Finally, the day was here. Her mother had worked very hard to make her the perfect prom dress. A white fall off the shoulder gown with a matching shaw. It fit her perfectly and why shouldn’t it. It was custom made and tailored in all the right places. Trimmed in the waist and the length perfect for canvas tie up low heel pumps and the sublime little ribbons in her favorite color pulled it all together just right.
She never thought of herself as pretty and waited patiently for someone to ask her to the prom, but none did. Not wanting to be left out she asked a neighborhood friend to go. He agreed. Overwhelmed she had planned out every detail.
A borderline tomboy, but she also loved to dress up. She placed her hair in a bun and loosened it just right. It fell elegantly to the side and then she dressed it up with some fresh baby’s breath. Perfect! She applied her make-up in the “natural look” herself. She felt beautiful. It was bad enough that nobody asked her to the prom and she had to find her own date. But it was not the first time she “felt like she was not part of the crowd.”
She had just finished putting on her shoes when her father pulled up. She dashed out to greet him. Overly excited and feeling beautiful, she blurted, “So what do you think? How do I look?” He looked her up and down and replied, “A little heavy on the make-up.” He then just pushed past her and proceeded to the front door entering the house.
She stood dumbfounded and hurt. All the beauty and confidence she was feeling all stripped away.
Smiling for pictures was excruciating. Faking a smile on the outside when on the inside all she wanted to do was to hide herself in her room and cry. The whole night she felt like an outsider looking in. The confidence she had stolen, she felt awkward, insecure. She didn’t mind the homemade dress or the fact that most of the other girls had gone to the Beautician to get their hair done and had purchased expensive dresses. She felt proud and beautiful. In an instant it was all irradiated.
The other kids began to sneak alcohol, they were laughing and seemingly having a great time. So, she too, decided to have a couple drinks. The ugliness and disappointment faded away a little. Her self-esteem was crushed, but the alcoholic mask helped her to get a little confidence back. However, the whole night was plagued by the gnawing feeling that once again she failed and was unable to please her father; and she would continue to fail for the next 40 years…
(P.T.S.D is an unpredictable disease. One feeling, word, smell or sound will rush back in those unwanted memories. No matter how much progress you think you have made or believe you’ve made at healing, forgiving or believing you have gotten past it….)