As If Puberty Were Not Bad Enough

Fawn Morgan 1971

Me age 14

Girls between the ages of 10 – 15 undergo many physiological changes that can make or break their teenage years. Peers at that age can be judgmental, cliquish, cruel and gossips.

Early Development

I was, unfortunately, one of those girls who developed early. I had hips at 10 and breasts by 12. By the time I hit 13 I had a very nice figure with curves in all the right places. Don’t get me wrong, I was not self-conscious about it.  I liked how I looked and I was confidant in who I was.  This was the problem.

Harsh Judgments

When I was a teenager in the early 80’s, I was not a “modern” woman.  I was considered weird and somewhat backward by my peers.  I had a few perceived “flaws”.

  • I was an honor student: The boys considered me a threat because I was smart. So did some of the girls.
  • I was confident: Apparently this came across as stuck up and full of myself.
  • I spoke my mind: This got me in trouble with teachers and students since my thoughts sometimes came out of my mouth without first checking with the guard.
  • I was flirtatious: Most of my friends were guys and we flirted as a game.  It was fun and made us laugh.  The girls thought I was the devil’s mistress and kept telling me to stay away from their boyfriends.
  • I was old-fashion: I celebrated my femininity and all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother.
  • I was not afraid: I didn’t really care what others thought of me.  I could be silly when I wanted to.  I laughed a lot and was not above a prank now and again.   While my peers looked on jealously at my freedom, they called me childish and immature.

The Outcast

I may not have been an outcast, but I often felt like one. I was always different.  I have always had a close relationship with God and Jesus Christ, but I’ve always tried not to be judgmental or preachy.  I have always been old fashioned in my life goals.  I had my own sense of style that was just a little off center from what was popular.  I liked to dress to show off my figure, but also to be modest.  I was often laughed at and occasionally I was made fun of.

And Then There Was Bip

Everything so far is just normal stuff that every teenager deals with.  If that is all it was, I would have really enjoyed junior high and high school.  But that was not all there was.

My bipolar dragon, Bip, was really starting to be trouble.  Everything was under the dark shadow of his wings.  I was constantly depressed and starting to be passively suicidal.  I would start crying and I could not stop.  I was often inexplicably and extremely angry.  My reaction to the situation around me was often inappropriate and extreme.  To top it off, I never knew how I would react to any given situation.  No matter how determined I was or how hard I tried, Bip always took over.

The Isolation Begins

I was no longer in control of my emotions or many of my reactions.  I was frightened of Bip. Feelings of helplessness were overwhelming.  I was never alone with a large family, but I always felt alone.  I was lonelier in crowds because that was when Bip would act out.  The more active my dragon, the more isolated I felt.