Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shine On You Crazy Diamond


Ninth grade found me in a very frum, all girls school where I was surrounded by, in my then opinion, "uniformed robots who are all trained to think the same way".  It was, in short, a total disaster - my grades were great in English studies and a disaster in "Lemudei Kodesh".   I didn't even question, I no longer cared.  In short - I was so miserable as a person that I kept to myself and began a destructive path of destruction.

 I began a process of intentional rebellion (there's that word again - rebellion) that had me hanging out with boys, intentionally sinning and smoking.  In the summer after 9th grade, hanging out with boys became being "sexually active" and smoking became weed.  My parents were almost completely in the dark - what with dad working all the time and mom pretending I didn't exist as she focused on the white sheep in the family.

I begged my parent to switch me to a more modern orthodox school, hoping that being with more "modern" kids would be the answer for me.  They, of course, were horrified by the suggestion.  Even though dad lived in the real world during the week, his home was a bastion of religiosity.  And even though mom thinks wearing really tight clothes in public is ok so long as the skirt (almost) covers the knees and those damn sexy elbows are covered, our family is the epitome of "yeshivish judaism".  A modern orthodox school would be, in their eyes, akin to sending me to public school.

When the school told my parents there were going to throw me out because of my behavior (and the fact that I was almost religiously cutting class by February), my parents cut a deal (and a check) - Cymbaline can stay until June but she switches out for 10th grade.

Happiness at the news, however, was short lived.  I fell back into my bad patterns by the end of 9th grade, spent the summer bumming around, discovering weed and letting boys coerce me into making them happy. It's really amazing how many different forms low self esteem can take - most people associate it with body image, but in my case it was a product of being so...ungrounded - of feeling so alone in the world.  At least the boys and the other "bad girls" accepted me.  If I had to let myself get felt up or give a handjob to "belong", it didn't seem so bad at the time.  Especially since it felt pretty damn good to be doing whatever I wanted anyway.  Teens aren't exactly known for their ability to make good choices.  Or smart ones.

I wish I could tell you 10th grade was culture shock followed by me fitting in with my new modern orthodox classmates.  Haha - then I wouldn't have this wonderful blog then, would I?  Turns out, these teachers didn't have the answers either.  And the fact that I was asking the questions made everyone nervous.  And girls are clique-y everywhere - and no one really wanted to be hangin' with the ex-frummie. 

But I have a nice personality - I cut through the stereotypes and I made friends.  I wasn't a social outcast - but everyone still treated me differently.  Alot of it was my fault - I was ALWAYS questioning aspects of religion - and the truth is no one really wants to hear that.  When you are a 15 year old girl struggling with your body and your acne and the face you haven't quite grown into yet, you don't really want to deal with people questioning your belief system.  I really can't blame 'em.

So I continued to do well in English and passably in hebrew.  I continued my "secret life".  My parents tried to send me away to a frummie sleepaway camp but I went into hysterics until they dropped it.  I took a job at a day camp the summer after 10th grade, sleepwalked through the day, and then hung out with my "other" crowd in the afternoons and nights.  I smoked pot, got more sexually active and basically just floated along on the river letting the current pull me along.

By the time I hit eleventh grade the train was off the rails.  I turned my frustration into a crusade against Judaism - I talked about hating god and everything attached to it. I smoked pot on shabbos, took out my anger on myself in general (the drugs the sex the anti-social behavior).  I was a person who fit in no worlds.  I did still play the part on the outside  - either for my parents or simply because i was too chickenshit to be that open in my rebellion.

My relationship with my parents was a never ending cycle of pleas for me to just tow the line followed by awful fights where awful things were said.  After one particularly terrible verbal brawl - I left the house and "punished" my parents by getting drunk and having sex with a guy in the back seat of his car.  Boy did THAT show 'em.

By the time i was i 12th grade the train off the rails had become a train wreck.  I was so depressed that i was a zombie half the time.  One night my dad comes into my room and tells me i need to start seeing someone or they were going to throw me out of the house.  I refused.  And they threw me out of the house. 

And so began the road from "downward spiral" to "self discovery".

But let's leave that for the next post.


  1. wow - pretty crazy begining to a blog. You got me hooked.

  2. I don't know, Anon. I'm not a pink floyd fan.

  3. Not a Pink Floyd fan??? Blasphemy! Then you are going to HATE the titles to my posts - that's all i can say :)

  4. Forget about titles to your posts- How about your name or your profile pic/art?

    Can you say Soundtrack from the Film More any louder?

  5. I wasn't aware i was trying to hide it :)