The Glass Castle, written by Jeannette Walls, is a wonderful book full of many different stories that made her childhood unique. This book is a memoir of the interesting and talented Jeannette Walls. The second chapter of the book begins with her, as a three year old, burning herself severely when making hotdogs for herself. I think that chapter just sets the tone of the story. Her crazy life was not so perfect even when she forced herself to believe it could be worse. How can it be worse when you have no money, a worn down home, and nothing to eat?
Her family was constantly struggling with money and her father was an alcoholic. Jeannette’s mom was capable of working, but was just lazy. She and her siblings had to really survive on their own. This book is full of themes from her different experiences in life. Themes that cover so many obstacles that anyone who reads this book can relate in some way or another. Inappropriate behavior was a theme that really stood out to me in this book. I guess when two children getting gropped one or more times with parents not doing anything about it can really get to a person who has had a similar experience.
Even when a person is very vulnerable, that is no excuse to take advantage them. Jeannette was taken advantage of one too many times and I can relate with the story of how I was taken advantage of in a very rough situation. Two years ago I was taken advantage of by my best friends ex boyfriend. Do not even get me started on how it happened because we will get there. I first need to tell you what happened before to put me in such a vulnerable position for this to happen to me. I was in a year long relationship. It was not remotely close to an okay relationship.
I was told I was never good enough and also he had dumped four times by now and had cheated on me three times. I found out about the cheating after he broke up with me too. I was happy to be out of the relationship, but I need the comfort of someone. I am the person who cannot be alone even if I tried to be single I simply am not able to do it. I was happy but seeking attention from anyone and I am not going to lie I was texting a few people just trying to feel wanted and feel happy. I just needed someone to talk to that is all.
Around the same time the person who took advantage of me had been dumped by my best friend after he had put her through choosing either him or her family and lying to her one too many times. I was proud of her because she did deserve better but she also chose it herself. She was not pushed to do anything, but that put him in a bad place and he just wanted revenge. He knew I was just dumped and I was most likely very vulnerable too, which I was. It all started one night when I was at my friends house. I was texting this other guy who was with the person who did this to me.
The guy, we will call him Jim, texted me asking me to talk to my friend to try and convince her to get back together with him. I simply told Jim it was not my place and that if she wants to be with him she would but if she does not want to be with him she will not. He then told me he lost a bet ad had to text me to ask me that. I said it was okay because I do not care that much. Then he just would not stop texting me. I am not an awful person, I understand he is hurt and wanted to be a friend for him so I tried to comfort him and telling him that the break up was probably for the best.
Although he did not believe it I was realizing that my break up was for the best with my own advice. Jim wanted to hang out and I said sure but I definitely set some boundary lines. I only wanted to be friends but when we hung out he kept trying to cuddle and kiss me. I dodged it the whole night. I told myself I was not going to do this to my best friend! I am not that kind of person and I thought I was strong enough to avoid this. The night ended and I needed to go home so Jim took me home. I was relieved to be home because I did not have to dodge more of his dumb, player moves.
The next day. School was cancelled due to snow and ice. Him and his friend and I decided to go sledding at the reservoir. I hate sledding though, it is scary because I had a traumatic experience with it when I was little so I did not actually sled down the hill. I watched but I was cold from the wind on top of the reservoir. He offered to go since I was cold and I said sure. We went back to his house where his mom and brother were. We went up to his room to watch tv, I actually ended up taking a nap. When I woke up he would not leave me alone.
He kept trying to touch me and get me to touch him and I did not want to. He ended up getting on top of me. What was I supposed to do. I do not want to yell get off me. What if his mom comes upstairs? What if she puts the blame on me? What if I am making a bigger deal out of this than it actually is? In the book, Jeannette’s uncle, Stanley, was touching himself and Jeannette inappropriately. Jeannette went to tell her mom and her mom told her this, “If you do not think you are hurt, then you aren’t. So many women make such a big deal out of these things. But you’re stronger than that. (Walls 184).
That is kind of what I was thinking. I am not hurt so I should not make a big deal out of this. I remember saying no four times. It was not enough though, I was vulnerable from my break up and was being shown affection. The rest is kind of a blur, but I know I had just made a big mistake. I did not do enough to prevent this from happening, but I was not hurt. All I wanted to do was cry and go home, which I did. I went to the bathroom and cried and asked if I could go home. He took me home and I walked in and just started crying. Luckily I am very close with my mom.
I told her everything that happened. I tried to stay composed, but coming home and balling my eyes out alarmed her a lot. She asked a bunch of questions and was there for me for everything. I told her about how he kept touching me and would not leave me alone kind of like when Jeannette’s uncle kept feeling her thigh inappropriately. I felt awful about myself and thought it was all my fault. I knew my friend would be very upset with me. In fact, when I told her I did not even tell her I said no. I basically told her like it was my fault because I felt so awful about it.
The guy kept trying to text me after that happened and that is when I cut him out. I did not want to speak to him. He told people I wanted to do it when I did not! I was looked at as a sl*t for a long time. My ex found out and even joined Jim on bullying me and making me seem like an awful person who will do anything with anyone. I did not even bother with it because I knew the truth myself. My mom was there for me throughout all of this drama. I am truly blessed with a mom who does not judge and gives great advice to me. I am a lot stronger of a person now and I stand my ground no matter what.
People can hate me for all I care, this is my body and I have a right to the word no. Looking at myself today, I am in a good relationship. He respects me and does not push me to do anything. I respect him for that and am glad I found someone like him. I know I am young and I definitely have a wall up to anyone new, because I do not want anything bad or worse to happen to me. I feel like from this experience I have been more mature with myself and my relationships with people, including friends. I give lots of advice and try to help all of my friends with their problems if they come to me.
I have moved on from all of this and I honestly try not to think about it. I try to stay positive by doing positive things. I have learned that letting things go is the best because there are no grudges to hold on to and life is just less stressful. Jeannette Walls let go of how her parents are and accepted it and also let go to her experiences with inappropriate behavior. She does not dwell on the best, but she does look forward to her future. Being taken advantage of is not something to be taken lightly like I did and Jeannette did.
I believe that Jeannette’s story of her childhood is amazing and really unique. I can relate and also see from different perspectives with her book. The different themes and moods really catch the reader’s attention when reading because of the craziness that Jeannette grew up with. The different themes can relate to almost everyone. Jeannette getting taken advantage of multiple times took a toll on me, and I could really relate to it. Read the book, and you will see what out of your life really relates to something that happened in Jeannette’s life.