We live in a world today where everything and everyone has to be defined as something we already know. I feel this need myself. It is easier, and it gives a sense of certainty when we judge people to be or act a certain way.
Im starting to realize, how much of an impact and control my physical appearance have had on me, and still has to some degree.
I have never really felt a sense of belonging anywhere, at any point in my life. When I look back on my teenage years, I see a girl desperately trying to find a place to fit in. To fit in somewhere indicates that we have to fulfill a certain standard, which means we have to look a certain way, act a certain way, speak a certain way and so on. This also means that we are not being our true selves…
According to social standards I’m in the category of being pretty. I feel how this label has done a lot of damage in many areas of my life. To be honest, it is not my looks, it is the standard of how people with good looks should act, dress like etc., that has been damaging. I have felt a lot of pressure to “act right” according to this category that I’m in. I felt like I was being disapproved of, if I didn’t follow the “rules” that are within the category of looking good.
Every standard and category have certain unwritten rules one will have to follow to be a part of the whole, and that will absolutely prevent one from expressing the truth and uniqueness of ones being.
I think most of us are trying to fill the void of emptiness, or the feeling of not belonging, to a certain degree. I feel as if I have tried to fulfill that need within “my own” category. The thing is it has never worked, at all. It has only caused me to feel even more lonely and isolated, because it is not where I belong.
I remember people not understanding why I was so quiet and introverted when I was younger. I remember someone telling me that I was beautiful, and asking me why I wasn’t trying to get attention from the boys, because I could easily do that. They did not understand why I wouldn’t take that opportunity.
I started to feel as if I didn’t “use” my looks to its potential. That I had to start acting and behaving the way a girl with good looks should behave. I started to feel the need to be approved of based on how I looked, and the importance of being accepted by people in the same category. Which of course was very superficial and stressful, because I was never good enough just being me. I very quickly started feeling even more isolated and alienated than before.
I came into a new environment after awhile, still in the category of being pretty, but melted together with another category of society, but just as superficial and damaging.
I started feeling like a shell of a person, and I was. No one cared about me, they cared about my shoes or the dress I was wearing, or even more so, how my body looked in the dress.
It got to the point where I would start crying whenever I was drunk, without understanding why.
I felt like an antelope in a dangerous territory, frozen by fear and surrounded by lions, and only lions. There wasn’t any place for me to go where I could feel safe. It was a constant feeling of trying to fit in with the lions, as a way of not being eaten.
At that time my living situation was also not a place of comfort or mentally safety.
So in order for me to feel a sense of security, one of the lions became my boyfriend. A lion that used to be an antelope himself, but for the sake of survival had transformed a long time ago. The lions weren’t evil, they were trying to survive. But for an antelope, for me, they were a danger.
Looking back I understand the emotionally hell I’ve been through. I understand that I lived with a constant worry and a feeling of unsafety for a very long time.
I used to dream of someone coming to save me and take me away, because I did not know how to do that myself. Eventually I did manage to “get away”, as I started to feel a sense of empowerment, strength and the need to care for myself, and so I did. It is almost two years ago, and it was the best thing that I could have ever done.
Because of all that has happened, I am now very conscious of the fact, that I do not wish to belong in any category or being judged by standards to the degree that it controls me. I want to do what feels right for me to do, hang out with the people I feel connected to on a soul level, wear the clothes I want to wear, even if it does not “fit” my looks. I am me, and there is no way any standard or category will ever be able to define all of my being, as there is no way any standard or category will ever be able to define yours.
A couple of years ago I wrote a short note that explained my emotions at that time. I hid it somewhere I knew no one would find it. Im going to finish the post with this note, as a way of letting my past self know, that she is now safe.
“I hear someone calling, telling me about a secret place
A place where I can be myself
But I said no thanks, because he needs my help
But as the time goes by, I realize that Im in a lot of pain
I could use a friend right now, to tell me why I should walk away”