Saturday, June 21, 2014

My normal years and how I rediscovered goth

 "Not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. I am made of sarcasm and wine and everything fine" - anonymous

As a teenager, I experimented a lot with my style. I had a unique way of dressing back then.  I also became a total mall goth/baby bat. All that changed when my friend played The Sisters Of Mercy. I was so happy, I was crying. That was the sound I was looking for and deep down, I knew the music I was listening to wasn't really goth. My baby bat days were almost over! Don't get me wrong, I still made some rather...ahem..questionable wardrobe choices in the beginning (ie. a woolen cape in the middle of a summer heat wave) my music repertoire no longer consisted of mainly Marilyn Manson and NIN. For non-gothy people, despite popular belief, bands like Marilyn Manson, Evanescence, HIM, etc are not goth. Don't get me wrong, I still listen to Marilyn Manson and Evanescence sometimes because I do like some of their music but I must admit, I mainly listen to gothy music than I do to  Marilyn Manson. If I loose gothy cred for being a Mansonite, well then so be it. I like what I like! For those who want to read more on mall goths/baby bats, click here.

By the time I reached my mid twenties, I ditched the goth wardrobe and wore what everyone else wore.I hated it. I felt like I had to be "responsible" and grow up. To me, being goth isn't solely identified with the clothes you wear. It is just that, clothes. On the other hand,  I must admit, I am a sucker for a pretty corset, fishnet stockings, stripy tights and every thing else that comes along with the "uber goth ensemble" but being goth is just part of who I am. It hurt me that I gave away my clothes to good will. It was also right around the time of the recession and I needed a job and fast. I felt like conforming to pay the bills and start a family was more important to me at that time. I did not want to end up on the streets pregnant!

Ironically enough, those were the darkest days of my life. I never recognised myself when I looked in the mirror. I wore clothes because I most certainly couldn't go out in my pyjamas.

Every time I wore something, someone, somewhere, would make a comment on how I would make a good goth! Shopping was no longer a fun filled experience, it was an ordeal. I bought what was on sale because why spend good money on something I didn't really like? My friends would play spot the goth undertones because as much as I tried to say I was no longer goth, I was on the inside.

Being goth wasn't a choice, it is who I am. It is just like if you were gay, you didn't choose to be it, you were.

During those times, I had blonde hair, wore blue jeans and pink tops. I made friends with people who dressed like me and I felt alone. What hurt me the most, when I was "normal" certain people, be it friends, acquaintances, even family members (I do emphasize certain, not ALL) was the acceptance I got from these people because I ditched the dark wardrobe. I was finally accepted by them because I was dressing more within their views on what people should wear. I was a sheep.

 I was very pregnant with my son back then. Lots of pregnant ladies get that huge nose before they give birth, I was one of them.


Not long after I had my son, something in me snapped. Being pregnant and a new mother put lots of pressure on me. I didn't co-sleep, child abuse! I bottle fed, oh no, my son is going to end with a low IQ and not thrive! I drank coffee when I was pregnant, I was committing infanticide in the womb! Everything I did and ate was placed under a microscope and judged. I realized that as a teenager, I never cared what people thought of me. That was liberating. I held my head up with pride. I was happy. I didn't have the usual boring conversations with people who talked about the weather or sports. While I was sometimes judged and questioned on what I wore, I was never made to feel like I was doing something wrong. We talked about art, music, and life in general. These conversations left us walking away with having learned something new. My brain didn't hurt, usually my brain was happy because I walked away having learned a thing or two! Maybe, just maybe...I can go shopping and get some new things? Something in me "squeed" at that thought  and my husband commented on how he has not seen me that passionate in a long time. We went shopping that weekend and I spent far too much money.

That shopping experience stood out. I remember how relieving it was to talk with other like-minded people within the subculture. The nice thing was, I wasn't judged at all despite my total lack of goth attire. It was breathtaking to have conversations, usually somewhat silly without someone looking at me like I was from another planet. There is so much more than talking about kids, the weather, what sports team won and other boring details about the game play.It was nice to talk to someone and not hear "it is nice you look normal now. I like what you are wearing"

I slowly starting integrating new pieces in my wardrobe. I dyed my hair dark purple. I got my labret (lip) pierced. Things were coming a long nicely. I felt happy. I smiled and I had a wonderful realisation: your life, hobbies, interests and other general things that make you happy should never be put aside because you became a parent. Yes, I do not have the time or energy I used to have to go clubbing but life doesn't stop because you become a wife and a mother. My husband fell in love with me and Voltaire's song "where's the girl" holds true to him when I went normal.

So these were my "responsible years" where I foolishly felt like I needed to do everything right. There is so much pressure on young parents these days. Things didn't quite work out the way I planned and my "ideal life" came crashing down. Having my son enabled me to see the world once again, through it's imperfections. I realised there was more than just being a parent.I did not have to stop living because I had him. I could still be me AND a mother AND a wife.

