I’m not entirely sure what has prompted me to be writing this now, or where I’m going with this, I’ve just been low, and thinking about things. I’m constantly told by people to stop overthinking, and to stop worrying about things but that’s just me, and one of the things I’ve been pondering lately is my own inability to take a complement. If you were to complement me on anything at all, I would automatically assume you (at best) were just trying to be nice, or make me feel better about something, what I wouldn’t do is believe you. At all. I think people are being kind, but not necessarily genuine. I might mutter an embarrassed thank you, if it’s on line I might give you a kiss emoji, more likely I’ll make a self depreciating joke, or possibly argue against what you said. In person I’ll probably look embarrassed, shake my head at you, look down at my feet, or list a load of things I don’t like about myself to counter your comment, but why? If I say something nice about someone I’m being 100% honest every time, why would other people be any different?
So here I am thinking about all this nonsense when a memory slides into my head from school, I must have been around 12 or 13 so we are going back 20 years here, It was just after one holiday or another and I was just back from camp, I had just had my first kiss, actually I had kissed TWO boys, and I was telling someone who I believed was my friend all about it. I made a fairly throwaway comment that “maybe I wasn’t as ugly as I thought I was”. By the end of the day this simple statement to one person had been turned into something else entirely. Now, according to rumour, I had arrogantly proclaimed that I was more beautiful than *insert name of the most gorgeous girl in my form group* and this in turn lead to a new round of the bullying I had endured on and off through most of my secondary school life. One particularly nasty girl in my form “accidentally” tripped and fell into my chair, pinning me to a table and then hissing at me “So sorry Beautiful” not one person stood up for me.
So what does this have to do with anything? It certainly taught me early that people who say they are your friends aren’t always, and I was taught over and over by some people at school that I wasn’t worth a damn. I remember dreading the one lesson a week that I had German, where I had no friends in my class and used to try and disappear into the background, which never worked and I was picked on relentlessly for a hour every week, and I remember how lonely it was when those people who had said I was their friend abandoned me. I still have issues surrounding this, sure that the people in my life will one day walk out on me again. Sadly sometimes this turns out to be the case, it’s easy to say someone is important to you, or that you care, and quite another to actually show this and it makes you wonder what it is about you that makes you so easily dispensable to some people.
The stupid this is, the people who initially made me feel this way, and affected my self worth so badly, are no longer in my life. I made new friends then, who are still around today, I’ve made new friends since, and the ones who have stuck around are truly amazing and make my life better every single day. It’s amazing and sad how badly some nasty little children can have such a long lasting effect. A few years of bulling at school against years of good friends and sometimes relative strangers trying to pick you up and I still can’t take a complement, maybe I never will be able to see the good in myself, but for those of you who continue to wish to tell me the good things you see about me, for once, with no arguments, can I just say thank you!