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Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm just a sucker with no self esteem

“I took everything so personally as a child. I felt everyone was always laughing at me and thinking I was stupid. I remember one time shouting out ‘Look Dad, there’s the Waverly Munchpickle (municipal) gold course.’ It brought a round of laughter, which, to me, meant that I was laughable. Frightened of failure, I stopped speaking in public and began to withdraw from anything involving social activities. Life had, quite simply, become too risky. Failure and not fitting in lurked around every corner.

Girls, as I knew, could be very bitchy so, feeling frightened of not fitting in, I alienated myself. My reasoning was that if I was inaccessible to others, then I couldn’t be rejected. I cried almost every day because I felt like I didn’t have any friends and that noone liked me.

At school I was always afraid that even if I did try I would fail and that would really mean that I was more stupid that I thought I was, if that was possible.

I can’t always see my good qualities and talents, although I seem to find it very easy to find bad ones. I have intense feelings that can be both positive and negative. I tend to take everything said to me far more personally than it was meant and overanalyse things.
My sensitivity is misinterpreted as snobbishness when really all I want is to be accepted for who I really am. I say sorry all the time for things that aren’t my fault. I have days when I loathe myself, I hate my reflection. I have days when I feel I will never be right for the world. I have days when I think everyone hates me, that I’m a burden to my family and society and that life wont get any easier.”

Those quotes are from Bronte Cullis' biography, describing her life and growing up to be plagued with an eating disorder. These quotes, I may have written them myself.

So what?

So, today I had an epiphany.

I was wandering around the floor at work, looking a little lost, trying to locate someone who turns out, had gone home. Walking back to my desk, my name gets called out. My heart starts racing, I start blushing and I turn around in shock and awe. It was nobody special, just a very-possibly-gay team leader from the other side of the floor checking in to make sure I was okay...I did look a little confused.

When I'd sat back down at my desk, I stopped to question myself why my body had illicited such a bizarre reaction to someone simply calling my name. After a few minutes of contemplation (my computer was being painfully slow, thus plenty of time to ponder the deeper meanings of life), it hit me. I have really, really low self esteem. My body wasn't blushing from a crush, I wasn't having random heart palpitations, I was simply in shock...my body was reacting in a 'fight or flight' fashion.

You might say 'No shit, I coulda told you that you had low self esteem'. Well duh, a girl who self harmed and made herself sick after every meal isn't a candidate for 'confidence of the year' award. I knew I was down on myself, but to realise the extent of my opinion of myself did shock me a little.

Now, when I say fight or flight, I don't mean I was getting ready to go some fisticuffs with a boss...I mean I realised that I am so sure that I am invisible to the world, that someyone knowing my name, who I don't interact with on a regular basis, shocked me to the point where my body didn't know what to do with itself. I guess I'm just lucky I didn't wet myself.

When I realised this, I was a little bit in awe. How could I be so shocked by someone knowing my name? Most people would assume that work colleagues would know their names. Why am I such a crazy person?

I tend to blush when people are nice to me. I am obscenely shy, and when someone compliments me or is simply nice to me, I assume sarcasm. I struggle to hold conversations because I am always positive that the person is hating every moment of talking to me, that they are simply praying for a way to get out. I have such a fear of rejection, no, I am so certain of rejection, that I push people away before they even have a chance to get to know me. This obviously leads to a big painful circle, I come off looking like a cold, rude bitch who nobody wants to talk to because I'm so sure that nobody wants to talk to me.

I know I have rejection issues, I know where they stem from (but that's another blog altogether), and as I said earlier, my low self esteem is not a big shocker, what got me today though, is that I never realised how invisible I thought I really was...or...how invisible I actually feel I am. Just because I can recognise the issue, does not make it fixed.

I am slightly sleep exhausted, so I'm not entirely sure where I am going with this, but basically I just needed to get this little shock out of my system. I guess it makes sense now why I blush every time someone is nice to me (though it may come across as flirting, playing coy). It makes sense why I don't put myself out there to talk to new people/train harder in derby/do something amazing at work/foxy myself up too much when I go out. I knew I did these things, but I thought it was just because I didn't care, people weren't worth the effort, they aren't going to notice anyway.

I guess I'm a little confused, as typically people with low self esteem tend to have the belief that they don't deserve certain things, or that they aren't good enough. Don't get me wrong, I have these feelings too, but generally I DO feel like I deserve those things, or I AM good enough. It's the invisibility, the averageness, the forgetability of myself that is the problem. The fact that I can do something great that nobody will notice, leading to the classic, why bother?

I want to love myself. I want to see what people tell me they see? Why am I so sure of this mediocrity, this invisibility, this godawful forgetableness that I am in awe when somebody remembers my name?

Do I actually dislike these people, or is it just that I am shutting them off before they have a chance to judge me first?


