Monday, February 13, 2006

To Daisy

Some say that a person never truly gets over being made fun of when they were little and that a child who was habitually teased during their formative years will always keep a wall up, rarely allowing others in.

Do you think this is true? Do you believe that if you were picked on as a child, that as an adult you still feel that vulnerability? To a certain degree, I have to say my answer is "yes".

I was picked on in elementary school by 3 older girls and some of their friends. Even today, I sometimes feel like the little girl I used to be-standing on the sidewalk, towering over the other girls listening to them getting invitations for sleepovers and play dates.

As an adult I've felt the loneliness that used to creep in when climbing the stairs to my house after getting off of the bus alone, knowing that the only person happy to see me would be my mother, and maybe my little sister.

I've felt the shame of being taller, broader, darker, than others considered prettier or more ladylike and the emptiness of knowing that every best friend I ever had, eft and moved away.

I've put up walls so that no one could see in-so they couldn't see the small child my soul sometimes forgets to let go of; or sometimes simply can't let go of.

But then I remember the other side of me-the one that goes on trips alone and meets a melange of people that I would never have met had I been with friends or family. I remember the daring and exciting times and the way I overcome things I never thought I could.

I remember the times I let my walls down, and let people see me cry, let them see my embarrassment, my fears. And the times I let myself love others, even though I still think they are going to "move away".

And I hear the words of the people I love, telling me I am brave or strong, and that I inspire them to be different or better and that they look up to me.

And that's when I know that the teasing only made me stronger and the sadness made me appreciate the laughter even more.

The walls? They still exist-but they're thinner and shorter, and very easy to breach. And once inside, I'll love you more fiercely, and fight for you more vehemently because I appreciate that what I have can be taken away.

But it doesn't stop me anymore. The little girl on the sidewalk helps me to be stronger, wiser, and more passionate about life.

And I don't think many bullies can say the same.

1 comment:

DinaLove said...

Amen to that, sister. I swear, sometimes I think you and I were separated at birth. I had a HORRIBLE childhood, esp in elementary school. I was made fun of ALL the time and it was gut-wrenching. But, I'm stronger for it now and, just like you said, I don't think any one of those "popular" girls would be able to strut into a movie theatre or restaurant by herself and enjoy a night out alone. Heck, they can't even go to the ladies' room without an entourage!

Power to the loners, the picked-on, and the geeks. We have risen above and, boy, does the air smell fresher up here!