If you follow me on Twitter you’ll probably see the odd self-deprecating tweet. They’re half meant for comedic effect, but a part of me does truly believe I’m a bit of a twat.
In some kind of vain effort to change my life, I recently joined an online self-help group. The speaker gave us some homework -she asked everyone to go away and ask themselves what is standing in the way of their success? Now, not to sound completely up my own rectum – but I know when I put my mind to it, I’m a reasonably ok writer, I’m a good storyteller and I know I’m a good presenter (I used to present radio). But whenever I’m handed an opportunity to actually use my skills and shine, I don’t. Why?
I was bullied from a very young age. The first time I remember being bullied I was only 5 years old. I can’t explain why but I’ve never really felt part of a group. I’ve always felt like the outcast or the black sheep, even from the age of 5. I still feel like that now.
I was a small scrawny girl who was quiet, liked reading and writing and didn’t speak much unless she had something of importance to say. Above all, I loved writing and sharing my own stories. I’m not sure my shaved haircut or jam jar grandma-esque glasses helped much either. Add all of those ingredients together and you’ve got yourself a recipe for one victimised child.
It started out as name-calling about my looks (The peoples favourite was a rumour that I was Harry Potter’s understudy in the films because I had an uncanny resemblance to him.). Quite quickly that manifested in to not being able to walk to the end of my street without a gang waiting to punch me, pull my hair or kick me. I didn’t have the physical strength to fight back. This slowly manifested into my Dad’s car being broken in to, soaked in some kind of fluid and attempted arson. Though whoever did it poured window cleaner everywhere, which isn’t flammable – the car just stunk of vinegar for a very long time. My mum was a very proud gardener, but all of the plants she planted would get pulled up, or our general waste wheely bin would be tipped over every night before collection, with our rubbish strewn everywhere.
I’m no psychiatrist, but I think this all really affected me. Although I know I possess certain strengths, when it’s time to shine, I shy away. I think it is because I’m scared of ridicule or scared of making success and it all being taken away from me again. It’s self-sabotage, getting in there before anybody else has the chance to. And that’s what the self-deprecating humour is as well. A shield. I can’t get hurt if I’m laughing at myself too. I think it had an effect on every aspect of my personality. I don’t ever feel like I can fully ‘let go’ or ‘be myself’ anymore. Which in turn has stunted so many of my friendships too.
The problem is that I really do want to make a success of writing or presenting.
So, I’m going to try and blog everyday in May. It might not happen. It might last about 3 days – because that’s all the posts I have pre-written.
But I suppose you’ve got to start somewhere, and I want to change and grow.
See you every day in May…. Maybe.