Thursday, 15 September 2016

Do horrible comments affect your confidence in the long-term?

I said I'd started a blog and write regularly, but I've already slipped up. Truth be told, I have felt a bit negative. Writing does make me feel better, but tiredness and lack of motivation stops that.

So what have I been doing? I've not done a lot truth be told. Since last posting, I have had a few trips to Southampton, started volunteering and learning more about stress. Lately, I have felt very contemplative (not sure if that is the right word to use)...I have been looking back on my confidence and self-esteem and thought how this can completely change because of certain people.

I remember being about 9/10. I had moved a few years previously from living in Manchester (Boothstown if you wish me to be exact), and I remember still feeling like I didn't fit in. The friends I had were great, but I never felt like I fitted in with them; it was like they were always better than me. They had big screened televisions, sky (while I had maybe digital at best - probably the 5 channels at that time). I didn't care but for some reason being friends with them I sometimes did. That being said, that is not the point I wish to make, as usual I am babbling.

The point that I wish to make is bullying is horrible; it is one of the lowest things that a child or even adult can to do. Physical and mental abuse. It doesn't matter which can shape a person. Although I was too young to remember being bullied, and therefore have not let it affect me... I have heard about when I was 5, a girl tried to twist my arm behind my back to break it, but being double-jointed that didn't happen. I remember my mum going to school and getting frustrated with the teacher for lack of understanding. However I don't remember any incident. Lucky, I guess. That being said, some people aren't that blessed.

Even though I have no memories of being bullied,  I do know on a number of occasions I have allowed people to knock my confidence and self-esteem. I could say how horrible people are, or that they were just mean people, but that wouldn't be true to me. Everyone has their reasons. I don't agree with them, and what they do is not about me. I would say the same to anyone. 

Coming back to being 9/10, I remember one of my "friends" speaking unkindly behind my back. She called me an "ugly, thick bitch". It was awful. One of the other friends told me. It hurt and still to this day, it hurts to have either description used on me or anyone really. I never felt beautiful after that moment, and although I can happily say I have beautiful days where I look in the mirror, and think, "Wow, you look good today!", I know those can sometimes be rare. I have seen girls sharing 5 pictures where they felt beautiful on Facebook. In that spirit, here are five I wish to share:

Why do I feel beautiful in these?
1. This is obviously my graduation picture, and it is one of those days where all my makeup went well. Love how the blusher went on, my skin looked flawless and it's one of a handful of times wearing eyelash extensions and loving how my eyes pop!
2. I just love my hair in this picture, and it reminds me of spending time with two of my best friends on my 22nd birthday. This might be the only one I have of when I dyed my hair pink too. 
3. This is a picture from the last time I got my hair done. I'm useless at curling my hair, and love it like this!
4. This is actually very recent, and again I love my hair colour, and my makeup looks flawless. 
5. This is the oldest picture of them all. It was taken maybe 5 years ago (when my dog was still technically a puppy at 2 years old). I just love how happy I look with my baby.

My confidence has increased a lot since then. It increased when I fell in love and was told I was beautiful. Although I don't recommend basing your self-worth on anyone, I think you should surround yourself with family and friends who make you feel like a good person. I still have bad days though. During stressful times, my skin can break out. It did recently in fact. From these periods, it has left scarring that I find hard to cover with foundation. One guy I fancied when I was 18 even went as far as telling me it looked "disgusting". I know it does to me, but never thought anyone else would say or think that. Sometimes I hear those words back when I do my makeup in the morning. 

What I've learnt recently doesn't hurt when someone says something hurtful. Well, not all the time. It hurts when they say something hurtful about something you already hate about yourself. For example, in primary school I remember another "friend" saying that I had hairs on the top of my nose like the hobbit. She said something like: "You know how in the Hobbit, they have hair on their feet, you have it on your nose!" She was just laughing about it, and to be honest I hadn't really looked there and it still doesn't bother me. However it hurts when I've been specifically called ugly or disgusting for things I'm self conscious about like my skin. I feel this must be the same for women who feel overweight, hate their nose, their lips, you name it!

Going back to that comment, "ugly, thick bitch"... at the time I didn't focus on the ugly part. I focused on the "thick". In primary school, I hated it. I felt stupid. Having dyspraxia (which affects co-ordination; making your handwriting messy and struggling in sports), it meant I often needed to attend special classes to help with my handwriting. We used to be divided into small groups - top (the clever ones), average ("normal") and below average (those struggling a bit like me). No matter how hard I tried, I always seemed to be below average. However the day that this girl said this, I got  a really good grade in English for writing a creative story. I feel that sometimes I want to prove that I'm not "thick". 

It's probably why I pushed myself when doing my GCSEs, why I wanted to go to university and why I try my best even in jobs I have hated. 

Has something someone has said to you stuck in your mind? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.