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Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

Column: Farewell Tammy

‘Her reigns over my body lifted.’
AJ Jackson
“She looms in the back of my head like an insomniac who’s got nothing better to do than deprive me of self-love.”

She looms in the back of my head like an insomniac who’s got nothing better to do than deprive me of self-love.

I was 12 years old when I gave Tammy her name. A name for the dark thoughts swarming through my head like a hive of hornets zipping toward their prey. Dark thoughts of my obese appearance, my crooked teeth and my ugly clothing that wouldn’t flatter a Victoria’s Secret model.

Even when all I had was her venomous chit chat, I never considered Tammy to be my friend. I’d rather be alone in my own self-pity than bear the burden of hearing how my pants are a couple sizes too small or if I really needed to eat that whole bowl of cereal. 

Though, I couldn’t escape the backlash of just being me.

I was the definition of a loner in middle school as kids my age never wanted to be involved with me, unless it was with the intention of hurting my feelings. Their brutal criticism of how I looked or how I talked only gave Tammy more ammunition to launch at me.

My appearance became my obsession. I’d watch the girls at my school, who everyone flocked over, and try to copy their clothes, their hairstyles, their personalities. Looking in the mirror, I didn’t know the stranger staring back at me. My green eyes were hollow and lacked their youthful gleam. My cheeks were not the chubby chipmunk cheeks everyone would squeeze. They were sunk in, reminding me of Morticia Addams in the 1991 film.

I was a shell of the person I used to be.

Everyone around me was oblivious to my changes. Kids will be kids, so to them it seemed as if I was just discovering who I was. Tammy knew my dark secrets. Tammy was there at every mistake, failure or accomplishment I made, always reminding me I will amount to nothing without being likable. 

By the middle of seventh grade, I was at my breaking point. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I could barely hold up the facade of being OK in front of my parents.

My stomach aches in hopes of me eating, but Tammy knew what was best for me. In the end, she’s just looking out for my well-being. Right? I mean, if Tammy put all that effort into corrupting my thoughts, there must be a reason for why my mind became alluded. These hurtful thoughts running through my head kept building. 

Tammy was getting louder, louder and louder.

At one point, during a late night conversation with my parents, I completely lost it. Sobs rattled through my chest while I laid in my mother’s arms. Confusion was written all over my parents’ faces. As my dad stood in the door of my room, I could only utter apologies for my random outburst.

It felt like I stayed in my mother’s arms for hours. I just wanted to feel normal again. I wanted to be the daughter they loved again. I wanted Tammy to leave me alone, for good.

After witnessing my breakdown, my parents made a promise to help me cope with my mental health. When coming home from school, they’d make sure to ask about my day and listen to my rambling. My parents made sure to tell me how loved I was, even when I didn’t love myself. They were always supportive of my goals and would encourage me to do whatever made me happy.

Sure Tammy was still there, but I was finally able to realize that, once again, Tammy was not my friend, Tammy wasn’t real and Tammy couldn’t hurt me any longer.

For the first time in a long while, I felt peace within myself. I felt somewhat comfortable in my skin and realized my beauty. Tammy may be a dreadful nightmare I still have to deal with, but those thoughts she spews at me are quieter now. Her reigns over my body lifted.

Farewell Tammy, may you never hurt me again.

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