The Little Girl I Was Once
Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash
“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
I can say that during my teenage I didn’t have real friends, because I feared the girls, and I was just a part time friend for the boys. As a result, I went through anxiety and depression. I came to a point where I even had suicidal thoughts, particularly between my 13 and 15 years old. Back then I used to practice self-mutilation by cutting my own body, and trying not to eat so as my life could end slowly. I made some efforts to overcome my fears and, as I was entering my 16, I started to have healthier relationships and addressed my mental issues. But I still had to face some difficulties. Guest what? I kept repeating the same pattern that I had started as a child: avoiding friendship with girls. Yet since my 16 I did start to have conversations with some girls and tried to be amical with them, but the most intimate and intense friendships I have been in were with boys.
Therefore, I have realized that the little girl who was inside of me made me her own slave and had me decide for her. I didn’t realize this until the moment I travelled and didn’t have any friends, and I wanted to start over. During the first months I was living in a female apartment and found it a bit weird to get alone with my roommates. It was choking for them too, but I couldn’t explain why I feared to talk to them. This was the starting point for me to try as I could to analyze the reasons why I was not as open to girls as I should be.
I started to review my past friendships, how they started and what types of people I was attracted to. And realized that in most of my friendships I was not the protagonist. The other person was the one to start most conversations first. And yet I was not the one to make the first move and then start the relationship. Besides, all of them were boys. Then what happened to the girls? Why didn’t they approach me?
The Truth about Me
The problem is more complicated than I thought. First, most of my guy friends didn’t talk to me because I was friendly ―Surely, I wasn’t― but because we probably shared common interests (languages, entrepreneurship, literature and so on). Second, the friendships went on because I am used to being with boys, and it felt natural for them to have me on their sides. But I wasn’t totally cured of my past social anxiety. As a matter of fact, randomly I attended their parties and went outside with them. Our friendships were only about one or two activities, which generally were part of my main interests. Third, I never gave a girl more than two chances. If I talked to a girl and she said something that I didn’t love (mainly about my body or my style), the first time I would answer with a deadpan laugh. I wouldn’t even answer to the second comment. After the third one, we wouldn’t be friends anymore.
I Remenber Her
Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels
The only best female friend I had was also my first friend. Back then I was 3 years old. My father punished me for having her as friend, because he thought she was not the perfect person for me. I did love her and felt a quite intense bond between us. After this forced split, her parents left the neighborhood and I never saw her again.
I don’t know what happened to my brain, but I came to make these two very funny associations: First, the girls are not good for me because my parents don’t like them and, besides, they would disappear the moment I would need them ―that is, when my parents are punishing me. Second, her parents left the neighborhood because they also supposed that our friendship was not good for their child either. Therefore, I realized that if I had a girl as friend, I would hurt her as I did to my first friend.
As I am entering my teenage years, this association is then confirmed because the girls rejected me (that was what I thought) because I was not capable of acting like a “complete girl”. For the boys, it was totally different. I was happy with my brothers and their friends. And I had long term relationships with them. Therefore, I concluded that boys are good friends and girls are bad friends.
Even during my young adult, I have tried to convince myself unconsciously that boys are friendlier than the girls. As a result, I was always more open to boys than girls. Every first talk to a boy felt like an open and safe place for future relationships. And every first talk to a girl became a reminder of my dark teenage and funny childhood. I couldn’t prevent myself from avoiding the girls, my subconscious beliefs blocked me from trying to have a relationship like the one I had when I was 3. I created my own cave and dwelt in it during most part of my life.