Children learn from their folks. What kind of example was I showing my son by being so unhappy? I want him to be comfortable with who he was and here I am showing him the opposite. I wasn't comfortable with tho I was. I didn't like looking in the mirror because it felt like a stranger looking back at me. I became everything I morally was against. Worst of all, I was teaching my son a lesson I really did not want him to learn.Me finding goth again wasn't a rebellion against society, as much as it might sound like it was. Me finding goth again was coming back to who I was.

My work has no issues with the way I look. I respect the fact that while I do have some advantages that I didn't in previous jobs (visible tattoos, piercings) there are still some limitations, which I respect.

More and more each day, tattoos and piercings are more acceptable in workplaces than they were 5 years ago. If ever I choose to find employment elsewhere, now that I have enough work experience under my belt, I will never take out my piercings or cover up a tattoo for a job ever again. Most importantly, I hope one day my son will never succumb to social pressure like I did. I hope he never has to feel that he needs to change anything about who he is. If he were to come home and tell me he was gay or transgendered, it would never be an issue with me. I would still love him.  It is sad that in this day and age, these trivial things are top issues while the more important things such as world hunger are never a top priority.

Me and Batman at the play ground last week!

19 comments:

  1. I went through the same thing! Whew, glad those days are behind me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear I am not the only one!

      Delete
  2. Inspiring! and you two are adorable

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love everything about this post. Glad you made your way back to you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So identify with this. I went through a similar spell in my 20s, was deeply unhappy for much of it with myself and then had the fortune to go to Whitby because Julianne Regan, my teenage heroine, was playing the goth festival. It was like spring awakening. Everyone was so lovely and friendly, despite the fact we the norms in a sea of dark invention. They had this thing called the Bizarre Bazaar...shop upon shop of gothy goodness. I never looked back (though there's been a few wardrobe malfunctions along the way!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you made your way back. I am so envious you went to Whitby!

      Delete
  5. I tend to go in and out of Goth style but I think I have a bit of a Goth core to me. I did have that moment and look back and realise how good it felt back when I didn't care what others thought, Goth or normal. I don't overspend on Goth clothes like I used to, though, that was one of the main reasons I left the first time. Spending and spending and not feeling good enough. The first time, I stopped saying I was Goth, these days I think of myself as Goth and if someone disagrees because I wear a lot of colour that is their problem. I have recently been annoyed by stuff in the news with a woman being asked to cover tattoos as a teacher. Even most of my friends still think that you have to cover tattoos to get a job but I hope I don't in the future because I feel like it is denying a part of my identity. Last year andearlier this year, trying so hard for a job, covering tatts and pretending I didn't have them, I felt a bit like I was losing myself. I wish society could be more accepting of tatts, especially considering a huge amount of 'normal' people have them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recently read an article from 2009 where a daycare worker was asked to cover up her non-offensive tattoo. This is in my province (Quebec) Canada and she took it to the court. In my area, it is now law, an employer cannot ask you to cover up a tattoo unless it is violent or anything inappropriate. Doesn't mean they cant find a way to discriminate against you by imposing some ridiculous dress code or find a way to terminate/not hire you though. Tattoos are becoming more and more mainstream. When I went "normal" I still listened to the music and had tons of goth undertones. Just like you, I felt like I was denying part of my identity and who I was. I hope you find a job soon!

      Delete
  6. I really really love your blog! I find this post really inspiring and I'm so glad you're dressing how you like now, and you're happy! I think you look gorgeous (even in 'normal' clothes, though of course I prefer the gothy wear), and your son is adorable :) Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really like this post, I went through the same thing around that time when I turned 20. Gothpeople always hear that someday we will "grow up" and be like normal people, so I guess most of us tries to do it so see what it's like :P and it was boooring.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just reading up on your blog. I love the Gothic look and suits me amazingly, but when I get up at 6, start work at 8 and work 12 hour shifts, I find it difficult to wear make up or skirts.I think it's both a state of mind and aesthetic; for me it's more of state of mind at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I hear you. I am back to work today (December 29th) and I am in a plain navy top and dress pants lol I so did not feel it this morning

      Delete
    2. Trying to come up with a response, but all that's going through my mind is how incredibly depressing a regular person's thought process is. Nothing against them, really, that's who they are, but the fact that there's so much of them and those pretty limited ideas.... exhausting.

      Glad you pulled through.

      Delete
  9. Your story sounds sooo familiar to me. My normal (appearance) years lasted between ages 21-26 and I've never felt so lost. Though I had two babies so did not have the energy to dress up either. Now I'm 31 and happy as I am, sometimes a bit gothic, but mainly a folkmetal lady. Casual work day clothing means a band shirt and a cosy mini skirt. :)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...