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Carol’s Journey: Part 1
Insecure, misunderstood, and unloved.
Hey Mom, I would really like some new clothes”, said her shy, awkward, teenage daughter. “I just bought you a brand new outfit. Look…”, said her mom with excitement in her voice. Mom held up a pair of salmon cotton pants with tiny burgundy designs and a matching knitted vest. “You can wear this with your long sleeve white blouse.” “Wow, Mom that’s a neat outfit, thanks.”
The next day the girl proudly wore her outfit! She was shocked, though, no one even mentioned her new attire except Linda, the new girl. Linda didn’t like her outfit at all. Instead of complimenting her, Linda ridiculed her. Carol felt awful. Linda, as cunning as she was, managed to get all the girls to side with her, even Carol’s best friends.
This childish behavior carried out by Linda was the start of a horrific school year for Carol.
Carol not only had Linda in her face constantly, but she also had another girl from her gym class. Carol had accidentally hit the girl slightly with her locker door. Despite Carol’s heartfelt apology, the girl retaliated repeatedly during the school year.
Carol hated seventh grade. She was ridiculed and isolated. She also dreaded going to gym class, because she was chosen last or next to last for teams.
If you haven’t guessed already, that young, awkward skinny, pimply, teen with the shag haircut was me.
Did you ever get bullied in middle school? How did you feel? Did you react or respond? Was your school divided into certain class levels?
Our school consisted of the popular girls, cool girls, and the nerds. I, though, was in a category all by myself.
Perhaps you were bullied in elementary school, or maybe in your neighborhood. I had been bullied at different times of my child and teen life.
This ostracizing even affected my life outside of school. I had to quit Brownies because the neighborhood kids wouldn’t leave me alone. These were the same kids who pretended to be my “friends”, and yet treated me badly. We used to trade barbie clothes, and I always came home with the ugly outfits. One time, one of my friends accused me of breaking her wooden chair and then proceeded to tell her mother.
What type of support system did you have growing up?
Unfortunately, my parents did not encourage me or support me. My younger sister on the other hand was pretty, talented, and had lots of friends. She always was in the spotlight. I was in my sister’s shadow.
We all are affected one way or another from our childhood and we are especially affected by our experiences in our teen years. If you were sensitive like me, you probably lost a lot of confidence and developed a low self-esteem. This can be very harmful to your wellbeing. You may even lose your trust in people and begin to withdraw yourself from others.
I myself, had a brief boyfriend in sixth grade, but because my parents didn’t allow me to date, this relationship ended. I never had a boyfriend after that. I didn’t go to the sports games, rarely went to any dances, parties, or sleepovers. I even was afraid to try out for Operetta. I just decided to bury myself in my schoolwork and I chose to have a few close friends. My mom made me take business classes, which I despised. In fact, I had a teacher that was very critical, and she made me very nervous. I’ll never forget the day; I was running the mimeograph machine. I did something wrong, and I had blue ink all over my hands!
I did; however, find one thing I enjoyed and through time became very skilled in, and that was creative writing. My mom encouraged me to take Journalism and various literature classes.
I had two main goals in high school; one goal was to qualify for the Physical Fitness Award, and the other was to obtain my scholastic medal for holding a 3.5 average. I’m proud to say, I did accomplish these two goals.
Again, I took my insecurities with me. Again, some coworkers weren’t nice to me. Again, I was not measuring up to several of my coworkers. It was like I was in middle school again.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so I skipped college. For some reason, for the next 30 some years I went on a cycle of going from job to job.
Yes, I had several challenges in lots of my jobs.
What about you? Have you had challenges in your past that influenced your adult life?
Even after I was married at the age of 29, had a baby girl ten years later, I still had challenges in the work force. I still was letting people intimidate me. I still was comparing myself to others. I strived for perfection desperately on my jobs. The cycle continued year after year. Our finances were affected greatly.
I remember from the time period of 2005- 2006 my husband and I were affiliates for a wellness company. I tried really hard to make sales and sign up IBO’s (independent business owners).
I wasn’t feeling very good about myself. I was getting more and more depressed. I remember one evening I was so disgusted with my life; I deliberately threw a pillow at my daughter. I cried a lot. Finally, I opened up my Bible and read the Book of Psalms. This Book in the Bible rescued me and comforted me.
In 2007, I decided to enroll in college to pursue an educational career. I even started working in a preschool. The director kept switching me around in the classrooms, I was so frustrated. I was eventually fired, because a coworker accused me of something.
Then I started another preschool job, that was cut short too, because I had a difference of opinion with the lead teacher. It was about this time, I took a Break Free counseling course at our church. We had to choose one important thing we wanted to change in our lives. I decided to choose the goal to be able to keep my next position and be productive.
In this course, we were persuaded to share our thoughts vocally and in writing. I had great difficulty expressing my deepest thoughts in front of people, so I decided to take the course by myself.
What I eventually realized is the enemy was corrupting my mind. He was telling me all this junk, and I was acting from these words. He also was stealing our finances. This helped me heal a little. I even read the book The Inner Enemy to help me resolve some things from my past including my relationship with my mother. Up till that time, I was walking on eggshells around her.
When we moved back home to NJ because our finances were depleted, I was able to obtain a babysitting job for several months. Unfortunately, I was let go after the mother’s finances decreased tremendously. This position went very well, but now I had to go back into the workforce.
I was so timid, and before I even would go to interviews, I would pre-analyze all the things that could go wrong on the job. Many times, I didn’t even go for the interview.
Fear had stricken me. I was; however, brave enough to pursue my college education. I loved college! I even was accepted into two honor societies. I felt I belonged, and I gained a tremendous amount of confidence.
Every time I would start a job, though, I worked a few months, and I would have to leave. Most of the time it was because I had a falling out with one or more of the coworkers. I really wanted to stay, and I did everything I could to be a team player.
Towards the end of my college year, I found an ad for a temp agency. I applied and was hired by them. I now had the opportunity to temp in various schools. I thought this was a good alternative for me, because I wouldn’t have to worry about long-term relationships. Temp work was challenging too, because I never knew what to expect. I tried to apply to jobs to classrooms I had worked at before. Unfortunately, I didn’t make much money.