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
and too quickly.