Today's HFC topic is hard for me. I want you to understand that...what? What do I want you to understand about me? Or about the eating disorder? Truthfully, I feel pretty misunderstood a lot. People make a lot of assumptions about me, without ever really getting to know me. I think I'm going to address some of that. It seems to be weighing heavily on my mind today.
I want you to understand that...
I'm not a perfect person - I'm not even close. Even now, but especially back in high school, people made assumptions about me - I was tall - abnormally tall - and I was pretty, and I modeled, and so right away, people were intimidated by me. I could have been the nicest person in the world, but people still would have assumed I was stuck up, and so they avoided me like the plague. Because of this, and because people avoided me, I assumed there was something wrong with me, and maybe that's why people didn't like me. I thought that if I could smile more, or be happier, or even better - THINNER - then maybe people would like me; maybe boys would want to date me more. I felt ugly. Think of it - the girl who modeled - felt ugly! But I did. I felt disgusting. My best friend was a teeny little cheerleader, the happiest person in school. She was beautiful and popular and I felt like the tag-along token friend. I tried to hide myself behind her, because maybe if people liked her, they'd like me too, by default, since we were always together. I feel like I rode on her coattails all throughout high school. I couldn't make it on my own.
I was so insecure about my height, that I slouched. I tried to hide my sadness and insecurities by putting on expertly applied makeup. People avoided me, because they were intimidated me, but it made me feel isolated. Like I had an infectious disease. No one outwardly mocked me, but they may as well have. I felt like the black sheep.
And, if I could say anything to the High School Brie, it would be...
You are okay.
Nothing is wrong with you.
You are different, but that isn't bad.
It's okay to be sad sometimes.
You're going to turn into a pretty cool person. Just wait.
Even now, I still feel a little misunderstood. I am rather quiet, especially in large crowds of people, but the Real Brie isn't quiet - I've squelched and minced my personality, until it has turned into the shell it is now - a quiet and reserved and hesitant Brie, that didn't used to exsist - not when I was a small child and ran with reckless abandon through the backyard and threw my head back and laughed with joy. That Brie is still there, but she's buried deep. Maybe too deep to ever uncover and reclaim, I don't know.
But please know this about me: I am a mostly good person. Not 100% good, because no one is perfect. I make my mistakes. I hurt other people. I have flaws.
But under all of that, I'm still good. I'm still okay. For so long I thought I was a worthless piece of trash. I treated myself that way, and behaved accordingly. I mourn for that Brie that was treated with so much anger and disrespect. I deserve better. I want you to know that I deserve better.
So, don't misunderstand me. I am insecure, and nervous, and not always very good at expressing myself. I desperately want you to like me, even if I don't show it. I am a mostly good person who is simply trying to do this Life Thing with as much dignity and integrity as possible.
So please, don't misunderstand me. Don't be intimidated by me, or make assumptions about me that you may or may not even know are true. I am a mostly kind person. I have a good heart, and I want to help other people. I was ravaged by a disease that almost killed me, but that, in the end, made me a stronger, smarter, and more resilient person - if a little jaded. I don't let other people really get to know me much, because it is so scary, mostly for all the reasons I have written above. But this is me, today, writing to you, giving you a snippet of me. Because I'm tired of being misunderstood.
[And now I'm crying like a baby, and I don't even know why.]