When someone says “goth” or “gothic,” most people automatically think of Marilyn Manson or scary-looking people. Being goth is so much more than that.
I Was Goth Before I Knew It
At thirty-seven years old, I believe I do know a big chunk of myself. I think I was born goth. I just didn’t know it. Or maybe I knew it, but the people raising me didn’t want me to be goth. They tried and shoved the Barbie look down my throat. It didn’t work. Goth shaming is a thing and it is dreadful.
My grandparents raised me. I am an only child, and so is my mother. As for my father, he left not long after I was born, never to return. My grandpa loved me no matter what I looked like. But, my grandmother was all about appearances. She never shied away from letting me know she wanted me to have blond hair and be lady-like.
She forced on my clothing, specific hairstyle until I decided to compromise and go for a sportier look. I loved baggy clothes and hiding because she made me feel so ugly. She made fun of what I loved, which was the macabre and the darkness.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss But Dreadful
Very young, I could tell I was different in many ways. I’ve always preferred the night over the days, the rain over the sunlight. My favorite seasons are Fall and Winter when nights are longer.
I love this feeling of wearing a sweater or cardigan and boots to go outside in the leaves. Even hot chocolate on the porch with your familiar or friend or significant other.
When my family first saw me as the real me, they saw someone dressed in black velvet leggings. I wore a Jack Skellington black and white loose sweater, and my nails were black claws. I had my black lipstick on, my black hair up in a messy bun, and darker makeup. I am pale by genetics, and I love it.
Well, my grandpa’s family, his sisters, brothers, and their children and their children, noticed me. I knew they would, but I remained in my corner without talking. I am highly introverted and suffer from a social anxiety disorder.
My mother didn’t mind my appearance, but I could hear the chirping of the family. “Her grandparents would be so disappointed.” And “We all knew she wasn’t all there.” As well as, “She’s mad. She’s going to Hell.”
A Dash Of Wednesday Addams
Always after the macabre, I grew up on A Haunting and ghost shows and watching reruns of The Addams Family. I was home when watching those. To this day, I still have a passion for those series and movies too.
In fact, I am a professional horror author and artist. I also possess certifications in vampirology, demonology, cryptozoology, and a hoodoo/kitchen witch. I do not hide it, and my husband supports me in who I am and aspire to be.
I grew up with a very dark sense of humor and preferring the company of animals over people. I love all animals, but dogs, bats, snakes, and lizards are my pet preferences. I easily connect with them, and they know I would treat them right.
Often, kids’ parents would say that I was Wednesday Addams in pink or rose by a witch. Ironically enough, I was. My grandmother was a witch by bloodline. She had a gift that was given from mother to daughter for centuries. I have it myself.
The Weight Of Laughing
It’s not because I am a goth that others don’t talk or laugh at me. They see an adult, despite being thirty-six, often people believe I’m my husband’s daughter. But they see an adult wearing gothic clothing: black leggings, Jack Skellington loose wool long sleeve shirt, holding a UV protection umbrella, and cat-eye sunglasses and laugh.
I’m a joke to those people. That’s because I do not fit in the box society created for a woman my age. I should wear a pencil skirt, a blouse, a vest and have a Louis Vuitton handbag with dyed blond shades in my hair. I should be walking in high heels and have an office job.
Guess what, I wear red converse, and I have a black backpack. I don’t do handbags or high heels. I hate what society is trying to turn me into. I’m not one of those suburban women and never will be. I’m strange, awkward, and unusual.
But the weight of their laugh gets to me. It often has me think of how it would be easier not to be. But, if I go along with those thoughts, they win, and I don’t want that. The laughter is worst than those of mean girls back in high school.
Me Is I Not You Or Anyone Else
The laughter of grown adults or the staring hurt. It wouldn’t mean something if I didn’t know that apparently, being goth is only a teen phase. Let me be clear, you are born goth. It’s not a choice. It’s in you.
Being goth is not a phase or a rebellion or a Satanist thing. Being goth is about enjoying the silence, the dusk until dawn, the details of history many forgot. Being goth is enjoying the company of those who passed. It’s even enjoying music and movies that the masses neglect.
When people laugh at me because I’m an adult who is “dressed up,” it reminds me why I’m goth. People do not understand me. It’s a minority who recognizes the lifestyle. We are in a world ruled by stereotypes and daylight people. We, goths, we’re nocturnal creatures that thrive in the dark.
The Shame Of The Goth Lifestyle
Don’t act like shaming stops at the body or mental distress. For so long gothic people had this brand on them as mean-spirited. People are afraid of what they don’t know. As a goth, I can confirm this, the masses don’t know what goth means.
The shame I had for my wardrobe showing all the shades of black formed a knot in my stomach. The shame for dying my hair blue-black instead of rocking a Barbie doll color had me cry.
I was ashamed of wanting more tattoos, hoarding horror movies, enjoying the paranormal, and wanting to take long walks in the cemetery.
The woman who raised me caused a lot of damage by destroying my body image and my true self. So much so that I turned to the knife and cut myself each time I heard mockery. I was not allowed to be me, so why am I here?
Shaming Your Lifestyle
You’re a disgrace if one doesn’t fit in the box society created through fashion magazines and corporations. Goths survived for centuries, and we’re growing strong. Shaming someone for what they wear or like only proves that you haven’t graduated from kindergarten.
My mother’s husband hurt me more than most could imagine. Destroying my image and my life by looking at what I like is toxic. He laughed at the idea that my husband and I, on our honeymoon, visited cemeteries and took a long walk in them.
I do get excited when Fall arrives, and Halloween gets near. He would remind me I wasn’t a child. He couldn’t understand it was my season. I even got married on October 14th, 2017.
My hero is Vlad the Impaler, and even then, he made fun of me for liking a psychopath. That man doesn’t know who Wladislaus Dragwlya was.
But bullies don’t care. They bully and don’t even realize it. They believe it to be correct. They think we need to know that they are right and make fun of us for what we are.
Be Goth And Be Proud
The psychological trauma runs very deep in my brain. It affects every single aspect of my life. I am socially handicapped for it, and it hurts inside my soul. I use pain and suffering to create Gothic horror novels and art.
If you suffer, please reach out to professional help and do not be afraid. Professionals do not judge. They are helpers. If it is the worst, call the hotline in your region. There are mean people out there. I know.
But overall, be proud of yourself for being goth. There are not enough people like us. We are introverted, but that’s because we choose quality over quantity. We are nocturnal and admire what everyone overlooks.
Goth is in us. We don’t choose it. It chooses us.
The OCD Vampire,
Arielle Coralie Lyon
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