It’s lovely to be me and I am enough!
There are some memories that are branded into our minds more than others, and they shape us, stay with us and sometimes create a wrong belief about ourselves.
When I was about 8 years old, I came home from school one day and found my foster mother in what I consider a rage of a sort. She angrily ushered me to my room and began uttering the words “you are stupid! You will never amount to anything! You will be just like your parents.”
During this shouting down at, me she threw everything in my closet and my desk on the floor telling me to clean it up and reorganize it. I wasn’t even sure that it was all that dirty, to begin with. I don’t ever recall my clothes lying about on the floor and my toys being all over the room. I don’t even know what possessed her to do this angry tantrum.
I already knew I wasn’t good enough!
My parents have taught me I wasn’t good enough with their abandon and rejecting of me. I knew I could not be loved.
And yet, everything about me showed that I was far from stupid. I had honor roll grades and I worked had on my homework and school work. I struggled with dyslexia some, but it didn’t stop me from learning to read and eventually reading 10 books a day.
I played the recorder and had many recitals. I was active in gymnastics and won competitions. I danced folk dances – and frankly, I was quite good at all of it.
But deep within – I was stupid!
For years, I struggled to acknowledge that what others believed of me was grossly inaccurate. But I kept quiet, nodded my head and smiled. I didn’t contribute to the conversation, instead, I enjoyed the company of the wrong crowd a bit too much. I fit in because well there isn’t much to it to being drunk!
Even after I earned my first degree, making nations dean’s list 3 years in a row – I still didn’t feel smart. With all that live has taught me, I couldn’t find the value of the things I did know. I worked hard, an overachiever in the hopes of fitting in.
And as I was approaching my second degree I said to myself:
What if I am not stupid?
What if I don’t have to believe what others believe of me?
But then I had heard people tell me that I am intelligent – but it was not until that moment that I was able to question the accuracy of it all.
I earned my degree with honors but what I walked away with was much more profound to me. During three years of learning the mental health field and counseling, so came a lot of self-exploration. I learned a lot about myself during these three years but it wasn’t easy as life – real life still happened.
But for the first time, I could say: I am not stupid!
Look at the things I have accomplished. I am not my parents. I have and am raising my children. I have earned degrees and I have survived life. But ultimately, I have found a way to me without the need of fitting in or putting too much value on what other’s think of me.
There are moments still where I find myself wondering if I have anything to contribute – but then my voice whispers to me that it has nothing to do with being stupid. People just know different things and are experts in different areas.
Who I am is enough!
It still feels weird acknowledging all these things without thinking of it all as gloating and needing to be validated.
And then I tell myself to Shut the hell up because you know what – my road wasn’t easy. The things I have overcome, survived and dealt with – because I had smarts about me and life with goals ahead.
My skin has been shed.
It’s lovely to be me!