I was 13/14 when we made our way back to WOL. What got us back there so soon was the fact that even though mom got the church she wanted (something more urban, more cosmopolitan), she had to deal with the adults at the church treating her with respect only at the beginning, only to spread rumors about her and try to start arguments with her just because she kept to herself. She knew the only reason why they wanted to be friends with her was because she was a doctor. So she just kept to herself. Me? I got bullied there because she was a doctor and because I was so “different”. I was accused of acting white so many times it wasn’t funny. The friends I thought I had, we had nothing in common, so they would be all about me for about a week. Only to be bored by me a little bit later. So finally, after I told mom I had enough, we left.
And did it feel great! I felt like I was back in my element so to speak, and started to put roots down. The first person I met was a girl named J. She saw me acting all quiet and was determined to be my friend. Well,it worked out for the most part: we talked to each other, and she would come and spend the night a lot. The only downside is, I felt like I was the butt end of a lot of jokes whenever she was around. I was just that dense. But back to the youth church. It was pretty good at the beginning, except that I hardly knew anyone. I liken it to being a fish alone in its fish bowl, only to be placed into an aquarium. It was beautiful yet terrifying. The adults were really kind to me, and I ended up developing my first crush on a minister: my youth pastor Brother Rob. When I think about it now, I kinda chuckle…but at the time it was a little consuming for the first few months. I guess what I am saying is that if WOL was an object, it was a fly light that shocks the crap out of you, but you keep going back because it is what you think you want.
My freshman year at PHS went without much a hitch. I still loved Jesus and wanted to make him famous, but I wanted to have fun. Whatever fun meant at the time. For me, it was a book, goofing off online(aka talking in christian chats), and listening to my CCM. I did go out, but I still tried to be a witness always. I didn’t pass out any bible tracts, but I tried to live a Christian life. Which to me seemed kinda simple: I couldn’t swear, couldn’t listen to secular music(much), and try to be a good daughter. But we know, what seems simple is what usually will end up killing us in the end. Apparently I had an affinity for swearing, which I asked God to help me with. The secular music thing wasn’t hard because I listened to classical or jazz when there wasn’t any uplifting country on. But the being a good daughter? Well, first I had a problem with obeying my mother. I mean, I would do what she’d say…but after possibly maybe after a few hours of goading. But that came from the fact that I actually hated my mother. She was beautiful,had a great job, and people liked her instantly. Me? I was short, fat, jobless, and just looked malformed in the face(aka butt ugly). I thought of killing her at one time, because she was such an utter bitch to me. Well, as you can tell, I didn’t do it. I think it is because of the fact that I got an addiction when I started at WOL: the addiction to being slain in the spirit. For those who want to know what that is…being slain in the spirit is basically this: falling down and having an alternate conciousness. You laugh, cry, bark, or just bounce up and down a lot. It basically is God sanctioned psychosis. I loved it. I was away from my life, and really just enjoying the buzz.
In between my freshman and sophomore year, I ended up going on a missionary trip. It set me on fire emotionally, spiritually, and crystalized the idea in me that everyone needed Jesus. I stopped chasing after guys,not even wanting the hint of sexual impropriety on me. I knew what I wanted to do in my life: be an urban missionary and do minister work as a doctor. I jumped into doing more things at the church, just to get myself out there as a woman who could be trusted. But the adults at the church already had their favorites. And I was by far not one of them. I was an outsider, and let’s be honest…not the stereotypical black teen. I might have caused their heads to cave in a bit on that one. Anyway, I ended up being friends with Raul, J’s ex. If I could ever undo something in my teen years, I think that would have been in it. He was a good guy, never touched me, kissed me, or asked for money. In fact, he was too good to be true. And I was right. He left too many things out that if I used my brain, I would have just moved on. Also during this time, I learn about the term “prophesy”. I really think I was the guinea pig for my friends in college and career. They aways had a prophesy for me. Same thing for when I was youth church. When I first got to WOL it was about how much God loved me and how he was there for me. By my sophomore year, it was how God has a plan for my life and I just needed to work with him. Heck, even one of the youth leaders got into it and told me that God did love me, but I needed to grow up. That one pissed me off.
During my sophomore year,the struggle begins. I would put on one face at the church and another at home. I was always depressed. I wrote really dark poetry to cope. But they would only turn out to be suicide letters. I would pray for God to kill me. A few friends caught up on that, and true to their nature, tried to help. But I was honestly beyond help at that time. I was a hypocrite. I was a saint. I didn’t know what the hell I was. I would act out by hitting people and just being really cruel.
This goes on to my Junior year. My rep at the church among the adults is I’m a good kid, just a bit hyper. Among the teens it was one of three things: saint who just was too much of a goody-goody, a girl who had a long way to go, or a freaking nutjob who is going to kill us all. And to be honest, I probably deserved each one of those descriptions. There were some girls at the church I made no bones to my clo
ser friends at WOL that I disliked. The reasons were simple: they were touted as sluts among the guys and some of the girls. And they were really pretty(gasp). It never occurred to me that the people who called these girls sluts probably did things with them. I naturally assumed that my friends at the time were all virgins like me. In my junior year, I am convinced that I have found my soul mate.
Senior year, I’m starting to get tired of the histrionics. The having hands laid on me to fall down and go back to a life that just was super ordinary, was getting at me. I wanted to be a normal teen for once. I had two years left being a teen, and I haven’t even gone on a date with a boyfriend. Nevermind the fact that I made out with a guy two or so years ago at a school function or that I was friends with a guy who was more manipulative than any woman I’ve ever known. I still am holding on to my book “I kissed dating Goodbye” and was in some weird quasi-courting phase of my life. But it was DOA when you think about it. I was getting ready to go to college, and after that med school. He didn’t want me doing either one of those. I guess for all intents and purposes, it was the beginning of the end.