The Mean Girl
I was raised by a single mother. I spent a good part of my life moving from one place or another and back again. I moved so often I never really had good friends or relationships with other families. Generally I was the odd one. Always being the new kid with acne and no Dad, pretty much made me odd most of the places I moved too. Let’s just say that being bullied was not on anyone’s social awareness radar and name calling and hurtful events ensued. I would share some of the mean things that kids did and said (since when you are bullied, you never forget), but honestly it serves no purpose. The wound is still open and I don’t want to add salt.
After years of being bullied it became part of my inner dialogue. After a while I became my own bully. Looking in the mirror and seeing an ugly girl who was never good enough. No matter how hard I tried to be “good enough”, I failed. I would end up looking in the mirror ridiculing myself or carrying the mean girl bag around with me so if I had a free minute I could find a reason why I was not good enough. It’s really not hard to be your own bully once you have the right tools.
There I was standing in front of the mirror telling myself I am ugly. I dress poorly, I’m fat, no one likes me and cursing the fates for dealing me the acne card. I was uncomfortable in my own skin to the point of not being able to walk in to a restaurant alone for fear someone would see how ugly I am and make me leave. My inner mean girl dialogue reminding me that when people are looking at me all they see is someone that doesn’t measure up. I bullied myself so much that I know I have emotional scars from it.
I have spent many years working with therapists trying to remove my inner mean girl and learning to believe in myself. I think at this point in my life I am as good as I’m ever going to be to myself. Just as I get there, my aging process decides to put a few reminders on my face and body that I am no spring chicken. Awesome! Now I have a whole new agenda for my personal mean girl to point out, aging. I know I am a mean girl to myself and I know that I am not really the person I think I see in the mirror or imagine I am. That however does not stop me from reaching back to those days of being the odd new fatherless girl with acne. I have to be honest those bully’s from my youth really got there words worth of damage in.
My point with all this is, we are better than we think we are. If we just give ourselves a break and look around we realize that we are all flawed. Even the mean girls who found such pleasure in hurting someone else just so they felt better about themselves. Now I see that the people that strike out the most at others are the most wounded of us all. That reflection we think we see means nothing. It’s who we are, how we love others and how we do our best to reach out and remind others that there is always someone to take their hand and walk with them through the tough stuff.
My mean girl has become faint and she is less critical, but she hangs around still. Why give up a good gig when you’ve got it? I’m not sure I will ever be completely done bullying myself, but I have come a long way since the sad days in front of the mirror. Now I have friends that love and support me. A husband that loves me just like I am and reminds me of that often, and finally my 3 daughters who have grown into amazing self sufficient women. So back off mean girl, I’m not all that bad after all!