What happened next?

I mentioned previously that who I am today is a direct result of the experiences I have had over the last 32 years. However, it took until this past year for me to confront my demons and deal with the ‘elephant in the room’ so to speak.

From the spiteful, hurtful insults,

“You look nothing like your brother, he’s attractive, you’re ugly, what went wrong in your family gene pool?”
“What have you done to yourself? If only you were slimmer, you’d be pretty…I guess I could try to like you…”

to the humiliation or having someone degrade or defile me to show me just how worthless they thought I was. I’ve always lived my life from the outside. Not quite knowing my place, fighting to be ‘normal’, to fit in. I remember the day I decided that I didn’t want this life anymore. I wanted to be someone else. So I found a new strategy, one that would last me a lifetime, and when coupled with my award winning smile, my super armour was unbreakable.

I became a people pleaser.

In short, I believed that if I could please people and give them what they wanted, they would be happy, they would like me. They might even want or choose to be around me. They might put up with me. I sought outside validation and my personal feeling of security and self-confidence was based on getting the approval of others.

The problem was, for all it made life that little bit easier at first, from day one, that young girl changed forever, she became someone else. Somewhere along the way I lost myself. I morphed and moulded myself to become what others wanted me to be. This destructive desire to feel validated by others influenced how I lived my life throughout my childhood, adolescence and adult hood. It took over me. Only now have I come to realise that over the years, I have sacrificed my wants, my needs, my desires, as I pushed to put others before me, to make them happy. In doing this, I put up with situations, relationships, and experiences that I should have stood up to, or walked away from. I did this because I believed that I was lucky enough that someone wanted to be with me, or the popular crowd was willing to accept me. After all, I was worthless, right? Wrong!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, I should’ve spoken my mind, I should’ve fought against something I thought or felt was wrong, I should’ve stood up, or walked away sooner. But, my biggest fear which burned away daily, was that if I did, I could end up alone. Abandoned. Unloved. Back at the beginning.

I can’t and won’t live my life thinking ‘should’ve’, ‘would’ve’ or ‘could’ve’. Like I said, I own my mistakes. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them, but they are not who I am.

“I am not my mistakes and God knows I’ve made a few.”

I will not be this version of me anymore. I own my mistake, but this mistake does not and will not define me. Like the winds of time, I am changing.

You see, I no longer believe them, the people who thought they could tear me down. Those people who thought they had a right to tell me I wasn’t good enough, their words echo quieter now. They’re not silent, as they’ll never go away, but I know now that I can choose not to believe them. For I know I am worthy. I am talented. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am me.

It’s taken months of deep thinking and cognitive analysis for me to identify what changed that beautiful little girl, so very long ago, me, what changed in me. To do this, I have taken the most emotional and exposing journey of my life so far. My journey has made me revisit many traumatic experiences and unpick the relationships I have had with myself, the world around me and others. Although it made me vulnerable and exposed, I can now understand why I feel, behave and think the way that I do. Armed with this knowledge, I can move forward with a renewed outlook on life, on me and on my future.