Inner Gothic Teen Comes Out

I’ve been reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes “Untie the Strong Woman,” the chapter where she talks about working with teenage girls in prison.  She called them her “Blackbirds.”  I wonder about a part of me that’s an angry and defiant teenager.  I remember giving her some space when we were doing Journey into Courage.  I drove Dana’s small white sports car with the windows open and the sound track from Thelma & Louise on the tape deck with the volume turned up loud.  Maybe that’s the part of me that’s my shadow: angry at me for being such a goody-goody, wanting to wear heavy makeup and sexy clothes, or defiant clothes, black, ragged, tight — and tattoos.  What would I have for a tattoo?  Kali.  This part of me is angry at me, she’s angry at the culture, she’s angry at Mother.  I always thought I couldn’t do that — especially the lots of makeup — because I wasn’t beautiful, but you don’t need to be beautiful to be defiant.  To find ways to give voice to that anger, rebellious anger — but I do!  I do it all the time, posting things on Facebook and writing angry comments with them.  Maybe it’s the energy of anger I need to fuel my struggle with apathy.

jenny 10:31

I’ve puzzled over my “shadow” because that’s the part of me I’ve rejected, don’t acknowledge as part of me, according to Jung.  Most of my shadow is positive, my creativity, my passionate caring about many things.  Mother made me so wrong for being creative (“making a mess”), for talking with enthusiasm about something I was interested in (“thinking you’re so great”), for being happy and spontaneous when she was depressed, etc.  So of course I hid those parts and thought I wasn’t creative, etc.  I’ve been a long time learning that those parts of me are good and should be allowed to appear in my life.

But now I’m thinking of this other shadow who wears heavy makeup, dyes her hair black, wears black ragged clothing, hi-top shoes.  Tattoos?  Jewelry?  Something clunky, lots of chains.

I wonder what I’d look like with black hair?  Probably awful.  I could do it for Halloween, black clothes and boots, go to the Halloween bonfire.


I got fired-up, got temporary hair dye, gel, fake nose rings, black lipstick.  It was really fun dressing up.  I went to the church first — they have candy, veggies & dip, fruit and hot cider.  A place for people when they’re tired and cold.  Surprise!  Everybody thought I looked great, especially my hair.  I asked Barry if I should come to church in costume and he said “Yes!”  I asked Victoria if I could wear it to sing in the choir and she said “Yes!”  OK.  You asked for it.  So I showed up in costume.  Again I thought some people would criticize, I suppose if they did it wasn’t to my face, and I had a lot of fun.

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