Caroline Marie

caroline marie

caroline marie
northern city, United States
July 24
Temperamental Story Teller
posts will tell


JANUARY 17, 2013 8:01PM

Powerful Women and Broken Girls

Rate: 11 Flag

The cycle of life --a woman's life--is in my thoughts right now.

Girls at Penny's school are cutting themselves, leaving deep wounds. These girls have not been through the severe trauma that Penny has experienced, but they are lashing out against their own bodies, their own sanity, their own power. I want to shake them, "Live Big and Wild and Free! Be You!" But these girls crouch behind their bedroom doors, tearing at their flesh and doing so little with their young, healthy, juicy lives.

Young women radiate a palpable magnetic energy. You can see it in their eyes, you can smell it on their skin. A young woman is a magical creature, and her magic is overpowering, overwhelming even to herself. Depression, anxiety and self-loathing soften the glow a little, but you can still see their power. I understand why our culture is obsessed with adolescent girls, why men want to possess them and media wants to market them and why so many women--mothers, aunts-- ache to protect them. There is so much to protect them from.

One of Penny's classmates - a smart, giggly, beautiful girl - has been suddenly drowning in suicidal depression. Her mom spent the last few nights sleeping with her in the psych ward. There are men on this ward -- staff, teenage patients -- and her girl is a sad, scared 14 year old. So mom slept next to her in the hospital and this image makes me cry. There is so much love and fear and uncertainty and regret wrapped up in parenting a teenage girl.

That same week, but across the ages, across town, another friend of mine spent several nights in the hospital holding the hand of her geriatric, dying neighbor. This neighbor was a remarkable woman in her time, a pediatrician when few women attended med school. A lesbian in a committed relationship for 37 years when many other lesbians just suffered through heterosexual marriage. And at the end of her days, she would have been alone had it not been for the kind, magical woman who lived next door to her.

We women who take care of others--who hold the hands of the dying, and the scared and the broken--are the girls who broke free of the message to squelch our power into nothing but a small, sexy package. We can see beyond the crap into what really matters in life.

We are unleashing our powerful love into the world.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I know this is meandering and generalizing -- but it's the way I'm thinking right now.
Trying to get back into the swing of things over here at OS
Excellent tying together of the roles that women play and the horror that some go through. Adolescent girls being damaged by life, and a woman who lived her true life in a time when society shunned her for it. Too bad she can't talk to those young girls.
Thank you phyllis. Sadly, young girls don't want to listen to old women!
Rated here, commented over there... :)
its a good piece, caroline, and i am glad you wrote it. i wish i could understand the whole cutting thing, and i hope it is something they generally grow out of. love to you, and to penny, and your magical neighbor, and the pediatrician, and to all the young girls drowning in too many feelings out there.
I have "been away" and then a story had to be written and posted, so I came back here. And then I read your post and I feel a warmth come over me - THIS is OS; this is why, when I have to write and post, I come back here. Cutting, self-loathing of every expression is difficult, and reminders like this are healing, redemptive. They are magnetic; life, light, love, soul, divinity - it is all magnetic, as is this piece, and as are you. Thank you for posting, and for being here. xo
I used to think we all looked after each other because it was just in our nature. Now I know it's a bigger more cosmic force. You nailed it! /R
There's just so many conflicting messages for young women these days. And this is an age where mystery is as much of a relic as dare I say, vinyl records. Everything is on the internet for their developing eyes and minds to see, try to discern. Heartbreaking. Thanks, Caroline, for your sensitive and poignant reminder that though societal standards have changed basic physiology has not.
It doesn't feel like a meander . . . more like bringing together various pieces of a puzzle . . . a synthesis. Much truth . . . and power . . .
A powerful post that has threads that are indeed, part of a larger picture.
So true, Caroline. It's a must these days to stay vigilant about giving our girls a solid foundation of self-esteem and listen for their cues. It can be a cruel world..I pray for all those women young and old who are struggling with being able to see their own beauty and to see the world through that lens!
Thanks Joanie!

Penny doesn't cut, but quite a few girls in her class do. I'll look up your email msg, daisy jane...

Thank you for the generous comment Delia! I will make sure to head on over to your post...

Thank you nilesite!

Thank you for reading Lee. These are much harder days for girls than when we were young. (and I thought it was tough back then!)

Thank you Owl....I've missed you!

Thank you mypsyche. I'm looking forward to reading your book!

I KNOW you get it Anne! I pray's so hard raising girls these days...
!!! apparenly I like using !!!! in my coments...geesh
When my daughter hit puberty so did depression. It coincided with her dad and I getting divorced, her dad remarried quickly and I working long hours and on 2nd shift. Since I couldn't see her during the day, except in the morning before school, she slept in my bed for over a year, maybe longer. I'm not sure when she started cutting herself. Every week we either saw the psychologist or psychiatrist. Tried meds after a relapse. She hated taking medication, it made her feel fuzzy, and I was working literally 60 hours a week so I had a hard time keeping up with whether or not she was even taking them, much of the time I suspect not. It was a tough and long road through high school. A bright girl but few teachers "got her".

She was fragile but did finally come out of it, found her independence and now embraces life as a beautiful 24 year old woman. I couldn't be prouder of her and I try to remember to tell her this often, I don't think I did enough, why? because I wasn't proud, I just wanted to keep her alive and had a hard time finding things she did that I was proud of. Had I realized this at the time, I would have reassured her much much more than I did, but life in general was a battle and like I said, my goal was to keep her alive. There aren't any manuals out there for parents dealing with depressed children and the more questions I asked of those "treating" her, the more upset I would become. They just wanted to treat her and I was an interference. It was a dark time. Sorry to ramble on here, this is such a complex issue and I've come to believe that many, many young people go undiagnosed and that the treatment options are less than ideal. Parents need to "learn" their children, ultimately that is what helped me the most, opening my ears and my eyes.
asia - that must have been a horrible time - it's always good to hear from those who came through such an experience intact
Not "meandering and generalizing" at all Caroline. I raised 3 girls (one who cut). Great message here.
Caroline, I am so glad that you are seeing (and the writing here is gorgeous) that Penny is not alone and in fact there are "juicy" girls her age who are in troubles she doesn't have. This was such a relief to me to not hear about Penny but of others who are not well. Puts things in some perspective, yes? no? Great piece.
Caroline, I am so glad that you are seeing (and the writing here is gorgeous) that Penny is not alone and in fact there are "juicy" girls her age who are in troubles she doesn't have. This was such a relief to me to not hear about Penny but of others who are not well. Puts things in some perspective, yes? no? Great piece.
Great post, and bonus points for working 'squelch' into your post (I'm weird that way, what a brilliant word!).