I was trying to do in the first place.
I used to be a Daddy's girl, and I think it killed both of us that we'd grown so far apart. I know it kills him. He feels like he failed as a father to my sisters (his step-daughters) and tried to make it up to himself by being a good father to me, but the harder he pushed, the further we grew. The closer I grew to my sisters.
I started talking to them a lot. L had just moved back to SoCal, and J and I were finally in a spot where we could have civil conversations. Most of which were about our home life, about dad. And I would sit there and look at my sister (J) who'd just had a baptisim and wonder what in the world my father could have wrong with her life choices.
Then there was L...who started attending a Unitarian Universalist church on a regular basis, and no longer believed in Jesus. (Even though I was still a devout little Christian girl I remember looking at my mom when she told me that L didn't believe in Jesus and just thinking 'so what?')
And looking at L and J, I began to realize something. It didn't matter what I did, or how hard I tried to make Daddy happy...I would never be good enough for him, because I could never be THAT untrue to myself. I couldn't believe that there was something wrong with a man and a woman living together before marriage, or indulging in drink occasionally, I had to question his political beliefs, which led me to questioning his religious beliefs.

I spent a good chunk of those years, Junior, Senior, and my first year of College, entertaining thoughts of suicide. Nothing I ever acted on, but I don't think it was just a cry for attention...because it took me a long time to bring it up with anyone. I'd written notes that I hid in journals, I'd stared at the blade of my razor, wondering how I'd even go about getting it off. Even after I had folded and confessed to my mom and my sisters, I'd still have moments while I was in the car, at the front of a line stopped at a busy intersection, and wondering what it would be like if I just stepped on the gas and drove out into the middle of all these cars racing past me. The excuse I used at the time was that I could never live up to the expectations of one person, but looking back on it, I'm sure there was much more to it. Spiritual dissatisfaction, sexual confusion, low self-esteem, and the verbal abuse of my father. I was an incredibly unhappy person.
 
 
Sorry about the hiatus last week folks. As previously mentioned I was in a pretty dark headspace that took some wiggling to get out of. Even when I was feeling better by Wednesday I didn't really get back to myself until Friday evening. It's good to be back though.
I gotta make this short 'cause I need to go post some questions regarding Rime of the Ancient Mariner before I go to bed on the class forum.

High School was a brand new experience for me. I had discovered the Internet in Jr. High and had already been role-playing for about a year and a half. I was a dice away from D&D when I started High School. Not only that but the Internet gave me a whole new view of the world that not even my few years in public school had prepared me for. The Internet started a very long process of leaving me jaded, of showing me all that is wrong with humanity. In essence, the Internet introduced me to the vilest of enemies towards the Christian religion: Philosophy.

Wait, hold on...let me back up a smidge. A couple posts back I mentioned the two books that most influenced my young childhood. Well not long after I devoured Chronicles of Narnia for a second time I discovered my mom reading an old book she'd picked up at a thrift store. The book was a black paperback, tattered and worn and very well loved. The cover of it had some elegant scrolling words in a script I didn't recognize arranged on an arch. And beneath this arch was a crouching old figure at the edge of an underground lake clutching a fish.
The first time I read the Hobbit was in fifth grade. A year later I tackled The Lord of the Rings. And even though I wouldn't complete it right away, when I did finally finish reading that fantastic trilogy, Tolkien had won over a devoted fan for life. In seventh grade I saw the trailer for "Fellowship of the Rings" and though I was skeptical of how the movie would turn out I was finding every Lord of the Rings related site on the internet, some movie related, but most developed my Tolkenites long ago. And by eighth grade, that roleplaying I discovered was on a web-forum called Entmoot. Out of utter embarrassment at my early attempts at the game I will withhold my username and the forums I was in, but the fact is the roleplaying started a stream of writing. And it had me relating elves to men in Philosophical statements only my mom could pretend to understand...

Freshman year of High School was not a whole lot of revelations for me spiritually. I sang in choir, I got my first ever class grade "F" (In an English class no less!). Nothing terribly life-changing. Well, I did start reading Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series which introduced some new, vaguely pagan concepts to my blooming mind. And I did meet the Bane, a boy who would much later end up becoming a major part of my life, and a cause of a lot of life decisions for me.
But because I'm not like other kids and I didn't rebel until College, that's not till later.
By Sophomore year of High School I do start to notice some more jaded factors of my life around me. The strongest and most personal of which were the gradual introduction of cuss words into my language, and some questioning of personal life choices.
About the first. Growing up in the household I did, the very utterance of a fowl word resulted in punishment. We couldn't even talk like we grew up in the Beaver household. "Well gee pops!" Obviously "gee" is a bad word because it's "G" which is the first letter of "God" thus taking "God's" name in vain. I exaggerate, but not much. I think it was "Bullshit" that was my first word...but I don't really remember the word. I just remember the look of shock and pride that crossed the face of one of my Jr. High friends when I finally cussed.
A big event that happened that year was when I sat down with a guy, a senior guy, before class, and he was admiring my rings. I proudly held out one, a golden ring with a sapphire gem, and told greenish-gold grape leaves on either side of the gem, and told him it was my promise ring.
Not a ring saying I was promised to another person. A ring promising to stay abstinent until marriage. He actually had me questioning why I had the ring by the time the bell for first class rang. Questioning, but still firm in my belief, for a little while longer at least. And around the same time, I started realizing how superficial all my friends in AWANA were acting. How some of the kids would blatantly torture this boy with Asperger Syndrome, who didn't even realize he was being taunted. How much they would cuss whenever an adult wasn't around. How they would memorize their Bible verses and be good little Christians for their parents and yet outside of Church acted the opposite. One of the boys was even the first to set off my gaydar, a problem that, believe me, would have been a horrible problem in that church.
Sophomore year was also the first year I ever celebrated Halloween and Christmas. Halloween wasn't much, just dressing up at school and going from class to class. Christmas was different. I was invited to my best friend's tree trimming, just her, her parents, her dog, and me. And then, her family's Christmas party, with her mom's whole side of the family there, some of whom were already welcoming me into the family. I spent three Christmas's with that family before our friendship exploded, each more wonderful than the last.

My roomie just came in, and I checked the length of this post. While it could go on for quite a bit longer, I think I'll leave the chaos and the turmoil of the last two years of High School for the next post. That's bound to be pretty long anyway, and like I said, I gots homework still!
So until next time,
I am Tasho, an ex-born again, bi-sexual, pagan.