This is a fairly long, personal post, very loosely based on The Prompt this week which is “confidence.” Whether it makes sense or not is beyond me, but I sat down to write and it all just came out.
Confidence is something I don’t know a lot about, at least not from a personal perspective. It’s something I know other people have, some in bucket loads, others I know struggle with like I do.
From what I remember of my very young childhood, I was a confident kid. In the final two years of primary school though, another girl joined and my friends all abandoned me in favour of her. She wasn’t a nice girl, but my friends all loved her because she was ‘cool,’ she was streetwise, a novelty in our little Church of England school.
Then I moved to high school where my confidence would take its biggest knock. It seemed that, over the summer, all my friends and acquaintances from primary school had grown up, become these confident tweens, more mature, more streetwise, more everything that I wasn’t. The whole school bullied me. I was different. I was the girl who went to school with her socks pulled up to her knees, her tie done up properly, generally abiding by school uniform rules. I wanted to learn, I wanted to be myself. I realised that being myself wasn’t enough and soon learned that what I wanted, more than anything, was to fit in.
I moved schools, but the damage was done. I changed, my entire personality changed, I wore a mask of confidence now, pretended I didn’t care about rules, went against what my true self believed in order to be deemed worthy in some way. It continued into college. I became a smoker because I wanted to fit in, be ‘cool.’ I became sexually active, threw drunken parties while my parents were away, but I was falling apart inside.
I may have appeared confident but internally I hated myself, and I still do. Those formative years, the ones where I should have been forming my sense of self and building my confidence levels, had actually caused (in my opinion) my Borderline Personality Disorder to kick off.
Long story short; confidence can be a fragile thing. Some of us seem to be born with the emotional strength of an ox and the ability to remain confident and believe in ourselves no matter what, but many of us aren’t like that. Many of us need to work on our confidence daily, rebuilding it after the world knocks it down so regularly. Yet others, myself included, will battle to find any sort of confidence during our lives. Please, be kind, keep this in mind when you make those snide remarks to people, maybe that person is taking it to heart more than you realise and maybe it is doing even more damage than you intended.