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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Self-Acceptance - The Motive2Change That I'm Trying To Find

Okay, so I'm going to be using this space for today to once again promote the online YouTube show that I am filming along with my buds JOSH and CARINE.  The show is called MOTIVE2CHANGE and in case you're just tuning in, it's a show made for youth by youth...well, at least TWO of us are still considered youthful.  Want to take a wild guess which two?

HINT:  They're the ones with the coloured names in Kabel style font.  Or, whatever font shows up on your screen.  Ah, let's just go with the coloured font.  That works.

At any rate, this is our fourth episode of the series, and the first one we've filmed in over two weeks.  We had a little bit of a setback in trying to get everybody together to get an episode filmed.  First, it was Easter celebrations that kept us all apart, and then a couple of us ended up getting sick, and plus our hectic work was just one thing after another!  I'm sure most of you who are reading this blog entry can relate to that, if only for just a moment.

However, we finally managed to come together and record Episode #4, which is all about the subject of self-esteem and self-worth.
Have a listen just by clicking it!  Hey, it's only a little more than thirty minutes in length.  In the average human lifespan, that's peanuts!

Okay, so now that the video is posted, I certainly hope that you enjoyed it...because I'm not quite done yet with discussing this subject.  When you only have a thirty minute window to talk about a particular subject, it's only natural that there are some things that are either left on the cutting room floor, or that you don't even get a chance to say everything that is going through your mind at that moment.

So, I suppose that this blog entry is a complete addendum to the
MOTIVE2CHANGE episode about self-worth.

And the reason why I want to go into more detail over this subject is because I want to share with all of you the very reasons why I believe that I have struggled with this concept my whole life.

Basically, I want to explain to all of you why I find it hard to see myself through the rose-coloured goggles of positivity and happiness.  Why some people in my life I compare to the Dementors in Harry Potter.  And, in trying to discover the truth, I end up discovering some home truths about myself that aren't quite so pleasant.

I suppose that I'll start with the home truths section of the blog.  The truth of the matter is that I haven't exactly had the greatest love for myself during the entire span of my life.  And because of the fact that I've had extreme self-esteem issues, it explains why I am still single, why I have had difficulty keeping friendships going, and why I have been stuck in a rut for some time when it comes to personal growth and development.  And I'll definitely own up to that.  I know that there are instances in which I am my own worst enemy at times, and it's been a real challenge to try and keep my eye on the prize when there are times in which you doubt yourself even deserving the prize in the first place.

And yes, there are moments in which I have felt THAT bad! 

The good news is that those moments are few and far between, but the bottom line is that I have had some bad experiences that have really made me doubt myself, and I have had instances in which people I thought that I could trust ended up betraying me, and I have had authority figures who were supposed to set a good example be anything but.  And, it's unfortunate that I have had such poor examples of people pass through my life, trying to suck all of the fun and happiness that I had as a child.

(Now you see where the Dementor reference comes from.)

Growing up, I think I kind of always knew that I wasn't like the other kids.  I had my own distinct personality, I liked doing activities that other kids didn't, and I studied things that other kids had literally no interest in. 

Case in point - I once checked out every single book about clocks in the library when I was four.  I still find clocks to be fascinating things today.  And, there's nothing wrong with that.

But you know something?  My likes, dislikes, hobbies, and interests were NEVER a problem before I entered school.  They may have seemed a little eccentric to people who came to visit, but they only visited.  They never got to see me for who I really was. 

That seemed to be a recurring theme for me.

By the time I entered school, I had all sorts of people who came into my life and who thought that they would interject by showing me the "right way" to be.  And, they came at me under the guise of being a caring person who really did have my best interests at heart.

But let's be realistic.  They only cared about moving themselves up the education ladder, or making an example out of me, or singling me out from the other kids because they deemed me "different".

As far as I was concerned, there was nothing wrong with the way I held my pencil, or the way I walked down the hall.  Unfortunately, I had a teacher who was somehow bothered by the fact that I was imperfect in both.  I honestly don't know whether she did it just to be nasty, or whether she was told to act that way by the school board, or whether she simply wanted to have the reputation that all of her students were "practically perfect in every way", but regardless of which, she inflicted a lot of emotional abuse on me.

