The Adolescent Struggles

Start CHAPTER FIVE

The Adolescent Struggles

Someone has bolted the classroom from inside. 

When the school attendant has rung the school bell to end the day’s work, the sweeper woman goes to lock all the classrooms. She knocks at the door of the grade IX classroom but gets no response. Suspicion excites her because she can hear someone sobbing inside. After some hard effort in vain, she runs to a Devaki teacher, the school counsellor who is cordial with all students.

 The teacher reaches the classroom with the sweeper woman and calls the person inside to open the door.

 The sobbing person opens the door. 

 The Devaki teacher speaks to the girl Surya. 

 "I don’t want to go home. It’s not home, but a hell." Surya, a grade IX girl, responds to the teacher.

 "My dad is the Superintendent of the Police, and my mom is a college lecturer. After the college, She goes to give tuition to the students making more money, and comes back home late in the evening. Dad often used to come home early before my mom comes back. He is a devil, not my dad. He used to ask me to bring a glass of water for drinking. When I reach his room with water, he always abuses me. I hate it and can’t live with it any longer. I’m terrified at telling my mom about it. He threatens me to kill if I ever tell anything about it to anyone." Surya gives out little of her secret sufferings to introduce her severe problems to her trustworthy teacher.

 "The latest event is like this. He asks for water as usual, When I bring water he drinks it, and his eyes are burning with sexual passion. Now, I am horror stricken whether I’m pregnant or not. Showing his pistorl he has threatened to shoot me dead in case I tell about it to anyone. This is the third day since the event. I won’t go home, I want to end up my life now, before he does it." Surya reveals her suffocating, unbelievable, and horror striking experiences with the teacher.

 "Surya, my child, you have a prosperous and victorious life to live out. You cannot afford to get defeated by such experiences on your life’s journey. I believe your story. I’ll help you to clear out Your doubts. You are a wise and bold girl. For the time being, using your courage and prudence, you can overcome the current crises effectively." The Devaki teacher encourages her. 

 Devaki teacher deals with Sury’s doubts about her pregnancy very prudently and plans with her effectively. As the girl trusts in the teacher, she feels at home with her, reducing her anxiety. So, the teacher makes an effort to know more about her family.

 "Who else is at home? How many siblings are you?" The teacher inquires about her home situation.

 "We are only two children, my younger sister and myself. She goes to a nearby school. By the time I reach home, she goes to sleep." Surya gives some more knowledge of the home atmosphere.

 "Alright, Surya, I’m very much concerned about you. Today, you go home as usual and when your dad meets you show as if nothing happened. If he asks for water you give him water, but when you take water to your dad, you take your younger sister along with you. Don’t go alone, and he will do nothing to you when your sister is with you." The teacher advises her.

 The Devaki teacher reports the matter to the Principal. She calls Surya’s mom and has shared with her what’s happening to her daughter at home. She promises the Principal that she’ll cancel tuition classes to be with her daughter at home to avoid any such dangerous situations. Then, the Devaki teacher takes Surya home, and in minutes, her dad comes back home. He asks her, as usual, to bring water for him. She takes water to his room but takes her younger sister with her, as the teacher has advised. Her dad’s trick fails, and it thrills her over the success, and she builds up more courage. She feels grateful for her teacher’s wisdom. As she and her sister go out of his room, her mom arrives from the college. Since then, she has had no problem. Her mom has been vigilant about these matters revealing nothing to her husband or anyone. Her particular concern and love she has shown towards the elder daughter makes Surya feel great, and her energy multiplies within her.

 Lucy, our protagonist, comes to know about such crises with the girls in the school. She becomes very alert to pick up the suffering girls. Having noticed the depressive appearance of a grade VII girl, Lucy talks to her personally. While talking to that girl, she realizes the girl is undergoing her first menstrual cycle and suspects it as cancer, which has caused her depression. As a result, she has not been talking to anyone but is always quiet. 

 Since Lucy has created an excellent rapport with all the girls, they feel very much at home with her. One day, a girl Kasthuri, of grade VI, approaches Lucy and cries, holding her tight. In the friendly conversation, Kasthuri confesses she fears her uncle, who often abuses her at night. She even trembles with fear and is shy of sharing such matters with anyone. With her permission, Lucy takes her to the counsellor teacher. She gives proper guidance to her to face the problem healthily. She reveals this to the parents, and with that, the pain melts away. Though Lucy is in her IX grade now, both younger and older girls feel very comfortable with her. She uses to guide the girls through the school counsellor teacher Devaki. Many problems of adolescents used to crush the girls, and Lucy has been a great help to them. She found out that the primary reason for the many issues of the girls was a lack of proper knowledge and awareness of their bodies. Lucy influences the Devaki teacher to have a friendly, open talk to the High School girls to clear many of their unnecessary difficulties, especially sexuality.

 "Lucy sister, I fear certain growth taking place here (she points to her tiny growing breasts). I hit them out and the blouse often becomes dirty in this area, and the boys often fool me. I don’t know what sickness I’ve got. My sister Lucy, please help me." A grade VI girl, Subashini shares her anxiety with Lucy. 

