31 Things From My Past That Haunt Me So Badly They Keep Me Up at Night

October 10, 2018
Ghost dancing in front of a red background

Art by Kirsten Hemrich

1. When I was in elementary school, my mom used to style my hair in cornrows. No pretty design, no cute bubbles, just straight Carmelo Anthony cornrows. I looked like a boy from ages 8-11.

2. One time I decided to branch out and wear a fake ponytail and -- because my teacher just had to comment on it – I tried to convince her it was my actual hair. After which she gave me the most “girl, please” facial expression I had ever received in my life.

3. One time when I was learning to ride a bike, I took it for a ride down my hill and lost complete control. I screamed all the way down, hit into the poles of my trampoline, flew off my bike and landed right on top. My dad took my bike away for the rest of my childhood.

4. My first celebrity crush ever was “Ned” from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. But only during the third season.

5. When we were younger, my brother and I used to read my sister’s diary all the time. She sucked at hiding it, but I still feel bad about it now.

6. When I hit middle school, my scoliosis had gotten so bad I had to wear a brace 24 hours, 7 days a week.

8. The brace I wore had the loudest, most obnoxious Velcro straps in the entire world, and every morning after I was done putting it on I would look up to the heavens and ask “Why God?

9. Gym class was the only time I got to take my brace off, and it literally felt as if I was removing a layer of myself in front of the whole student body.

10. In high school I STILL  had to wear a brace - but only at night. Anyway, I had to order a new one (high school was also when I made my D-cup debut), but this time I got to add a design to it. I chose the “tattoo” design and I honestly thought I was cooler for it.

11. I lowkey liked my brace because it encaged my stomach and it kept me skinny.

12. When I was younger I used to have a huge, high stomach that made me look pregnant all the time. I hated myself for it.

13. In the 4th grade, our teacher used to take pictures for “class memories.”  One time I saw a photo of myself and was so disappointed with the girl I saw, I got up and threw it in the trash. The teacher then found it and asked the class who did it, completely outraged. I never fessed up.

14. In elementary school I would always fool myself into thinking a cute boy actually had a crush on me. I would make up scenarios of him confessing his love to me on the daily. He didn’t; he liked the cute little blonde instead.

15. My cheeks took up ¾ of my face from ages 0-15. I resembled a chipmunk.

16. Throughout the whole of middle school I wished my butt was smaller. I thought it brought too much attention to me.

17. I never sent those scary chain text messages when I was younger, and maybe that’s the reason I don’t have as many friends as I could have.

18. I felt like my peers were always harder on me because of my race.

19. I used to make myself so small for the fear of not being good enough and still do that from time to time.

20. I wrote a whole spin-off novel based off of Twilight. It was over 300 pages.

21. I used to hate group projects in class because I never knew who I was going to partner with. I had no one to look at when the teacher brought them up.  

22. I never used to tell people when they upset me. I would just make a joke out of it.

23. Maybe it’s because I could never stand up to my parents when it came to my emotions and mental health – and I still can't.

24. My fashion choices in the 5th grade were no other word but “ghastly.”

25. My parents used to scare the idea of “watching my weight” into me so badly it was as if being overweight was the worst thing in the world that could ever happen to me.

26. Because of it, I used to pray to God that I wouldn’t grow up fat.

27. The first time I came home and there was no one in my house, I panicked and called my mom and started crying.

28. I used to cry so much as a child, my dad made me look up the definition of “crocodile tears” and recite it to him by memory.

29. I didn’t have a single Black Woman as my teacher from grades K-12.

30. One time I farted really loud in front of my 1st grade class during “story time” and everyone could obviously tell it was me. The rest of that day was a blur.

31.One time, for “Crazy Hair Day,” I wore my hair in its natural state.

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