Wednesday 23 August 2017

Stop and stare

I have wanted to write this post for months, even years now. Right now whilst I write this I am on my holidays in Italy. Today, I have been to the local water park and it really got me thinking. I have so many things I want to include I hope I manage to portray all of my thoughts and feelings.

If you read my recent importance of friendship post, you will know I surround myself with positive and encouraging friends. In this post I want to discuss what it is actually liked to be stared at on a daily basis, due to being and looking different to the norm. I have a condition which means the hair on my head does not grow at the average speed, and some of my bones are odd shaped. However, I am still able to mobilise well and exercise like everyone else. I also suffer from moderate acne which is actually my biggest insecurity of all.

When I was much younger and at high school I did lack confidence and I used to take a lot of people's looks and comments to heart. Over the years and for the sack of my sanity I have built a thick skin. This definitely takes time, and I know for sure if I wasn't like this and took everything to heart I wouldn't leave the house. I understand how people suffer with huge confidence issues which can also affect someone's mental health as I am not going to beat around the bush some people are truly vile. I honestly don't think some people understand how one smirk or whisper to a friend whilst blatantly talking about you in front of your face, can take your day from a 10 to a 0 in seconds. I try and brush it off as fast as I can as like I've said I would cry every time I left the house otherwise. People point and stare and usually I smile back. I'm not going to lie to boost my confidence and on days when I just cannot be bothered to be nice when people stare I literally stare back at them. It's so petty but it works. It can be really tough some days and if I am sick to death of it, if someone is laughing at me I turn to my sister and point and laugh back. Also petty, but also stops me crying. You have to look after yourself, otherwise you will slowly crumble.

13 year old Lucy would very much struggle with how society has changed in the last 10 years. I was never a target for bullying in school. But I was timid, and yes as I looked different, I did get picked on occasionally. My friends were great and it usually brushed over. There was this one boy who was an absolute toad, and he made my cry quite a few nights when I got home from school. I hate on reflection how much I let it bother me, but I simply did not deserve it. I think this was when I thought stuff this and I needed to change. It has taken my years to get this thick skin, and I now let things blow over very easy. I don't let things build up inside of me, and I very much have a heart of steel. But really should I have to be living like this. I know everyone has insecurities but when it is something you simply can't change, it can be very difficult.

We live in a society which is supposed to be excepting of everyone no matter what. I have simply learnt that this will never, ever, be the case and some people just get thrills from not being accepting. My mum used to tell me a lot of it was down to people being insecure themselves, and I definitely stand by this. When I see that the toad of a boy has not progressed in life, I get a small sense of satisfaction, however awful this may sound. I think over the years my mental health has been affected but I never put it down to that. These days, I can be very short and direct with people and that's because I am not always open to a conversation where I may have to explain things that I don't want to. My defence mechanisms and guard are put up very easily, as I always want to protect myself.

I have learnt since being a nurse how children can be very protective of their conditions, and I can totally relate. It's a huge part of you, and what makes you, you. I have kids point at me, and I usually just turn around as it can be difficult for them understand. Adults, nope, you have no excuse, just blatant rudeness. I am also very stubborn. I first realised this when I started university 4 years ago, I would not let little things go. I would let them eat my up inside and it would drive me insane. I would want people to apologise, and they wouldn't. If someone was in the wrong, I would ignore them for days. It takes a lot for me to apologise though, and that is definitely a weakness of mine.

I want to address self-confidence in the post. I am a massive advocate for self-confidence and building your own confidence can take years. As I say in the water park standing there in my bikini after consuming two weeks' worth of carbs probably being the biggest I have ever been, with my hair being very blonde when wet it makes it look even shorter, and then I have zero makeup on and all my acne on display. I know we could all write a list of insecurities, but it is learning to overcome them which is the biggest hurdle of all. I cannot pin point the time or place in my life, where I literally thought fuck this I am who I am and I am not changing anytime soon. Having self confidence and being cocky and brash is completely different. I know putting some make up on, and buying something which I feel fab in does me the world of good. It is about finding what sparks that bit of self confidence. Writing a list of all the things you like about yourself for me that is my eyes, boobs and having a small waist. Try it and learn to focus on the good and slowly the bad well not seem that so bad anymore.

The main reason for writing this post is to say to please, please, don't let shitty people bring you down. It is so easy for me to say, but honestly I have been there, and actually I am still there. I think building my thicker skin has done me the world of good. I don't take things to heart, I laugh things off, I think about how sad it is that people get there thrills from bringing others down. I'm not saying that I am oblivious or people don't think make me still feel massively insecure because they do. But, it is learning to have a mute or even an off button, and letting that moment drift by. That might be having once less dark day a week, by trying to overcome insecurities and learning that you are you. In 2017, you would think with how far we have come, people would be more accepting. If we look at the bigger picture, we are probably going backwards. We should all be a little more kinder, and a little more accepting.

If anyone every wants to discuss anything please feel free to comment or inbox me at anytime.


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