Screaming into the void (The curse of the teenage girl)

I've written this for the Movellas gets political competition. It's sort of an article about teenage girls, discussing how we are viewed by the rest of the world and that sort of thing. It's rated yellow for mentions of self harm and mild swearing. I hope you like it :)

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1. Screaming into the void

My name is Katie. I am 16 years old. I am a girl.

I am a teenage girl, and one week ago, I took a screwdriver from the toolbox in my bathroom, used it to remove the blade from a pencil sharpener, and cut myself. Repeatedly.

But that's irrelevant. Because I'm a teenage girl.

According to google's predicted searches, teenage girls are horrible, mean, shallow and easy. Venture into the depths of the blogosphere, and you'll find that message reinforced tenfold. Teenage girls are not good.

They are weak, they are whiny, they are ignorant, and most of all, they aren't real. It's almost insidious, something even I have believed at times, something it would not surprise me if you believed of yourself- your feelings aren't real. You don't count. It's the curse of the teenage girl- nothing you do or say means shit, because you're a teenage girl.

 

If we fall in love, it's bullshit. We are too young, to naïve to understand. 
If we are passionate about something, it's bullshit. We are too immature, not developed enough in taste to properly appreciate anything.
If we love ourselves, we are self-obsessed attention whores.
If we hate ourselves, we are self-obsessed attention whores.
I'm certain you know what I mean.

 

If we feel pain, it's not real pain. It's hormones, it's childish, it's silly. We can't know enough of the world, we simply haven't lived enough to understand.
Talk of self harm and suicide is a cry out for attention from a little girl who is just now learning that the world might not work the way she wants it to. 

It's always hormones. It's always for attention.

What has caused it to come to this? How do people justify a mindset by which they perceive a desperate call, a tortured scream for help from a vulnerable young person, to be a flaw in her personality that she needs to rectify?

They put our calls on hold. We are screaming into the void.

We are told to close our mouths. We are told to swallow the pain. We are told that our own self expression is best left unseen- repress, repress, repress.

I would say that I was twelve when I first felt what I now know for certain is real pain. When I went to my parents for help, I was awarded a sympathetic ear for perhaps the first five minutes. After that, it just got on their nerves. So I shut up.

Repress.

It's the same for us all- nobody wants to hear. Perhaps it is simply because it happens to so many of us. I don't know. But nobody wants to hear, nobody cares, and people get pissed off. So we shut up.

Repress.

And then when it all boils over- we sleep around, we get pregnant, we post nudes, we develop eating disorders, we cut ourselves, get depression, lose our sanity. We are demeaned. We are ridiculed. We are self obsessed attention whores.

Unless we kill ourselves. Then we're saints.
There is something wrong when a group of people aren't real until they are dead.

 

But the cuts on my arms are real.
The blood is real, and the cold, sharp metal is real.
Because my feelings are real.

I am not an attention whore. I am traumatised. I am suffering.
This is real.
I. AM. REAL.

 

You are, too. Your pain IS real. You deserve comfort. 
Your problems ARE real. You deserve help.
Your self harm, your eating disorder, your suicidal thoughts, ARE REAL. You deserve to be taken seriously about them, and you DESERVE to RECOVER.

 

Now go listen to “The Best Song Ever” on repeat, and be in love with Harry Styles. It doesn't make you stupid, it doesn't make you wrong.

If it feels real, that's because it is.

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