Friday, May 11, 2012

#11 - I Want You to Understand That...

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.
Be brave.
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 goodI'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.]

21 comments:

Fight 4 Ur Lyfe said...

I'm sorry to hear that you felt so negative of yourself throughout highschool. We had a math class together, first semester of sophomore year. I was intimidated to talk to you, because, between you and M.W. (who I think was in the same modeling angecy with you, before you left the industry)... I thought the two of you were the two most beautiful girls in the school. I honestly felt ashamed to even associate or talk to either of you, because I didn't think that I was worthy. I felt like I was the school class office / theater club, geek. Guess we were all going through tough stuff. On a good note, I spent the extra energy crushing on your twin brother. Those were the good ol' days. :)

You are BEAUTIFUL and WORTHY and AMAZING. Never forget it!

brie said...

L, thanks so much for your comment. it means a lot. high school pretty much sucks for most people, huh? i'm sorry it was hard for you too.

and crush away on my twin...he is hot!! haha.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

If I had known you in school I'd have been your friend. I had similar problems. Some of your post reminds me of the post I just wrote on my personal blog (not the Actively Arielle one). I talked about some similar stuff. I'm sorry you dealt with those things and I can also understand why you might cry while writing this. Since I can relate so much, I really hope for you that you can get back to that real Brie that's inside - that little girl one. Its a great feeling to have no insecurity and feel authentic again no matter who you are with. You ARE a good, kind person and I can see that. ((hugs))

Fight 4 Ur Lyfe said...

He is hot... but oh so married. So sad (for me). Except for one time, during junior year (I think that's when it was), he came and played basketball outside with a bunch of other people, at an event at the E Center. I was there helping to ref. the game... And I'm pretty sure I remember taking the microphone and trying to flirt with him over the loud speaker, after he took his shirt off.

Oh my goodness. I can't believe I am admitting to that. Young crushes. Bless my heart! LOL!

alriggells said...

That was so beautiful and offers support to all those who have buried themselves so deeply. Thank you

Liz said...

I loved this post. It really allowed me to see deeper into who you are. I knew who you were in Jr high and High school and I actually thought you were a cool person and I wanted to be your friend but I was so shy and insecure and going through my own hell that I didn't think I was good enough to have a friend like you. I don't think we had any classes together or any of the same friends either. I'm so sorry I never got up the nerve to talk to you. I think you are so beautiful on the inside and out, you are an amazing strong women and I feel honored that I have the privalage to get to know you.

Heather Lindquist said...

Thanks for sharing this, Brie. I too have always felt misunderstood. Mostly because I was shy, but also because I could never verbalize exactly what I was thinking or feeling. It felt scary to talk. When you were 17 and I met you, I was so grateful to have a friend......you were and are so very insightful, caring, and most of all, funny as hell. You've come such a long way! We are all so complex, I wish people would truly stop all this assuming and judging.

Gretchen said...

Brie,
I think we may have been separated at birth. I could have written that exactly (but not nearly as eloquently!!)

Gretchen said...

Brie,
I think we may have been separated at birth. I could have written parts of your post exactly (but not nearly as eloquently!!!!).

Shannon said...

Ive always like you Brie! Not that you need to hear that from ME, but its always nice to hear, right? I remember being on Seminary Counsel with you. I was totally intimidated by you...but to be honest, I was intimidated by, well...everyone! Pretty sure in all of our early morning meetings I would just sit there an listen to everyone talk. It wasnt until the end of my SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL I finally felt ok to be me. I do remember being told that you were going in for treatment, but I didnt judge. I was just sad that I would be able to get to know you better!

Ya...High school was so awkward...arent you glad we get to grow up?

brie said...

thank you all so so much for these comments. it made me feel less alone, and less like a freak. means a lot.

L, your crush story on my brother made me laugh. heartily. :)

Jackie T said...

You are bloody beautiful

Adam and Cassie said...

I had no idea. I always thought you were out of my "league" back in high school. I was all sorts of awkward and felt exactly the same way. Hell, I'm still trying to embrace my unconventional self :)

CH said...

I can see why this post would make you cry! It's very vulnerable, and probably dredged up a lot of unsavory feelings. It took a lot to share this with the blogging world.
I'm sorry high school was so tough... that was how I felt in junior high (7th - 9th grades)... and it's a horrible feeling; to feel isolated, excluded, and like no one really "gets you".
Just from knowing you online, I can tell that you have a great personality, and you're witty, and most importantly, you're a good person who cares. I wish you weren't so misunderstood for those years of your life - but rest assured... we all love you :)

Frustrated Unemployed Actress said...

I remember High School Brie, but - and here's the advantage of getting to know people online - I felt like I knew both of you. Or, actually, like I knew Real Brie better, because what I got to hear (er, read) was what you were thinking. Or at least what you chose to share of what you were thinking. Which was quite a bit, actually. Real Brie, even back then, was pretty awesome. Damn funny, too. And she still is.

I was the opposite of you in high school, but with the same result. I was short, and round, and always somehow a misfit for reasons I did not (and still don't, really) understand. I was quiet because I was insecure, and that made people think I was snobby. Or else they didn't realize I existed. So, you know, I think we all go through this kind of thing, and because we don't talk about it, we all think it's just us. And in adolescence we don't have the perspective to realize it.

So. You were not, and are not, alone. And for the record, I like you. Just as you are. I always have.

Frustrated Unemployed Actress said...

P.S. I haven't commented in a while, but I am loving your posts this month. The Hungry for Change one AND the others. ;)

po said...

I am 31 now and I think it was only last year when I began to figure out that I am not a freak, just different. I was so introverted during high school and I wanted so badly to fit in and be liked by all the fun, outgoing people. Everyone was like, what's wrong with you, you are so quiet! I really internalised that attitude of something being wrong with me. High school is so hard :P

Sarah Hope said...

I have always (as in the last couple years reading your blog) thought of you as good. and kind. very simply and obviously so. wonderful post.

brie said...

I love all you guys so much.nwe have more in common than we thought, huh?

<3

bri said...

Wow Brie don't mean to sound cheesy but this is so powerful and nearly brought me to tears. U are amazing and beautiful both inside and out u have an amazingly good heart and I wish I could be an ounce as real and honest as u are. I am in awe of u!

Agrace12 said...

Wonderful Post. I relate alot of my pain to fear of rejection and rejection from my teenage years. I always thought I needed to make myself better. That same fear (rejection) is something that is still holding me back and that I am working through. I sometimes still feel like I am the high school girl that just wants to fit in and people to like her. The ED has been my friend, my source. But has made me isolate. Ironic. This was such a wonderful post. You are amazing!