We all have these stories—these moments in time that make us who we are. You, me, them, all of us fight battles every day; some of them threaten to destroy us. Others try to rewrite us; and still others seem to define us. There are moments in our past that we would like to change; if there isn’t, you haven’t lived enough—you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone, taken risks, made mistakes, made a fool out of yourself in front of a guy that you like.
We all have these demons that try to tear us down: society, family, friends, schoolmates, ourselves. It doesn’t matter. People tear others down to make themselves feel better. And sometimes, it’s not words that are used; looks or actions can be used—looks of disgust or hatred, pointing and jeering, laughing and whispering, or being ignored. Some people are good at brushing things off.
I am not one of those people.
Is there some confidence gene that I am lacking, or is it because I have been bullied most of my life? I honestly don’t know. Is there something wrong with me, or is there something wrong with society that doesn’t allow me to be comfortable in my own skin? I still don’t know.
All I know is that I am not alone; other people have these feelings, too.
And I wish I knew how to help these people. I wish I knew what to say to these people to make them like themselves. But, I don’t; because I can’t even love myself. Sure, there are days when I feel confident, beautiful, and strong. Then someone prettier walks by; someone who has confidence radiating from their soul; someone who is more liked than I, and I lose all confidence I had. There are days when I feel great, and it can be ruined with a look. Better yet, I can make myself look like a fool because I say or do something stupid to be noticed.
I’m tired of being ignored.
If I could go back and change my past, I would. I’d take away the bullying, the sexual assault, the nights of crying myself to sleep; the countless times I made my skin bleed would all be gone. And I’d be fine.
But I can’t; so, I have to make do with what I am, and what I’ve been through. It’s only made me stronger. I’ve grown and I’ve changed. And I still struggle with inner demons and inner battles to not hurt myself again. Every day I think of reasons why I should cut my skin again, and every day I have to think of reasons why I shouldn’t.
If you have these feelings, I’m sorry. I really am. Nothing I can say will take away the pain. But I promise you there’s hope. You are stronger than this. I believe in you.
There is something beautiful about being broken, and yet, somehow, finding the strength to stand tall. Being thrown down, wind knocked out of you over and over again, and refusing to accept that fate means you’re strong. Being strong means standing out in the storm, with the wind howling around you, threatening menacingly to knock you over, rain pouring down like a hurricane; there you stand, rain-boots and all, your dashed hopes and dreams stitched into your skin, rain-boots overflowing with the tears of the earth, collecting all this world has to offer. You know that rain washes away pain if you just let it. Strength is refusing to give up when the whole world is against you; strength is having the scars to prove it.