I'm just going through my external harddrive, and stumbles upon this. I wrote this in year 12. I believe this essay is what scored me dux of english for the year.



When you’re young, you think your grandparents are going to live forever. You don’t take the time to appreciate what grandparents provide you with; love, comfort and a happiness that nobody else can offer. It really does take losing a loved one to understand that grandparents aren’t invincible, no matter how much you wish they were.
The last good memory I have of my Grandpa, is sitting at the kitchen table with my cousins, playing ‘cheat’. Grandpa cheated every turn! The next day, I went home. He had a seizure that night and was taken to hospital. He died a few days later. I remember seeing him in the hospital bed, looking paler than a ghost, surrounded by flowers from friends and relatives. Devastated, we went back to Grandma’s house to give her the news. Grandma was incredibly strong after losing her husband of fifty-three years.

I admire my Grandma, Jean. Even after losing her husband, she managed to remain strong. She always makes us laugh, whether it be from a lame grandma-joke or making silly mistakes like calling ‘Kardinia park’ ‘Chlamydia park’, which of course, she will never live down. She knows it’s all in good fun. Before I was born, Grandma gave my mum a bear for me, which she named Jean-bear. When I was young I took jean-bear everywhere. Now, whenever I see jean-bear I think of the times I spent with my grandma and how special she is. My grandmother is an amazing woman. She lives alone after spending more than three quarters of her life as a wife. She rarely sees her family due to living interstate or work commitments, and one of her sons is autistic. Though, with all the troubles she has faced throughout her eighty years of life, she is still willing to help me through my troubles, and is always there to talk to.

My Grandpa was never a lovey-dovey man; He kept to himself a lot, by reading papers and watching the ABC news. Not many people knew, but he had a wicked sense of humour and had some very witty comebacks. When I was little and he took me for walks, mum would tell him to keep me awake, but he would sit in the park for hours letting me sleep in the pram, just so I would keep mum up all night. I don’t know how he did it, but he could walk for days! He once walked from Essendon to Northcote and back to return a pair of socks. Apart from walking, his mode of transport was his bike. He rode everywhere. The thing about grandpa was, he loved his independence. He didn’t like taking advice; he believed he could do everything himself. It was extremely amusing watching grandma stress over grandpas latest project.

When I was little, my grandparents loved me unconditionally. Even when I was a little brat, they would put up with me. Grandpa even called me Horrible Horace. Whenever I went to stay with them he would make me throw Horace out the car window before I got there. Once I went to stay at their house for six weeks straight. I forced them to play board games the whole time. The best ones were mastermind, which grandpa dominated and ludo, which we won fairly equally. We would also work in their huge garden and go for walks to the park. We went to the park with the giant slide, which took ages to walk back up the top. Grandpa would stand at the bottom and catch me. On some occasions I got grandma on the scary rope climb. That was an effort. When they weren’t taking me for walks, trips on the o-barn or feeding the ducks, they were reading books to me. Little miss and little mr books were my favourites, though they always compared me to little miss naughty for some reason. They would also take me to church every Sunday, where during the hymns grandma would sing over everybody else. She had the most beautiful voice!

The night my grandpa died will be in my memory forever. We had been at the hospital all day and my mum decided to stay back at night too. We had a call to go pick her up from the hospital as the dreaded time had finally come. My grandpa had died. We walk in and I say my final goodbye. He looked horrible in that hospital bed. Just skin and bone and white as a ghost, he wasn’t my grandpa at all. When we headed home to comfort my grandma, it was so hard to try and be strong for my mum and my grandma. All I wanted to do was go back in time and give him a huge hug. Instead we spent the night reminiscing. We spoke about the quirks grandpa had, for example how he pulled he pants up at the knee every time he sat down, sometimes to the extent that the cuffs would be just below his knee. We also spoke about how he would do anything for his family and how he was just a genuinely nice person.
The next night we were all obviously upset, but also somewhat relieved. It was finally over. Grandma had taken a sleeping tablet when we took her for a drive through Glenelg, and she fell asleep. I had to help her to bed. She was acting like she was drunk and tried to climb into bed headfirst while telling me how ‘shickered’ she was. Again, something she will never live down.

In all honesty, I have probably taken my grandparents for granted. Knowing that many of my friends don’t have grandparents, I consider myself pretty lucky to have had some of the amazing experiences I have had. My grandparents have put up with me since I was a screaming baby till now, a screaming teenager, which I will be forever grateful. Although I have some wonderful memories of my grandpa, which I will always cherish, I still wish he were here to see me turn 18, graduate, and meet my boyfriend. I would love to take him for a drive in my car. I’m ecstatic that my grandma gets to see these things and I’m sure she is proud of me, just like grandpa would be. Losing my grandpa has made me realise just how I must take advantage of the time I have with my grandma. As I have already established, grandparents don’t last forever, no matter how much you wish they did.