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  • shannonkem

Where the Journey Began

All of our journeys begin the day we are born. We start as a blank slate and begin to absorb our environment, our understanding of relationships before we can even talk.

One of my favourite childhood memories is Sauble Beach. I loved the water, chasing seagulls and going to the ice cream shop. Still to this day thinking about my summer vacations there brings a smile to my face.

For the longest time when I would reflect on my childhood it would be clouded with negative memories and I couldn't remember being happy as a child. I allowed myself to just focus on the negative memories. I was stuck in a negative mindset. So let me share these negative memories because they helped shape who I am today and was part of my journey.

Grade school was a struggle for me. In grade 2 is where I started to learn about boys and how some view girls. Now I know what you're thinking how at such a young age is that possible. Maybe if other things in my life never occurred I would not reflect back and see how grade 2 started to shape my perception of boys.

There were a couple of boys that started during our reading time to sit with a girl, hide behind a oversized book and kiss them. I had two boys who did this with me and I can remember being uncomfortable and not understanding why they would want to kiss me. I thought boys were gross and didn't want them kissing me but I never voiced it, as this is what my peers were doing so it was normal right?

Then later in the year of grade 2, my friend and I were playing twins at recess; this was us pretending we were twin sisters. An older boy started talking to us and stated that if we were twins then everything about us would be the same, we laughed and said "of course." This then lead to the boy and a couple of his friends chasing us around the school yard trying to pull our pants down to see if every part of us was truly the same. We ended up running to a teacher and told what the boys were doing. I briefly remember my parents talking to me about this incident and being upset with the boys who were doing this.

At such a young age I was already feeling sexualized and this started to form the thought in my head that this is how boys view girls. This lead to an uphill battle that at times I still struggle with today.

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