Confessions of A Teenage Stereotype

By , Centerville, MA
I’m shallow. I’ll admit that. It’s like I need attention or something. You know? I mean, saying I’m not shallow would just make me more shallow, right? Yeah you’re judging me already. I know. But don’t worry about it. I got used to that a long time ago. I wasn’t always like this though. Shallow, I mean. I used to be pretty average, in fact. I was always pretty popular but I used to be kind of shy. I got really good grades too. Like straight A’s. I don’t really get the grades anymore but I still like to write and read a lot. Like really deep stuff. Usually I’m into Hawthorne and Nabokov. You know- that stuff everyone’s always raving about. But now I’m trying this stream of consciousness thing where I just write down whatever comes to my mind even if it doesn’t sound that great. I guess I’m taking a page out of Holden’s book. That was a pun in cases you didn’t notice. Although Holden would probably hate me. He would think I’m a phony. He would be right.

Anyway, like I was saying. I used to be a really “nice girl”. Like really innocent and all. Guess that’s kind of gone to the wind now. It pisses my parents off too, the grades, mostly. They want me to go to a really good college and get a good job. I’m not saying I don’t want that. I mean, who doesn’t, but I just can’t seem to make myself do the work. My therapist says it’ll take my brain a year to recover from my post traumatic stress and then I’ll be able to focus more. Bulls***. I’m stuck like this. I know it.

My therapist’s name is Dr. Clooney. I always want to call him Dr. Looney but I just call him Harold instead. That’s not even his name. I just call him that because he looks like a Harold. He’s got to be around sixty and he’s pretty much bald and at least seventy pounds overweight. It’s disgusting. Right? Oh by the way, you should know I’m pretty critical of like everyone pretty much. Especially their appearance. More shallowness, I know. Sheila says it’s because I’m insecure so I have to put other people down to make myself feel better. Or something like that. Parents are always saying stuff like that. Sheila’s my mom by the way. Anyway, old Harold’s pretty lame. I hate talking to him so I just kind of sit there and pretend to listen to him go on for an hour. The only cool thing he’s ever done is once he showed me this x-ray type picture of a ‘healthy’ brain with all of it lit up in different colors and another one of a post traumatic stress brain with like only half of it lit up. I think he was trying to show me that my brain wasn’t working right, but I can’t really remember now.

Honestly though, I feel pretty good, not like my old self, but I don’t feel sick or anything. I don’t get why people think there’s something wrong with me just because I’m not how I used to be. I guess it’s because I changed so fast. I think it’s been like six months since the “incident”. We pretty much never talk about it now. Especially around my dad; it’s just kind of an awkward thing to talk about I guess. That’s why it really sucks having a guy therapist. Like seriously, who wants to discuss their sex life with an old man?

Sex life. Yup. That’s what I said. Most teenagers have one, a sex life I mean, if you didn’t know that already. But you probably did know that because adults know everything. At least they think they do. But anyway my sex life began about six months ago. It was when I was hanging out with this kid I kind of liked. I mean he was alright looking and pretty funny and all but it was really all the stuff he said that made me do it. I guess I was pretty stupid to believe all that s***. I don’t believe anyone anymore. Even Harold lies to me like telling me it’s not my fault and I shouldn’t let it “effect how I feel about myself’ and blah blah blah. But you know what? It is my fault. It’s entirely my fault. I could have said no pretty easily and that would have been that. But instead I did it and now I’m not even me anymore. But like I said I’m kind of over that now. Like I feel pretty good, just different. Anyway moral of the story, don’t do it until you’re married.

But the problem for me is that it’s too late now. To late to go back I mean. Once I started I just kind of kept doing the same thing. But with different people, obviously. It’s kind of like when you’re on a diet and you know you should be eating less but every time you see something you want you just stuff your face without even thinking even though you know it’s bad for you. And then afterwards you feel like crap and you just tell yourself to f*** it because you’re already fat and people already think your fat so you might as well just keep eating. But I guess you wouldn’t know about that unless you were on a diet. I’m not saying I am, it’s just that I can kind of relate to it I guess.

