Kristina Furey

Giving her, her voice

I had gone to the beach with a friend's family.  It was Saturday and the following day I was due to go home.  I called my mom from a payphone. That's what we did back then.  I asked her if I could spend Sunday night at my friend's house.  I was 16.  She said I couldn't because I was starting school on Monday.  I said, “No, we go back next Tuesday.  The day after Labor Day”.  That's when she explained to me, how she and my father had been waiting to tell me that we were moving and I would be starting school in another state in just two days.  They didn't tell me sooner because they didn't want to ruin my summer... Anyway, there were no cell phones.  There was no internet.  There was just a handful of telephone numbers that I had memorized in my head and once again, there was me, losing the pieces of myself I had invested in others.  After having foster brothers and sisters come and go through my life, some friends that moved away, and even my mom's own disappearance from my family's life, just after I turned eleven, (though she did eventually return), I was beginning to see a pattern in my life.  

We don't have control over our circumstances as much as we would like to believe that we do.  But in those moments, the ones when we do, the decisions we make can play a major role in the circumstances that later develop.  I had learned this observing my father when his sugar levels would start to crash.  At times I could see my family reacting like dominoes.  All out of my control. Yet, like the perfect a little performer right on cue, I never missed the mark.  If you saw the performance enough times, you would see I was as predictable as I believed they were.  Years later, I would watch Dan like a hawk, trying to catch his tells.  I admired his self control.  What a strength, I thought and so contrary to a weaker person's attempt at strength through bullying, lies or manipulation.  While I had self control in other areas, I realized watching Dan, my self control muscles could still use some resistance training. I needed to learn to resist the urge to be reactive. It took years of practice before I actually found my muscle getting stronger here. Like muscles it takes constant maintenance. Use it or lose the ability. I wonder how the world would be if everyone trained this muscle...

Back to my story: Age 16, first day at my new school.  I was sent away to get some medical form.  But before this happened, I met a guy who is also a transfer.  We seemed to hit it off so wonderfully well and the fact he looked like the lead singer of Def Leppard only helped me think, “maybe this move thing isn't the worst thing that ever happened…hmmm”? When I came back the following day with the necessary medical form, I saw him in the hall and called out his name.  As he turned my way, out from behind him, popped this perky, pretty, friendly girl.  Who introduced herself to me and then said “I'm his girlfriend”!  As I tried to figure out how that happened so fast, she explained to me that they used to live in the same area, their parents were friends and both relocated to this area over the summer.  I thought to myself, “What's better, boyfriend potential or two new friends in a vast sea of people I don't know”?  Lucky for me, I had two great people to sit with in the cafeteria later that day and a new girlfriend, who could totally relate to what it was like to be the new girl at age 16.  Hers and my friendship lasted longer than her, boyfriend/girlfriend situation. Did I mention he was dreamy to look at? I wasn't the only one that noticed that little detail...

Okay, so now to my point. It was a recurring question in my youth.  How do you practice self control when you're attracted to your girlfriend's boyfriend?  How do you stave off jealousy, especially, when girls were, well, girl like? I was fortunate in that I had two older brothers and I was basically a tomboy, so I had a lot of guy friends growing up.  I preferred their company often to that of the back stabbing, drama nonsense that girls can pull, some aggressively deliberate and some in a reactionary state because you hurt them in some way you didn't realize you hurt them and they somehow think it is better to lash out than use their voice like a logical person would.. While I resent this behavior, I am no stranger to behaving this way in moments when I couldn't logically express myself. Go figure... So, guy friends, I preferred them and I learned, that cute guys, the ones I thought were cute but I didn't actually know, were just blank canvases for my romantic imagination.  Everything on those canvases and things I felt "for them" were from inside of me and not something they had.  Everything they felt about me, was from inside of them and had nothing to do with me. So what they felt about me, was not something that I had or lacked having.  Well, I knew that logically but of course there were moments I wasn't so logical... When I observed them and hung around them long enough, I could pick out the ones I had things in common with from the ones that, while attractive, weren't really going to hold my attention for long or were troubled in ways I didn't want to entangle myself up in. Did that kill the romance?  Not for me! It slowed things down a bit, which allowed me ample time, to find a mate that was more fitting of who I was, as a person. As a result, instead of a crap shoot, I got a royal flush.  Which IS pretty romantic, instead of heartbreaking. But I had my heart breaks too and I never wanted to put that kind of pain on someone else. Even as a teenage girl, I knew that and respected that boundary I set out for myself. I even wrote a song about the boundary, as a way of problem solving, for Y. My thought being if we understand Y the boundary exists, it helps lead to the understanding of YNOT go there? Y and YNOT were things I learned to take into consideration before acting on or reacting to, things and I realized not everyone did. So the song was written to explain it. Last week, I finally sat down to record and share, what that teenage girl, once thought, was so important to say. Once again, here is a link to my share page. Just look for the computer keyboard and you'll find the song.


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