Year 1-5

Posted on May 2, 2011

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Introduction

My depression, I realize, came mainly from bullying and a negative self-image. The final tip of the straw, which sunk me into depression for nearly a year and a half, came in the eight year of my downward spiral into what I regard as my worst years to date. In this post I will tell you how my self-esteem was broken before it had even had time to develop properly.

I have always been a very insecure person, who would easily cry. For many years I blamed this quality in myself for the bullying and teasing that happened not only behind my back, but to my face. Looking back at it now as a more confident and mature woman, it is difficult to imagine the feelings I felt. However, I remember them well, the first scars I felt on the mental arm that is my head, an arm covered in scars everywhere. Some have faded, with newer cuts on top. People do not realize they exist because they cannot be seen as those carved into the skin. They fail to see my pain because of the mask I have become accustomed to wear, a mask I have hardly taken off in front of anyone apart from two people. I will start with my first five years, where it all began.

Year 1

My first year of pain was when I was merely six years old. I immediately befriended another girl in my class. We were ‘the best of friends’, the girls who would do anything together. Not knowing anyone else for a while, we were quick to stick together. That is, until she became friends with a girl fate wanted me to first become the best friend of, before tearing us apart. Once my former best friends met and became friends, I was left without anyone at all. Cliques, or at least as far as cliques could go with six-year olds, were all formed and I for a while I did not have any friends.

Then, the teasing began. I will not retell what I was told. It was not particularly hurtful compared to what I have heard in later years, but for a sensitive, young girl, they were powerful enough. As much as the words hurt did the voice behind of them harm me: my first friend was the one calling me names. She would skip around the school while I would hide in the small forest at the outskirts of the school where I spent many long years. While sitting in that forest, I would cry until my eyes were puffy and red, waiting and begging for my mom to arrive at my school and pick me up from the after school program that I was enrolled in and that helped the bullying along.

I have relived this year many times, and even while writing this, I have a tight ball in my stomach. The tight ball that I know from darker times, a state of mind I feel myself creeping along the edge of as these words are typed. However, this time I am in control and not the depression and pain and anguish.

Year 2

My second year improved a little from my first year. The main thing was that the girl who had teased me moved and I no longer had to deal with her. However, in the short time she had been there, she had managed to influence the rest of my grade as well as the year above me. I did not hear as much, but I would feel their glares on my back and hear the soft whispers, see the soft smirks at me. It hurt, but I had a few friends to lean of. I have always been told I am a very likable person and I was friendly with most of the girls in my class. In front of boys, on the other hand, I was insecure and pathetic, a feature I would later have used against me.

Year 3

My third year on the road to depression was a turning point. I had to start wearing glasses, and with my already bad image with my bad hair, crooked teeth and over bite, as well as cheaper clothes than many others, glasses did not do much to improve my situation. The nicknames were harder, rougher words spew out of rough mouths, whispered from behind hands while giggling insured. It was difficult. I pretended not to hear, not to care and to focus on those who did not leave my side. For a while, I managed, before cracking. I would cry myself to sleep quite often, quietly letting the tears run, knowing they would not be heard above the noise from the television my parents would keep on until after my tears had stopped running and I had drifted into peaceful sleep.

Year 4

I still had glasses, bad hair and teeth and not the most expensive clothes. Mother Nature however, seemed fit to give me yet another glorious gift. As if I did not already struggle with enough, I was also cross sighted, meaning that I was unable to focus correctly. This would result in headaches or me feeling sick and I was picked up from school a lot. I would see their faces, the envy and the rumors beginning to spread, that I was not all there in the head so to speak. In the end we decided to go to a specialist and we trained the muscles in my eyes so that I could focus. Today, I can do that without thinking. In the beginning it was difficult, and I was scared. All I wanted was to be normal, yet nature seemed set on a course to prevent that at all costs.

Year 5

This was the year that started out as all the previous ones, yet ended in a very new way. I will not elaborate on what was old, but what changed it all was the news my mother gave me and my sister one day after dinner. She called us into the kitchen and told us we were moving. Not just within the city, not even the country or the entire continent. We were moving to the United States, fourteen hours away by plane and far from anything I had ever experienced. I still remember my reaction clearly, that sensitive girl who had experienced a lot of pain cried and ran to her room. Although I had experienced so much pain, the terror of leaving all that I knew scared the daylights out of me. It turned out that the decision to move was one of the best decisions anyone has ever taken in regards to me. Up until my tenth year, those were my happiest years.

There it is

So there it is, my life in the first few years of my youth. The years of innocence, they say? I could not disagree more. Today I am happier than before, despite workloads and the last bit of the unyielding depression still clinging onto fringes of my conscious mind.  At times I wish my childhood had been different, but then I realise that a lot of these struggles have made me stronger than before.

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Posted in: Backstory