Hi Teen central.
This is me again! Well, sometimes I feel weird. I don’t know. It’s like my subconscious is feeding into my decisions. So, sometimes I feel unheard, though I know there are people in my life who will listen. So, since I am biologically female, sometimes I feel like I am inferior to men. I know it’s a silly thought, but it’s a bit of an obsession, and I just think about this in small moments, and it just feels like I can’t. Here’s an example: When I was running in phys. ed today, we were walking the mile, and it was optional to run. So, I felt a bit self-conscious because no one else wanted to run with me. Sure, in retrospect this will not matter as much, but it felt like… I don’t know. It was something. So, I ran, and honestly I don’t even know where I’m going with this. All I know is that the teacher’s assistant is a guy, and I was wondering what he would think of me if I ran. He probably thinks I’m a try hard. Honestly, I feel like I am just sick and tired of it all. Of having to deal with all this trash just because I was born a girl. Like, when I start to do pull-ups around boys, (I admit, I like attention and to show-off) sometimes they will start saying things to me. Sometimes I like it, because they will encourage me and ask me if I work out. Other times, like when I was trying to do pull-ups with my friend today, these boys came up to the bar and started saying weird sexual things that I didn’t even understand. I tried to ignore them. I don’t know. Maybe I’m trying to be the victim, which my parents say is not a good thing to be. They say I should find a solution to my problem. I don’t know. I’m just mad. Mad that I am expected to deal with all this trash. Mad that when a boy says something stupid to me, I’m expected to just ignore him or let it slide. At least, that’s what I think the expectation is, since that’s what most girls do. I’m tired of explaining myself to people. I’m tired of compromising myself for others. I’m tired of hanging around people I don’t like. I’m sick and tired of society. Maybe I’m exaggerating. I don’t know. It also makes me feel like I shouldn’t post this, because I know there are people my age going through way worse things. But, I’m tired of not being heard.
- It sounds like you have a lot of things going through your head right now. That’s ok- and you’re not alone in that. Trying to figure out where we all fit in is difficult for everyone, but especially teens. The battle between being who you want to be, versus who you feel you should be, versus everyone else’s opinion of who they think you should be- it’s exhausting.
- The first thing you should understand is that you have every right to feel the way you do. Feelings aren’t right or wrong- they just are. You don’t need to compare yourself to what others are going through because you aren’t in their shoes, and vice versa. Your feelings and problems are just as important as anyone else’s.
- Have you tried talking to anyone about these feelings? You mentioned your family, but have you sat down with them to really discuss what you’re going through? You hopes, your fears, your frustrations? If not, you may want to try doing that first so that they can truly understand where you’re coming from.
- Have you also tried talking to someone outside of your family who may be able to help you sort through your feelings? A counselor, a therapist, a teacher- someone you trust to talk to who will give you an honest answer.
- If none of these help, and you’re feeling overwhelmed and possibly even unsafe, you may want to consider reaching out to the crisis hotline listed below:
Text “HELLO” to 741741
- Know your boundaries. Consider the way that you want to be treated by others around you and hold them to it. It may help to write down what you expect from friends and acquaintances so you can step back and take a look at what you need from people. You are too important to allow anything less. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with an interaction, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. This is a hard thing to do as a teen- most don’t want to rock the boat or potentially cause harm to their social status. But you deserve no less.
- Take some time to understand the history of women. Joint a girls/women’s group at school. Find a network of support. We hear you when you say you’ve struggled with thoughts that women are inferior. We are not trying to tell you how to feel, we encourage you to read more about women in history or if you don’t love reading, check out a few documentaries or even youtube videos. There have been many powerful women (physically, mentally, emotionally) in history whom others underestimated, yet they accomplished amazing things that changed lives and history. Sometimes power comes from knowing your history. Knowing the past may help launch your future.
- Have you tried journaling? This is recommended a lot, but it really is a great way to get your feelings out in a safe, non-judgemental way. You then have something to look back on when you need to see how you were feeling, or how you handled a situation.
- Do you have positive coping skills for yourself? Having something to release your tension when you’re frustrated, irritated or anxious is extremely important. Everyone needs something they can turn to when their emotions become overwhelming. Do you have any hobbies or interests that would work for you? Maybe make yourself a reminder so that it’s there when you need it.
- Most importantly- never be ashamed of those things you’re good at. Whether it’s a natural ability or one you’re worked hard to achieve, it’s still yours. It’s a part of what makes you special. Be proud of those things and maintain them with pride. People who matter will respect those things about you.