when I was a child, my mother would lock me inside our house

after school, I was to go straight home. I dared not go elsewhere

as a teenager, she did not let me handle scissors talk less of razor blades

or let me go near electrical appliances

she was protecting me, she said

I never went to any parties

I never even hung out with my friends at their houses

I did not know how I was supposed to act social wise – for my age, that is

but my mother said she was protecting me.

I did not know what clothes my age mates wore

because all I saw were school uniforms

it would have been slightly better if we were Christians but we were not

so I didn’t see any house clothes on my friends in church because I didn’t go

I was always cooped up in the house.

at the end of the year

when we had parties in school

I never knew what fashion styles were trending

therefore I was always the worst dressed.

all of this severely messed with my self-esteem

I did not know how to talk in public

or defend my own neck

I did not even know there was a line

that divided flattery and sexual assault,

I was just happy that boys was still interested in me

despite how old fashioned I was.

I did not know when to be offended

when boys touched too much

too impudently

too soon

and too quickly.

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