Teen angst bullshit

During recent trips home (to my Mom’s), I discovered letters and journals from an extremely painful period of my life. Which, at the time, I thought was the best time of my life.

High school.

And freshman year of college, actually. The letters that I wrote to my then-boyfriend, and apparently never sent, were particularly pathetic.

From my current, well-balanced (medicated) standpoint, I can so cleary see that I was then a severely depressed individual. Chemical imbalances aside, the root of my unhappiness was extremely low self-esteem (and fear of abandonment due to said low self-worth.)

In recent years, even before I met Rob, I’ve known that I can be a fun person to be around. I’m smart, I’m clever. Any guy would be lucky to have me. I just needed to find the right one.

But as a 16- through 19-year-old, even after I captured the guy I wanted, I didn’t think I was good enough for him. Nothing special about me. I may have thought I was unworthy of love.

So I picked fights and worried that he’d leave me.

Last weekend, I found a letter he wrote me before we left for separate colleges. He told me that I was the perfect girl for him, so how could I ever doubt that he wanted to be with me?

How much easier those years would have been if I believed that like I believe that Rob wants to be with me. Rob can go out to get a beer by himself while I stay home and watch TV. I know he’s not going to meet some other girl he likes better.

I watched Prozac Nation last night. Hard film to watch, mostly because of all the screaming. Christina Ricci’s character was more manic than I was (if you can believe that) and rebellious with sex and drugs in a way that I was not. But I understood the feeling that the author was trying to convey.

I felt pangs in my chest watching her go off to college and pine over a guy who wasn’t calling her back, who ultimately couldn’t deal with her mental instability. The more freaked out she got, the less attractive she became, which pushed him away more, and made her freak out more…

You know, that’s one of the reasons not having kids seems like a good idea. I’m past all those painful times and in a really good place emotionally, as well as with my career and my life. To endure that all over again through my child? Doesn’t sound like much fun.

Oh! And I’ve finally thought of a good response to those girlfriends who keep saying, “But you always used to talk about having kids.”

I also used to talk about being a movie star. If I’ve decided that’s not a life I want, why can’t I do the same with parenthood?

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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