I have more to say about my teenage years.
I really wish that I had known much earlier that my family was fucked up. That it wasn’t just cultural difference. Yes, my family is Taiwanese American (my parents are Taiwanese, full-stop), but it was also highyl dysfunctional. My parents never should have gotten married, and my mother had (and still has) very toxic ideas about family and what it means to be a woman.
I had untreated depression and anxiety. To be fair to my mother, she found me a therapist when I was fourteen or fifteen, but it was a man from the local uber-Christian college. He was pleasant enough, but he was not used to dealing with emo angst-ridden teenage girls. Who weren’t white. I was also bullied a lot in school for many reasons, including being Asian and fat. I would venture, though, the fact that I was just weird contributed to most of it. And I mostly got teased by girls, which can hurt way more. Boys are mean–girls are cruel.
The worst was a girl who picked on me every day in…I want to say chemistry. Not sure of the class. But she was just mean to me. For no reason. Except that I was a weirdo. I did not knwo how to fit in (my empathic skills did not help me out until I went to college), and I just stuck out like a sore thumb.
This girl (I still remember her name) would not let up. I tried to ignore her, but it did not work. One day, I had enough. When she teased me, I grabbed her hair (very short), yanked her head back, and calmly told her I would kill her if she did not leave me alone. Then I let go of her hair and stared down at my desk. She told me I was making a fool of myself, but there was fear in her voice for the first time. She left me alone after that. I felt horrible, and I never did that again. I took the wrong lesson from it; that violence was not the answer. I mean, it’s not, but that shouldn’t have been the sole lesson. What I should have noted was that sticking up for myself worked. Then I should have found ways to stick up for myself verbally. But, you know, I bet she learend a lesson as well–to not fuck with someone. And, yes, sometimes, might makes right.