Confession time: I was a fucked up teenager.  I was a cutter.  I had issues with food, and I had daddy issues.  I grew out of it with minimal impact on my adult life.  I now have a healthy relationship with food, and my scars from cutting have all mostly faded.  In bright sunlight, they can still sometimes be seen.  My dad and I are complicated still, but I don’t see that ever changing.

I found out recently that a former youth pastor wrote about me in a book he wrote about his early years in youth ministry.  I knew he was writing a book, and for a long time I put off reading it because I didn’t know if I was in it, or what he would have pulled from to write about me.  He had plenty to choose from.

He picked a kinder aspect of my teenager hood than he did some of my classmates.  He spent a page and some talking about how I church hopped.  I stared at the page and some he spent talking about me and read the stories both before and after mine, able to determine exactly which of my classmates he was writing about.  Their stories and the details they revealed about themselves were less kind and far more personal than the details he talked about in my page and some.  I began to feel appalled, firstly for myself, wondering why on earth I didn’t get an email or a facebook message or something giving me a heads up before or hell, even after the book was published, that my poorly disguised profile was written about.  Then I realized my former classmates personal details were much more damning than my own and thought about livid they might feel, because if I didn’t get a heads up, they surely didn’t.

So, I’m happy for him.  I’m happy his book has been a moderate success.   I can’t help but find contempt for the fact that he utterly failed to get any kind of consent from the former teenagers, now adults, he chose to write about.

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