I remember as a child not caring what other children thought about me. I remember during recess when we were stuck inside I would talk to everyone. As a young child I walked around my house with a Fisher Price tape recorder. My mom kept one of those tapes and it’s my memory box. I talked and talked and talked all the time. I had so much to say as a child I didn’t care if no one would listen. I would talk to myself or my stuffed animals. When I was in elementary school, I remember one evening sitting upstairs with the phone calling all my classmates. Thinking back I do not understand how I had so many classmates numbers. I would ask them what they were doing and pretend that I had someone over. Now I’m older it’s clear I was calling them because I was lonely. I’m glad I did not understand what they really thought about me.
Grandmother raised me until I was 9.5-year-old. My mom was around but she worked a lot, I barely saw her. She was more like a sister than a mother. Which made things hard when she had to be my mom once my grandmother passed away. Everyone joked that I would be a performer when I was older. I spent hours in front of the TV and I would act out my favorite movies all the time. I watched Little Mermaid, Land Before Time, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Movies so many times I’m surprised I couldn’t write out the script. I was like every little girl who would put on a dress and twirl around wanting to be admired.
I learned pretty quickly that most people did not admire me. I learned some hard truth about life. People especially children will not take the time to truly understand you before they judge you. Thinking back I guess I had friends, but I had no one in my life to help me understand what it really meant to be a friend. I had toys stolen from me and I remember stealing a fancy box of crayons from one girl in my class. She told on me but the box was already at my house and I lied to the principle. I still feel bad about that today, maybe I should get a box of princess crayons and send them to the girl.
It wasn’t until high school when I learned that I had a lisp. By a certain point I no longer had a strong personality (that I allowed to show) or high self-esteem but it took the little I had from me that day. My friend had a step-brother who I always sort of liked but he would never date me. He dated everyone I knew, and I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t date me. He would flirt with me but that was it. During that class my friend was telling me about their conversation and he asked her “What was wrong with me?” She told him nothing was wrong with me I had a lisp because of my hearing lost. He had a sister that had to wear hearing aids, had a speech apentment, and developmentally delayed. In that moment I realized why he never dated me. Trust me, I know I dodged a bullet not dating him but at the time it hurt me. The longer it left me thinking about this harsh truth, I put the pieces together.
I “wore” hearing aids in elementary school, had to go to speech, and apparently had a lisp. I kept up with all my classmates it never held me back but I had horrible grades. My grades were not because I was stupid (took me a long time to figure that one out) or had a delay; but because of lack of trying. The kids treated me differently and I never truly understood why this happened. In the “friend” group I had I was always the one that got pushed out and no one was my friend. I do not know how many recesses I played by myself because those girls wanted to exclude me that day. Then I would go running back when they would let me. The little girl who move at the beat of her own drummed learned quickly that people even children were not safe. This also caused a longing to be accepted.
I spent my whole life wanting to be accepted and wanted to be noticed. I am not the prettiest girl you will ever lay eyes. I always seemed to find that one friend that got all the attention from guys. I felt she was skinner than me but wasn’t true often we were the same size. During my high school year I got a video camera, and I filmed everything. I even made two homemade movies with the guy I was dating and his sister. Oh, goodness they were bad but we would take all day making them. The first one we did was titled“The Death of a Beauty Queen” and the second one was called“Revenge of the Dolls”. I can’t help but laugh out loud as I write this because all those memories are flooding back. I’ll spare you the details but my mother said something that stuck out. I never really thought about what I would do with my life but she thought for sure I would do something with the entertainment world.
I told everyone I would be an actress, but I did no plays but I was in love with the “idea” of being an actress. I think I wanted to be one so I could pretend to have the life I wanted. I would have a cute guy to kiss, people would be in awe of me, I would have the attention I wanted as a child, and I would make a lot of money. I did not understand what it really meant to be an actor or a filmmaker. I did media work in college and I get the basic understanding but I have no real desire to do any really film work. I did not understand who I was, and I kept the real me pushed down. Now fast forward 33 years later and I am finally breaking out of this person who I thought I had to become to have people in my life. When you lose almost everything you start to self evaluate.
I read a book not that long ago titled “The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, in Your Office, in Your Bed-in Your World” written by Jeffrey Kluger. I don’t want to be considered a narcissist and there is a part of me that believes that someone will consider me one because I am doing this blog. I am not in love with myself but someone has accused me of always making things about me. There may have been truth to that but there was a deep reason behind those feeling. I want to be heard and there is a part of me that wants to speak in public. I do not understand what that would look like or if it will ever happen. I do not feel that I have anything to share that would make me stick out or have people ask me to come speak at conferences.
I think about that little girl who didn’t care and how I long to be that person again. I want to put myself out there but I don’t want to worry anymore about what people think. This is who I am and I’m being ok with whom I am. I am also allowing myself to grow as a person and I want real change. I have a long way to go but doing this blog is one way for me to break free. That little girl needs to come back to life before she allowed life to push her down.