 "Subashini, as our female body grows, various changes take place in the body. Breasts will grow into good shape and size, and it is only normal. Don’t hit them out, it’ll not go out, it’s our God’s creation. Grown up breasts add beauty to a female. So, thank God for the beautiful breasts as His gifts to you. Nothing to worry about it. Regarding boys’ teasing you because of the menstruation, tell your mom, and she will help you be secure but never hate the menstruation." Lucy helps her younger sister and clears her doubts and fears. That news spread among the girls in the school. The girls approach Lucy with very many strange stories about their various problems connected to the growth of their bodies. She finds it prudent to get the school counsellor teacher Devaki to help these students with her knowledge and experiences in this area as she is a married person.

 So, they have fixed a date with their counsellor teacher to clarify many of the growth problems they face. With the initiative of their School leader and the girls’ willingness, they have described many of the female youth problems they face. Lucy has prepared the girls very well for the friendly chat. After welcoming the students, Lucy, the School Captain, requests the students to be alert and open to draw fruit out of this session with their teacher. Then she invites the Devaki teacher to start the session. The teacher gives them an understanding of every human being’s beginning of life.

 "I want to draw your attention to the origin of our existence, my younger sisters. We’ve already studied when the sperm of a man that fertilizes an ovum of a woman, a child, comes to existence. Millions of sperm cells swim towards the waiting ovum. Only one sperm cell fertilizes the ovum or egg. New studies reveal that chemical signals from the ovum facilitates which sperm will fertilize the egg. At the time of conception and before the cell division begins, God places a spirit, that is holy, in the fertilized egg. This spirit, a bright light that makes the human zygote a child of God. So you’re precious in God’s eyes and you are born as his beloved child. That means you’re the beloved of our Creator God. "The teacher stresses the preciousness of each person. 

 "The fertilized egg is a single cell. It divides into two, two into four, into eight, sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four, a hundred and twenty-eight, and the division of the cells now goes rapidly growing into a full baby. In the womb to be born in the world after more or less nine months, seven days and seven hours staying in the womb of its mother." The Devaki teacher gives them a good understanding of the conception and growth of a human child in its mom’s womb.

 "All the positive and negative instincts and qualities of parents enter the sperm and ovum. So, a fecundated ovum has all the life giving and death giving qualities and instincts of the parents. As the fetus grows in the mother’s womb, these qualities and woundedness also develop. During the period of pregnancy–the prenatal period of the fetus, any hurt or love experience the mother receives it affects the baby, and gets recorded both in the minds of mother and the fetus simultaneously. That means, we all are born with woundedness and love in our mother’s womb. This tells us how important it is for the mother to receive love and affection from the family members. When mom is in a positive mood throughout the pregnancy period, the fetus experiences it and grows maturely. Nourishing food for the mom is a must for the healthy growth of the baby in the womb. The baby grows receiving its mother’s love and food received through the umbilical cord till it’s cut off after birth. During the pregnancy period and at the time of birth, a child may undergo traumatic experiences. Psychological means can heal most of the prenatal period woundedness, even though the person doesn’t remember them. That’s the wonder of psychology. The pregnant woman needs to keep a good relationship with her Creator God for all round growth of the fetus." The teacher explains very well the psycho-spiritual, emotional, physical aspects of the fetus in the womb.

 "The Indian government in the National Youth Policy defines adolescence as 13 – 19 years though adolescence is considered as individuals in the 10-19 age group. You can call this period a bridge between childhood and adulthood. It is a transition period for every human being. Dramatic and physical development, psychological and emotional and changes and growth mark adolescence. At this time your development of sexual characteristics, behavioural changes and accelerated growth and changes in contours and sexual organs are normal. In the girls, development of breasts, broadening of hips and fast growth in height, they experience. In the boys, growth of coarse voice and facial hair appear. Every adolescent has to undergo such experiences. Many children, as they grow, they have many doubts and questions about their physical development and emotional experiences. This growth is not any sickness. Some get frightened due to a lack of knowledge. Hormones are mainly responsible for our body growth and development. They regulate the functions of our human body in an organized and subtle way. Certain chemical combinations form hormones for breast growth, and they promote breast growth naturally. The pituitary gland produces Human growth hormone, and it has a significant role to play in body composition, cell repair, and metabolism. While helping, you recover from injury and disease, it also boosts muscle growth, strength and exercise performance. These processes have to go on in our system for our healthy life. We cannot interfere with it." The counsellor teacher explains to them regarding the human body-mind growth.

 With this much initial understanding about the body, the teacher welcomes them with their doubts and questions.

 "My Teacher, I want to share with you something very personal, but I feel very shy. I think though it is my problem, there may be many here who have this same problem. So I want to share it before all." A grade X girl has taken the courage to express it.

 "Our problems are often not only our problems, but they can be also others. Those who take the pain to express it, actually help those who are frightened and shy. You’re most welcome to take the first courageous step to help others." The teacher encouraged her.

