It is proposed that ostracism uniquely poses a threat to four fundamental human needs; the need to belong, the need for control in social situations, the need to maintain high levels of self-esteem, and the need to have a sense of a meaningful existence. A threat to these needs produces psychological distress and pain.
I never identified myself a trauma survivor…Maybe I’m still in denial of it…but I’m realizing more in more that I wasn’t only the victim of one trauma(sexual abuse), as I always tell myself. What is the definition of trauma though? I had what appeared to be an happy childhood, but I was never an happy child… Both my parents were remarried and I never felt like I belonged anywhere, since my sisters were born, I was around 5 years old. Since then, I was just the step daughter, my dad stopped coming to see me as often, we didn’t get special time anymore. My mom was never there, so I was already convinced that she didn’t love me…my little sister being born just confirmed my thoughts. My step dad had a child of his own now so I felt like the only person who cared for me wasn’t gonna love me as much anymore. I remember, I use to stay in my bedroom windows crying and writing letters to my dad…(my step dad). That I would burn or flush later. It was always the same thing nobody loved me. But I thought I was being jealous, I’ve always blamed myself for thinking that nobody loved me.
I never fit in anywhere when I was little, even in my own family, mostly because I didn’t share the same interest as them. I had birthday parties every year,went to the best schools, had everything I wanted but I didn’t feel loved. I never felt like I mattered for anyone, I was not their priorities, except when I was sick. And I was always sick. But then they would just take me to my godfather’s clinic for the day, and I would stay there. I liked it, because I felt important and my godfather would get me sandwiches and make the secretary take me to the supermarket to buy sweets. :). These moments were special to me …He died this January.
In primary school I was in a Montessori School where they promotes uniqueness. These years where great because I could express myself. But I was always worrying about my mom’s safety. She was always working out of state and I knew her travels where dangerous. My biological dad didn’t really care, again my godfather use to come pick me up at school because my cousin was going to the same school. When he left my stepfather use to forget me at school, so I would wait by myself, or with my little sister until they remembered to come get us. Of course that happened when my mom was not there. Then I had a driver service… but there were other kids from other schools and the driver would go pick up everyone before me then drop them off, I was always the last one to get home, and it was my maid that was waiting for me. My parents where always working. Technically I was never neglected because I always had clean clothes on, my hair was always done, I ate (kinda). But all that was done by my maids, not by a parent.
My mom never hit me, she spanked me once because she taught I was lying but the she apologized. I think that’s why i trusted her because she was fair. My dad (step dad ) hit me a couple of times, I don’t remember much but I think it was one for not wanting to eat or for vomiting….I don’t remember…I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t know that because she hated violence. Now I remember that before my sisters where born I felt neglected too…first because my mom went to work out of state since I was 6 months old, so I stayed with my grandmother and my aunt, who cherished me. Then she picked me up we moved to another state with my step dad, between the age of 3 and 5, I was in and out of boarding school, when both my parents had to work. I have flashes of me vomiting and having asthma attacks, or the teachers being mean to me….I can see now where my irrational fear of abandonment comes from.
This is my story from age zero to around 10… I always say I had an happy childhood but I don’t have a lot of good memories except for Christmas eve when I use to go gift shopping with my dad… Or sitting on the table looking at my mom bake 🙂 These are happy memories.
Christmas is my favorite holiday but I cry almost every Christmas eve since my dad stopped going shopping with me. It was our special moment but I guess he had other priorities with time.. I don’t cry because of that now… I cry because I often feel lonely while surrounded by people that are suppose to love me. I never felt worthy of love… It’s changing now though…last year I didn’t cry 🙂 Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend and my mom (my sister was there too, acting out as usual). I was with the people I loved the most in the world, including my sister.(I realized that I had a very good Christmas while I was in a very dark stage of my depression) I hope this Christmas will be as good as last year’s. It should be… I’m not gonna have high expectations but I’m thankful that I will get to be with everyone I truly care about 🙂 (And I get to buy gift !!!! 🙂 🙂 )
Was that post about trauma after all? I don’t know.. But I feel relieved that I got to pour my heart into this post.
Good night my loves!
And thank you VERY MUCH for the support you’ve been giving me!
Last week I participated in a study about rejection. It reminded me how much human being needs to have a sense of belonging. The desire to fit in has always been something I struggled with. In a society where being outside of the norm is so strongly judged, I didn’t have much going for me.
I was always the youngest in my class, because I skipped grades very early. By the end of high school I was three years younger then the average student in my grade. I was automatically excluded from any groups just because of my age. I Also didn’t have the same interests as normal teenagers, at least that what i thought. As the years went on i learnt how to pretend to be normal. Accumulating knowledge and studying people’s behavior was quite easy for me, so i learnt about current music, stars and got myself a boyfriend. I kept my grades average, high enough so my parents don’t bother me, and low enough not to get singled out as a good student. I could not help my self to have discussions with my teachers about subjects that were outside of the curriculum. One day a couple of girls made a comment about it, teasing me for always answering questions in class but not having good grades. So I stopped answering questions and talking to teachers, I took on another persona: the class clown. I wasn’t learning anything in school mind as well make everyone laugh, maybe then they would like me.
Unrelated circumstances made me change high school in 12 grade. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me, nobody knew me so I stayed under the radar. I had good grades, played tennis and stayed in my bubble. I finally had a break with bullying and I didn’t want it to start again.
In college even though I wasn’t interested in what I was studying, I was able to get involved in extracurricular activities. I finally felt like i belonged somewhere, people wanted to be friends with me because i had good grade and I was well know by the university faculty members . I knew most of them were just exploiting me but at least i wasn’t completely alone. Still tried to be like anybody else, complain about the exams, faked being scared about my grades, went to a lot of social events. Nobody really knew the real me and i started to loose sight of who I really was. I finally found a winning strategy and I wasn’t going to let it waste. Graduated started working, found decent jobs excelled. It was kind of hard to connect with people simply because I was perceived as the smart kid. I hated what I did, but i was so blinded by the desire to be perfect that i brushed off my doubts. I still met some great people I learnt a lot from, one of the most important thing i learned was that you cannot judge someone’s intelligence or knowledge by their degree of schooling.
Anyways my point after that whole section of autobiography is that people then to loose themselves trying to be what society calls normal. They become lonely and unhappy. We should accept other people for who they are and embrace our differences. Marginals often have a lot to offer and their different view of the world could help us progress. Why should an artist hide his art or a scientist repress his curiosity? Creativity is the recipe for progress, let’s be smart and encourage it.