If You Really Knew Me
When I was in High School I wore a mask. It was a pretty good one. It looked a lot like me. It also looked a lot like a straight A student who was highly involved in extracurricular and although wasn’t popular she had a direction in life and followed it. Today there is still mask. Although it doesn’t hide who I am as much as it did when I was younger this mask hides the pain. What was actually behind that mask was another story.
MTV has a new show “If You Really Knew Me” where they go into High Schools across the country and have a challenge day.
So what is Challenge Day? They are a non-profit organization. “The Challenge Day mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression. Our vision is that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved and celebrated.”
The show started off following a few of the people who were going to participate in the day. One a bully (who bullied because he was picked on), the cheerleader (who was self-conscious), the jock, the mean girl (who felt she wasn’t good enough for her father and that is why he left), and the class clown. Going into the day they joked a lot a they heard people who did this cried and hugged a lot. When the day started their walls were quickly stripped and many were admitting things that they usually tried to hide.
As I sat watching I found myself wishing that I was able to do this when I was 16. I yearned to connect with others who felt the same as I did. I needed a voice. Although I had some great friends we kept a lot from one another. One part that really touched me was “If You Really Knew Me”. The participants would than tell about what they really felt. It moved me how honest they were.
It has been 10 years since High School, but it is never too late to face your demons. So here I go.
If you really knew me:
If you really knew me you would know that I never felt like I fit in. I was different from my friends in a way that I could never put my finger on and still can’t. They never failed to let me know that I didn’t measure up to their standards. They put me down for “having a life” and competed over who had better grades. Since I was an art student my grades didn’t matter because “art is easy.”
If you really knew me you would know that my mom enrolled me in every dance class that she could to escape her abusive husband, my father. What my friends called “having a life” was my mom’s way to escape her life. And when my father walked out (which was in a strange way a very happy day for me) she emotionally walked out on my brother and I.
If you really knew me than you would know that I enrolled myself in every after school activity not because I though doing the stats for the football team was fun, but because I needed to escape my mother. Finally she just kicked me out.
If you really knew me you would know that I walked through High School and many years afterward with my head down. I thought that I had no right to be there and that I was a waste of space. It took me a long time to realize that I am worth something.
If you really knew me you would know that I have spent many years running. I moved from place to place thinking that in the next move that I would find what I was looking for (the right job, the perfect home, Mr. Right, etc…) Truthfully I wouldn’t have recognized any of it if it had bitten me on my nose. Only recently have I started to face my demons. At times it isn’t pretty, but each day gets easier.
If you really knew me you would know how much I love my boyfriend and my daughter, but fear I’m going to ruin it. I fear that I will push my boyfriend to far, will ruin my baby’s life, or will somehow destroy what I want the most because that is what I’m good at doing. Because of that I tell R how much I love him every chance I get and spend my days loving Bug. I know that I am self-destructive and try to change.
If you really knew me you would know that I’m a work in progress and realize it.
So, now that you know me what about you? Feel free to write as much as you want in the comment section. If you don’t feel comfortable please e-mail me at myreinventedlife@yahoo (dot) com. Don’t bottle it up. So, what if I really knew you?