wooly selfie

The Prompt: Confidence

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┬ámy 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.

mumturnedmom

5 comments

  1. mummyshambles

    Oh lovely…
    I am so sorry to hear that you were bullied. I know how that feels, only too well.
    You’re right, people should choose their words carefully as they have long lasting consequences. X

  2. Jo Winwood

    The consequences of other people’s words and actions can be devastating. I’m so sorry you had a tough time but I hope you are now able to see that you are worth more and they have no further power over you or your life. It takes a long time and a lot of strength to leave that pain behind but you can do it.

  3. Megan - truly madly kids

    This made me a bit sad – an incident so early in your life affected you so much, even today.

    I was bullied at secondary school. It took me years to rebuild the damage. I still don’t like people who act like they’re better of me, and I find it hard to ‘shake it off’ (thanks Taylor!)

    Brilliant writing – and v confident if you to write it down xxxx

  4. Maddy@writingbubble

    So sorry to hear you were bullied and the lasting impact it has had on you. It’s so sad what kids can do to each other, although many of the ones who excluded you were possibly just going along with it so as not to be excluded themselves, such is the horrible power of peer pressure. You’re absolutely right that we should be kind to each other. It took guts to write this post so your confidence is in there somewhere! xx

  5. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I am so sorry that you were bullied so badly and that it had such a profound effect. I think that those formative years are so important, and experiences like this effect us more than people realise. I had a pretty hard time at secondary school (nothing to this extent) but I know that it still effects the way I deal with certain situations even now. I create a barrier of confidence around me so that I can brush things off, works most of the time! This is a brilliant post, and a very brave one. Your closing thoughts are so very true. Be kind x Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

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