The 'teenage' topic popped into my mind when I read Ruth's post Very late teens.
I've only heard about teenagers from NM (speaking about them with disgust and hate), the news, books, Internet, and I've seen some as they were my classmates. But I've never been one of them.
I guess I've skipped being a teenager. As soon as I've grown from a child to a teenager, I was transformed into an adult. I had to parent NM, tend to her every emotional need that she didn't get from her parents before, and fill the shoes of the husband she always wanted me to be. I was forced to be her parents, her brothers and sisters, and her spouse.
I wasn't allowed to have friends, to have my own personality, to make mistakes, to act as young people do, to be careless, to have feelings, to try anything.
I could only be at school, go to my music classes, or be at home, visibly studying (as NM helicoptered over me), and tend to her every unspoken emotional need. I had straight 'A'-s all the time, and it made her envious. I was everything to her, and I was still not enough. I didn't have any friends other than her, and everyone else was hated and pushed away from me. Even EF, my relationship with him made her jealous.
I had the wear the clothes and hairstyle she forced on me, I had to speak the way she allowed me to, I have never been to parties, I have never done anything 'insane' or 'silly', I didn't take risks, I didn't know any modern music bands other than Johann Sebastian Bach and the Beatles. I wasn't allowed to be in love, I was ridiculed instead. I wasn't allowed to learn how to clean the apartment, how to cook, how to mend my clothes, how to shave my legs and armpits, how to wear make-up or polish my nails, how to color my hair. When I found out that everyone in class mocked me because I looked like a yeti, and the boys were whispering how I must be a lesbian because I didn't have any 'girl' traits, I was devastated. I begged her to let me become a woman, and I met rage, hatred and more rage.
I see the little 'teen' relatives around DB, who wear awesome clothes, look like young beautiful women and men, who go to concerts with their friends and go on holiday with their significant others, and I secretly feel envy for the teenage years I never had.
I've started to go to concerts, wear insane clothes and shoes, do my own makeup, dye my hair, play in a 'rock band', etc. at my late twenties.
I'm going to visit my hairdresser next week, and will have awesome crazy colorful synthetic dreadlocks for the next few weeks, while I'm on holiday with DB. And I feel young, for the first time in my life :)