When you start doing that stuff, like sex I mean, you get a lot more attention, I noticed. Its pretty cool at first actually, like having people talking about you all the time. You really feel like somebody pretty special. It’s kinda like a drug, really. I don’t really do drugs though. It’s not really my thing. But anyway, I think it was the attention that changed me. Like when you feel like everyone’s watching you, you have to be perfect all the time and be doing all the right things and hanging out with the right people because otherwise they all start talking s***. But the thing is, when you’re always trying to make everyone like you, you start to realize that it’s pretty much impossible and it kind of makes you feel crappy about yourself. Like you know you’re never going to be good enough but you still feel like you have too keep trying. You also start to notice that more people hate you then you thought.

They weirdest thing though, is that now that everyone knows me and kind of thinks I’m hot s*** I should feel kind of special, like famous or something, right? Well I don’t. I feel like a fake. Like one of the girls the old me used to hate. I feel like your average stuck in the mud actually. I think I kinda got this idea when old Harold said that what happened to me happened to lots of girls. I think he was trying to make me feel better but instead it kinda made me feel like I’m a stereotype or something. But it’s kind of hard to know what he was talking about because he’s really not that articulate. Like you’d think that a therapist would be pretty good with their words since they spend their whole day talking to people, but he’s really not. It’s actually kind of funny when you think about it. But like I was saying, a while ago, before all this happened I used to be pretty proud of myself. Like I used to think I was different from everyone else. Kind of like my own person. Maybe I was. Or maybe I was just an idiot. It’s pretty hard to say now.

See that’s the problem with changing. Sometimes you don’t know if you were better off before, or after all the changing happened. But really, it’s not like I even wanted to change. It just sort of happened. To be honest, I didn’t even really notice it at first. Sometimes I feel like I was the last person to notice it. I guess that’s what being in the spotlight does to you though. All you see is everyone around you just kind of staring at you like their expecting something but you can’t really figure out what. You sort of loose yourself in a way. I never really got what that meant before, “loose yourself”, but now I sort of do. It means that everyone around you has more control over yourself than you do. That’s why famous people are always going crazy and shaving their heads. In a way it’s everyone always watching them that make them do it. And you know what the sad part is? All those same a**holes who get a high from seeing people with shaved heads on the cover of Star magazine are the ones who made them go crazy in the first place. But honestly even if I went crazy, I wouldn’t shave my head.

I would never be able to look in the mirror again if I did that- shaved my head I mean. And I need to look in the mirror. Like a lot. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I have to check my self out five hundred times a day, right? Well, that’s not it. That’s not it at all. See my problem is really the opposite because I’m not even pretty to tell you the truth. Like honestly I can’t believe when people say that about me. Its bull. If you look real close up I’m not pretty at all, I swear. I guess hat’s why I look in the mirror so much. I know its weird but I just wanna know what they all see. You know? I really just keep hoping that one day I’ll suddenly see what everyone else does. But I mean, I guess that’s kinda just how it goes. You go through your whole life looking in the mirror trying to figure out what everyone else sees but really all you ever know is how you see yourself. So really it’s just a stupid habit. I don’t even know why I told you that.

But the worst thing is that even though I’m not pretty I still want to look good all the time. For some reason I can’s stop trying. And I can’t stop trying to make people not hate me too. I don’t really know why. I just can’t stop. And believe me it really wears you down to be trying so hard and getting nowhere. You know what it feels like? One of those hamsters that just runs on their stupid wheel all day. And you look at them and your like, wow what an idiot, your not actually moving anywhere. But at the same time you kinda feel sorry for them because they don’t really know that or otherwise they wouldn’t keep running. And then you think about it for a little and you feel even worse because you were the one that put the wheel in their cage in the first place. It’s really not fair at all to put a wheel in a hamster’s cage now that I think about it because all your doing is tricking them into thinking their getting somewhere and making them look stupid. At least its good exercise I guess.

But the difference between me and I hamster is I know I’m stuck. Running in place. Or maybe it’s more like drowning. Yeah that’s what it is. Drowning in shallowness is what I’m doing. It’s kind of an oxymoron though because you can’t really drown in shallow water. Although the funny thing is that sometimes you can trick yourself into thinking that. Have you ever seen those old cartoons where someone thinks their drowning and then they realize they can stand so they feel like an idiot? That happens a lot in Scooby Doo I think. I always got a kick out of that.

You know what? That just made me realize something. Maybe I can just stand up.





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