Worse, she taught the other kids in my class - the ones she DIDN'T single out - that it was perfectly fine to pick on kids who were different from them because she singled me out for being different all the time.  She made sure I was the last one to get a writing notebook even though my handwriting was clearer than some of the other kids in the class (I think she was punishing me for not holding the pencil the "proper" way).  She denied me the right to sell fundraising materials even though she had extra copies of the booklets to hand out.  She even made fun of my walking style and made it a song and dance production to make the other kids know that I had a walking impediment. 

My only regret was that I didn't go to the school board myself and report her so that she couldn't abuse any other children the way she abused me.  Of course, I was only seven, and what school board trustee EVER listens to a seven year old?

But you know, once I had her as a teacher, I couldn't help but feel that ALL teachers were just like her.  Many of them weren't, of course.  And none of them EVER matched the level of cruelty that she exhibited day after day.  But because she betrayed my trust and hurt me in ways that many people don't understand, I saw all teachers as being untrustworthy.  And I think that's why the bullying that I endured in school grew to become out-of-control.  Because I didn't know who I could trust.

Mind you, it wasn't just the teachers who I didn't trust.  So often I formed friendships with kids and they ended up turning on me for what appeared to be no reason.  I still remember one friendship that I had with a boy.  For three years, we were really close friends, and I remember that I even made it a point to invite him to my ninth birthday party at the movie theatre where we saw a screening of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".  That's why I found it so bizarre when just a couple of years later, he became friends with three other boys who didn't like me very much, and he became my worst enemy.  And when I say worst enemy, I mean it.  He would call me all sorts of names, chase after me with balloons stuffed in his backpack (remember, I can't stand the sound of balloons popping), and he just caused me a whole lot of emotional stress.  Worse, he was the type of kid who would instigate things in class so that I would react on purpose (admittedly I didn't handle being bullied very well when I was younger), and soon afterwards, the rest of the class joined him in taunting me.

I suppose in some ways, I could expect something like that to happen.  After all, nobody wants to be the odd person out.  But, I'll tell of the reasons why I was doubting going to my eighth grade reunion is because of the fact that I might end up coming face to face with this jerk and he might stir up all sorts of trouble for me once again.  I know the odds of that happening are slim to nil, but still...there's always that chance.  And honestly, I don't know if I'm prepared to handle it.

But then again, I sort of just got used to the fact that whenever I made friends, they would somehow find a way to turn against me.  And, yes, this person who went from best friend to worst enemy in just a couple of years was a huge factor behind it.  Because that friendship ended on an ugly note, I went through life believing that all friendships would end up that way.  And, certainly this has been the case with some people who have come across my path - after all, the kid who torched my locker and the kid who sent me poison e-mails were also considered "friends" at one time.  But because I had such horrible examples of friendship shown to me, whenever any friendships that I had dissolved, I always took responsibility for it being my fault for not being good enough for them - not even entertaining the possibility that maybe they weren't good enough for me, because I always told myself that possibility was not possible.

You see how sometimes I can see myself as my own worst enemy?

Even at my workplace sometimes, I still have self-doubts, and I feel as though I am either not doing enough, or doing too much.  I volunteer for several things around the store, but yet some people still won't have anything to do with me (though, I'm starting to see that it's more THEIR loss, and not mine).  Whenever I get an irate customer, more often than not, they have the attitude to begin with.  But sometimes I find myself wondering if anything I did caused them to get angry even more. 

And, I shouldn't be like that.  But then again, I haven't always had the healthiest self-worth. 

Truth be told, there are times in which my self-worth has plummeted down to such dismal levels that I worry it'll flatline on the operating table. 

I know that I'm the only one who can change it.  I just sometimes feel that I lack the resources necessary to make those changes. 

Or, maybe it's because as good of a judge of character I am with people, I still make mistakes and put my trust in the wrong ones.

Or, maybe it's because I spent the better part of a decade locked away from the world because I couldn't bear being hurt again.

Most times, I can find a way to get out of bed, face the day, and put on a happy face showing that all is good.  I just wish that I didn't have to work so hard on putting on a happy face.  I just wish that I could just do it.

I'm tired of making excuses for who I am, and I am sick of having people come into my life to try and change me, or betray me, or treat me as if I'm invisible.  I may be eccentric, but I am still capable of showing real, raw, human emotion. 

I just think that I need to stop listening to negative people...and get myself away from negative situations.

Are there any islands out there that are worth ten bucks?

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