So, this post is slowly going to turn into a hair post. Bear with me.
That is a horrible thing to say about yourself, I USED TO BE AN UGLY DUCKLING... but its true.
I used to be a very insecure; insecure about my looks, my personality, my choice in friends, my choice in boyfriends. It never seemed like what I did appeared great in anyone's eyes, family included. My choices were not to be trusted. I still do not know why.
I always tried to fit in, but at the time the girls were into different hair styles and makeup, and mother didn't allow these certain things within the house hold. Since I wasn't apart of that trend, my look was all wrong in the eyes of others. So, I later began to have this overwhelming feeling that my entire look and appearance was wrong, so my self-esteem suffered. My friends weren't cool. My BFs weren't cool. They were all "nerds", lol. We played video games and did our homework and talked about "nonpopular" things, so we were looked upon as outcasts. I envied my friends's ability to not care what others think. I begged them for their secret, but they constantly told me that you have to let it all go and let it all roll off your back. Me being me, I couldn't accept that as an answer. I felt like there was magical word or phrase I could say to make all of the bad feelings and negative thoughts go away. But there wasn't. So, still I sunk into this dungeon of despair that was within my own mind.
Some people told me that I tried to hard, but that was only to please everyone because I didn't want anyone against. My biggest fear in grade school was to have a negative comment said about me. Boy, I was really reaching then because everyday was a struggle to keep the tears from falling from all the hurtful things that were said to me on a daily basis. I had bullies, tons of bullies. Boys and girls used to terrorize and torture me. I could never shake. It was always a negative comment. It was always something I could never do right.
All of this was hell on my self esteem. When I tell you it has suffered, you can't find a band-aid big enough to shield my wounds. I have stories on top of stories. One story is that family used to dog me about my hair. My hair could never stay in a neat style because my hair was so frizzy and bushy and would draw up. I really didn't care about the upkeep of my hair and my family reminded me everyday of how I would look by the head: crazy. From hair not looking to hot...came why I didn't look like I was growing up, lol. Pretty much, I was a late bloomer. While everyone was hitting puberty and into boys and clothes and makeup, I was still trying to make that one good friend, trying to experience a relationship for the first time, trying to learn how to comb and style my hair.
You will not believe what I began to do. I purposedly made myself look homely, I purposedly start to slack on things I would do and I slowly began to appear as what they said I already looked like. Pretty much, I molded myself into the very things they told me that I was: lame looking, not cute, nerdy, below average. I couldn't believe that my actual self was so bad, so I started to become what they already thought of me. Its sounds extremely crazy, but the comments didn't hurt that bad because there was no way I could be this without physically making myself appear this way. So, I began to see then that I was not really what they thought of me.
Still, the bullying pressed on. I had this boy who was my biggest bully. He used to hold me down and sit on top of me. He used to throw my things out of the bus window. He would say horrible things about my face, which was my weak spot. I suffered from horrible acne. He told me that my entire face looked like a yeast infection. OH! He made me crack that day. I was one big ball of emotions, crying and fighting. I really didn't get anywhere fighting, but he had saw me cry and I was so mad at myself when I cried in front of him. He and his other band of bully friends saw that my face was a sensitive subject. So they continue to talk about my face, and they were going in hard, lol. The comments were getting worse and worse. I didn't shed one tear in front of them, but after I endured all of that, I would go to the bathroom and cry it all out. It was only so long that I could hold it.
There was another girl who used to call me an ugly little girl, and she used to beat me so bad on the bus. I have never said anything to this girl, but she would beat me hard with her fists. For no reason. That was the saddest thing about this case, this girl did not have one reason to hit me. But it never failed, she would hit me.
One day a girl cut my hair in class for no reason at all. I was so upset, but I felt like there was nothing I could do, because she dared me to get in her face for all the things she dished out. So, I stayed quiet, dying emotionally on the inside. My heart was crying out for a chance to get over whatever it was I was going through.
But I couldn't shake it. I accepted my place and title: ugly duckling. I felt like I was being beat because I was this horrible looking thing. Beat the outcast, I would think to myself. That must have been what they were doing, beating up the individual that did not belong.
After I admitted to myself that I was an ugly duckling, it became so much easier to deal with the bullying I went through. Its like math. You can try and try and try. But when you admit to yourself that you are not good at math, it becomes easier for you to become more receptive. The same went for this. After it appeared that it didn't faze me anymore, some people began to subside with all of that crap. I was able to go through my junior and senior year in high school with little issues. My self esteem slightly got better. I discovered this nonchalant attitude that has stuck with me. Its more like, "Your opinion is your opinion but it isn't my reality," mindset. It really helped me through those last couple of years. My feelings about my appearance did not change, but I was not going to let anyone's opinion of me shake me....or at least appear that it has shaken me.
When I began my freshman year of college, people from pre-college assumed that I was "re-inventing" myself because they couldn't recognize me. It was far from that. I was finally allowing ME to come out. I let the Alexis that was shielded by so much pain and embarassment free. I love my personality. I went through what I went through and I have became such a compassionate person. I have so much compassion that I feel bad when basketball and football games are blowouts. I hate it so bad for either team that is losing so horribly. I have such a soft spot for people who have been bullied. Of course it hits home for me. People tell me I have a humble personality, that I am extremely modest. I allowed the creative, inspiring, motivating me emerge from the shells of my broken spirit. Once I hit the hearts of receptive souls, I have yet to look back. Actually, I just left. Truth is, I think about all of those people who hurt me all the time. Ex-BFs, Ex-BFFs, bullies, family. I hate how they did me, but I have to admit, they have became my stepping stones to a better me. They will never know that I have thought so much of them were they have became a constant reminder that I have to pick up the pieces of what I call a person. The wounds they cut so deep help mold me. But where are they now?
The girl who cut my hair went on to have a baby by a guy who doesn't want anything to do with her. She bounces from job to job. Her baby is beautiful, though. I do speak to her every now and then. No further conversation.
The girl who used to push and beat me on the bus...well, in a grocery store about two years ago, she said in so many words that she was sorry for what she did. She has actually done ok for herself. 2 kids and a great husband.
My most biggest bully of them all....jail, for a long time. After being in jail for four years, I decided to write him September of this year. He told me that he cried when he saw the one person who he knew he absolutely tortured in school who be the one AND ONLY ONE to write him. I have forgiven him.
I have forgiven them all. There is no way that I can harbor in hate in my heart all of these years. The urge is strong to do so, but won't they win in the end if I do so? Will I have not learned anything from the lessons that were put before me? The way I see it, I was the perfect person for this mission of God. I hope I passed his test, or continue to pass it or will eventually pass it.
All I know is that I once considered myself an ugly duckling. I couldn't bare to look into a mirror. I believed all the comments that were said to me. I believe that my reality was to feel like crap. In the end, I feel like it was meant for me to go through this to learn my self-worth. I am grateful for this lesson. I once was an ugly duckling. Slowly, I began to feel better about myself. The one thing that makes me feel so good is my hair. I have this long, thick hair that makes me feel so pretty and so feminine. When people from my past see me, the first thing they see and talk about is my hair. My hair has not made me, but it has made me feel better about myself. I realized that if I am going to take care of my hair like this, I am going to need to take care of all of me like that, inside and out. I have never felt better and I am hoping for even more greatness in the future.
Being an ugly duckling was my past, but it definitely do not have to my constant reality.
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