This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement. Ladydi was grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing.She and other girls were “made ugly” to keep protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups. Join From Left to Write on February 18 we discuss Prayers for the Stolen. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
I feel like there are SO MANY posts I could write using this book as a prompt. I think the one that I feel most comfortable writing about is the moment you realize that you are no longer a little girl and are turning into a woman. There is mention of menstrual cycles and the like, you were warned.
Personally, I have always felt behind the curve, like I am not quite where I should be mentally or physically in terms of my biological age. I know that a lot of this stems from my childhood and other situations, but a huge part, I believe, is directly correlated with the fact that I was taking growth hormone from age 12 – 21.
I was taking an injectable dose because during what should have been my growth spurt years, I actually grew 1 inch in 3 years. Today, I am barely scraping 5′ and 8 of those inches was definitely helped by growth hormone. But taking that growth hormone delayed other things in my life, like getting my first period.
As all my girlfriends were getting periods and worrying about things like birth control and dates with boys, I was consumed with taking these medications (the insane cost of these medications) and all the doctors appointments that went with taking them. I viewed my guy friends as friends and it wasn’t until those boys started looking at me differently that I realized everyone was changing except for me. I think I overcompensated a bit by being “boy crazy” and having those middle school boyfriends, you know the ones, you say you are dating but really you just pass notes through mutual friends and awkward dance at the school dances.
I went through all of middle school taking HGH but not having any other symptoms of growing up. Finally, I entered high school and there were still no signs. Halfway through my freshman year I finally got my period. It was not as embarrassing as it was for some friends but I just felt behind. As high school years went on, I would always feel behind, and I had some “friends” that helped me feel that way. I don’t know if it was insecurities or just being a mean person, but they would tell me that a guy was sorta interested in, didn’t want to talk to me because I wasn’t ____ enough, usually the fill in was pretty or skinny.
It wasn’t until I distanced myself with that friend group that I started to feel less like a little girl and more like a girl transitioning into a woman. The thing is though, for me, becoming a woman wasn’t about dating or sleeping with boyfriends, etc… Becoming a woman was about finding myself, my voice and feeling confident as that person.
Looking back, I am grateful that I was a little girl for such a long time, innocent and naive, and not worried about boys or my body.
Did you lose your innocence at a young age?