 "I have a great worry that whether I’m capable of sexual life. Will I be able to lead a married life? Am I potent or impotent? Actually, in our private conversations, some of my companions have expressed the same doubts they also have. Some have the idea to have sex with boys to check and prove themselves. At the same time we are afraid of it, thinking that we defile our body, mind and spirit, breaking our relationship with our God and opening ourselves to guilty conscience torturing our future. Many things confuse us, and we feel disoriented, teacher." The girl expresses herself with courage.

 "First, I appreciate your boldness to share it with us all. What doubts you are having, almost all of us may go through at one stage of our growth. It’s normal and never worry about it. Sometimes our worry about it itself can block our capability. Instead of worrying, allow the natural process of growth to take place. Your experiments will not solve your problems, but it can rather lead you to various other complications in your life. Adultery is not a healthy means to solve it. It can further lead you to early pregnancy and consequent crimes. Guilt can bind you later and disrupt your psychological, and emotional life. Don’t allow yourselves to turn into more complications and get various illnesses." Their teacher directed the grown-up young adults with prudence.

 "When your uterus grows into maturity, menstruation will take place. The ovaries will release one mature egg every month, and it makes its way through the fallopian tube previous to its fertilization. It’s not any sign of sickness, but a sign of your growth into womanhood. Rejoice over it. In some cultures, they celebrate their first menstruation. Therefore, fear not and rejoice over it. We have to accept our femaleness with gratitude and accept our biological feminine growth. Then we will not get into various sexual problems. When we dislike or hate our sexual organs and feelings, we can easily allow ourselves to be abused by others and by ourselves. Sex and sexuality are two distinct realities. Sexuality is the femaleness or masculineness and sex is more connected to the biological aspects. If we dislike our sexuality, it can lead us to many unnecessary difficulties in this area. Our disliking menstruation can become one reason for disordered menstrual cycle or absence of it for long period or white discharge and many other diseases. It can affect you, you can have unreasonable anger and negative reactions, even breaking your relations with others. Dysfunctional behaviours can be another problem you may face when you dislike your sexuality. Therefore, do not fear your sexual feelings and urges, but appreciate it as God-given gift. Consider your sexual urges and feelings as good, holy and God given gift to you. When you respect them, you will grow healthy and mature. Keep in mind you are a sexual being and every cell of your body is sexual. If your parents and my parents did not experience such urges and feelings, we wouldn’t be here right now." The teacher explains to them intending to change their unhealthy attitude towards their body and sexuality.

 "Teacher, when you’ve mentioned your wisdom filled words of clarification and understanding, various doubts, confusions, and false knowledge have disappeared from me. It’s like a punctured cycle tyre, the pressure has gone. I’m sure it may be the same experience with my companions over here. Thank you so much." One girl has shared her experience.

 "Teacher, after listening to your and my companions’ interactions, I feel courageous to share with you before all of you my fear and worry. I am in grade X and am fully a girl, but my breasts are very tiny. They don’t grow, and I get worried and frightened about it. Now I know that if I want to increase the size of them, I can by undergoing hormone treatment. So the fear and worry went away from me. It may be helpful to others, so I say the reason for my fear and worry. I read in a storybook that a girl got married and on the first night itself the husband discovered her breasts were tiny. He felt shattered and quarreled with her, accusing her as a eunuch. Because of the unbearable persecution and physical torture, she ran away from the house and committed suicide. Thank you, teacher for your guidance." Chithra Devi expressed her experience.

 Many more girls have shared their various enriching experiences. They are all happy about the clarification and the new knowledge they have acquired. Some others have shared that their shyness to say anything about sex has gone away. Now, they look at their feminine sexuality as good, holy, and beautiful. They love and appreciate it. Such acceptance has brought them so much inner freedom. The sharing of the teacher and the High School students has been very enriching, clarifying many of their confusions and answering their many search questions. The teacher has also suggested that the students take their moms and grandmas to confidence and share with them as they have gone through the same growth stages of life. Many girls have also shared their tendency to lie, steal, nag at others, bullying, and their involvement in many unwanted things. They also confess their struggles with masturbation, cursing, abusive words, and even cheating. The teacher has dealt with them carefully with prudence and has given them appointments to meet her for personal guidance later as they have requested her. She has also offered them her willingness to help them in the future.

 "In conclusion of this session, I want to remind you that your unfulfilled adolescent needs can lead you to instability, hero-worship, identity confusion, trouble with authorities, and loneliness. You have a remarkable, mature, and victorious life before you to live out. Winning over all obstacles is yours." The teacher concludes her friendly chat with her adolescent children.

   These girls are honest, open to growth, and freedom to be the Creator’s beautiful children. Now they have understood the real meaning of how precious and beloved each human being is before the Creator God. The girls are firm enough to have victory over all unhealthy lifestyles. From the interactions between the teacher and students, Lucy has picked up a vital evil of bullying on the campus secretly. Lucy makes it a point to stop it in the school from growing with no hindrance. They all have gone through a delightful and enriching session with their Devaki teacher.

   The interaction has defused a powerful emotional bomb from them. The confident and cheerful faces of the girls speak louder. The girls are happy and grateful to their School Captain, Lucy, for arranging such an enriching and wisdom-filled session.                           


Next Chapter: LUCY THE MYSTERIOUS HEALER