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Nitty Scott On What Independence Means To Her

Nitty Scott On What Independence Means To Her

The ingenious Nitty Scott writes about her feelings on what it means to be independent.

It all started when I was 17-years-old, looking out of a rainy window in my bedroom. The black nimbus of depression I had successfully dodged all my life finally took over and formally introduced itself. I had known shit was dysfunctional from the moment I was old enough to grasp it. But all my life up until that point, I had navigated my heavy childhood trauma by being an overachiever and over-compensator — a “LOOK AT ME NOT BEING A STATISTICAL PRODUCT OF MY ENVIRONMENT!” — kind of kid. I even remember when an elementary school counselor once told me that my parent’s ugly divorce “wasn’t my fault” — I looked at her blankly and said, “I know!” Offended that I was actually expected to blame myself for the shitty world the adults around me had created. In my mind, I kept repeating to myself, “I am not troubled! I am not bound for failure!”

I was able to maintain this attitude for a long time, well into high school. Despite repeated sexual abuse, a revolving door of toxic step-dads and step-moms, nine different schools by 11th grade and parents with dogmatic, conflicting religious beliefs — I still managed to “not act out”. I was a thriving creative writing major at an art school, working at Disney World as a character performer and truly striving to make everyone around me proud. But my gentle spirit was broken by a final injustice; the straw that broke my back and sent me spiraling into deep psychological distress.

I was gay—bisexual, really—but we won’t unpack that and that was simply unacceptable in any of my multiple households.

I scrambled to hide my relationships and “unnatural” feelings as much as possible. I was even blackmailed on several occasions by people who threatened to tell my parents. I was always nervous of being outed, targeted by teachers and an angry ex-boyfriend who felt insulted by my orientation. I couldn’t even talk about it without revealing myself in the process. My grades suffered, I crashed my car, lost my whimsical Disney job, started to experiment with drugs and wrote a lot of poetry and music. Sitting through arbitrary church sermons became unbearable, and I struggled to understand how God could create people to be something He fundamentally hated. That black nimbus clouded over me and continued to unravel as I shrunk into the terrified little girl I had hidden behind trophies and straight A’s all those years. My parents eventually found out about my orientation and all but literally killed me. I was shamed, physically and emotionally punished, manipulated and humiliated by the people I loved most – for something that even I understood was way beyond my control. It was unbelievable that so many things no longer seemed to count for anything either; like my character, bright future, or good heart. I couldn’t take the bigoted rejection and became suicidal.


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