When I say my mind never stops, I mean it. The last few days I have really been stuck in the mindscape of why: Why was I the way I was in my teens? I’d love to ask the people that knew me then why exactly did they treat me or not treat me like they did. BUT you know that no one ever tells the truth of how they once felt about you… Why can’t people be honest?
So, a few years after high school, I had the unfortunate privilege to live with someone for a few weeks who everyone thought was my best friend due to the close relationship I had with her family. Well, one day in one of our many arguments, I said to her, “Well this just confirms that the way I knew I felt and was never honest with myself about it. I really don’t like you, and I lived at your house, put up with your crap and poor treatment of me just so I could be part of your family and have somewhere safe to be”.
This was not a pretty truth but it was our truth. Once I stopped pretending to love her, her actions did not bother me so much after that. This leads me back to thinking about my former self. To be honest there was nothing to like about me and maybe that is why I always felt alone in a room full of people.
Who I saw versus who everyone else saw me as was probably close to the same. I was lonely, yet always had a group of people around me – to the point I was almost never alone. I was sad. I used my illness as excuses. Any time I was scared or didn’t want to do something I used my sickness or my religion. I was always scared of making mistakes, being stupid, or doing something wrong. Example: I never could remember how to get in my locker. In fact, I could not even remember where it was most days. I wondered how so many of the girls I used to be friends with barely even noticed me. I was quiet and guarded till someone was being wronged and then I was loud and emotional. I didn’t give lick if I had good grades. I could run a house, take care of kids, what more did I need? And boys…. ugh… I had so many guy friends and no boyfriends. Everyone thought I was weird or at least that is what I thought. Maybe I was. I most certainly looked the part. I was not allowed to wear pants or a lot of makeup. I wore clothes that were home made and repeats year after year. I wore hand-me-down shoes that my bestie could sneak out of her house. I lived mostly at a friend’s house I didn’t like because I was safe there. Life was complicated.
The only thing I keep coming back to is being more authentic and not trying to fit in so much. Those times I got emotional and defended the people that needed defending? That was the true me. That was the authentic me. The girl that would babysit for free just to get to hold a baby. The girl that worried about her classmates. The one that longed to be part of something more.
In some ways some of these things still tag along with me. I still feel like an outsider in a room. I still feel that everyone thinks I am super weird and dumb. The only change now is, my weirdness is my style, my love is my gift, and I embrace that. I so wish I could go tell the younger me to do the best I could in school. I wish I could tell her to stay home with your grandparents more, you will wish you had. Be yourself: lovely flower full of thorns and sweet-smelling petals. One day you will love they will love you enough to clip away at those thorns and all you will be is this beautiful flower.