Vera

I remember a day when I was twelve years old. I went to the beach with my mother and older brother we’d gotten some fresh fish and clams. My pants had gotten wet but since I was wearing a long t-shirt I took them off. My mom told me to change in the back of our car and remember seeing this middle aged man who was in the car behind us and my brother was talking to him. My mom told me to change faster and I remember that old man trying to get a look at me. My mom said that I was doing a striptease and I felt that it was somehow my fault that the guy was looking at me as a sexual object. I kept trying to forget that incident afterwards, I wish we’d just driven away I felt so vulnerable trying to change my shirt as that all went on. Since I had starting developing at a young age all this and other incidents compounded making me feel the need even to this day to cover up. To wear baggy clothes in my mind it was better to try to hid that I was feminine, so I did things like cut my hair short and do everything I could to look like I was male. Since in my mind then people would respect me for my personality more than how my body looked. Beautiful and smart were two notions that I always had a great deal of difficulty connecting, even though I knew people like that did exist. For me it was if I was going to to be smart I could not look like a girl or people would never respect me. Which I know is a very skewed sense of reality but that was life for me…