Full Confession

Telaina Eriksen

August 15, 2023
CONTENT WARNING: SELF-HARM

I wet the bed and denied it. I kicked my sister. I was so angry at my mother I wished she were dead. I stole some of my sister’s Star Trek books. I peed in the lake. I didn’t believe my friend S when she told me her stepfather was touching her at night. I kicked the dog once and yelled at him. I shoplifted Falco (Falco 3) and Robert Palmer (Riptide) cassette tapes from Kmart. I told my mother I was going to see some Spanish movies in Morenci for Spanish class and instead drove to Adrian to see a movie with my best friend. I told my mom and dad I had to work overtime and instead went to a party after work. I bought alcohol illegally. I drank alcohol underage. I drove intoxicated. I smoked pot when it was illegal. I smoked pot underage. I didn’t believe anything bad could happen. I told my mother I had to work. I drove over the speed limit. I trespassed in multiple cornfields. I played with my father’s switchblade while he was at work, scratching its sharp blade across my wrists, and then snooped in his dresser drawer to see his medal from the war. I told my mother I spent her change on high school football game admission and really, I bought a Snickers bar and a Mountain Dew. I felt nothing. I drove my car with expired registration. I laughed along with everyone else when a friend bullied C. When I went to the laundromat, I put all of our clothes into as few machines as possible and took the rest of the money and bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and played Galaga. I talked too much. I didn’t say the right things. I didn’t tell my mother about an awards banquet I was invited to and invited my sister instead. I felt everything. I talked about friends behind their backs. I was desperate for attention. I lied about my weight. I pried the squeaky out of the dog’s toy because I just couldn’t bear to hear that sound anymore. I said I had a boyfriend who went to another school. I believed that only bad things could happen. I thought if I could get a boyfriend, I would be proven lovable, and I would never be lonely again. I said I did not buy my shoes from Payless ShoeSource, and I had in fact bought my shoes from Payless ShoeSource. I told the boy who stood me up for the prom it didn’t matter. I told my best friend he looked good in his Boy George Halloween costume. I told my teacher I was fine. I said I didn’t remember. I told my best friend I was okay. I said I wanted to go to the party. I thought maybe it was love. I didn’t tell anyone until so many years later. I said my father’s razor slipped when I was playing with it. I told the emergency room doctor it would never happen again.

About Telaina Eriksen

Telaina Morse Eriksen is the author of Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child (Mango Publishing 2017, 2022), winner of the 2017 Bisexual Book Award for Nonfiction, and the short fiction piece “The City of God” (Archer Central Publishing, 2023). 

Follow Telaina