Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Corner and at Olive’s Café, where you get insights on thoughts of life.
This article isn’t an opinion or a thought, but more of me sharing my story on a mission to move on and move forward. I’ve been contemplating on sharing my story, but I didn’t know where to start. I thought a lot about where I wanted to go, but I realized that I had to come to terms with where I was and where I am. I struggled a lot with everything around me, from finding my own path to finding my own style in the Arts. As I share my story, I must disclose that the people involved in my life are not at fault. I take full responsibility for my decisions and actions, and I’m still figuring out how to continue to take the right path, especially alone.
Oh, boy, here goes nothing…
From age 4 to 10, I had a rough time as a child. I struggled academically until 5th grade, and I had a hard time making and keeping friends. I was a reserved, sensitive, chunky child who wanted to play and get along with the other kids. I cried over the simplest things, even the teachers knew I was a cry baby. Most of the kids would repel away from me, and I always thought they didn’t like me. Then my mom invited her coworker, and she brought her son and daughter with her. Her son wasn’t too bad, but her daughter was a nightmare. It was bad enough that I had trouble in class, and the kids were making fun of me, she made matters worse by bullying me, picking fights with me, telling me I was boring and implying that I wasn’t good enough, and even shamed me because I would go with her and her family anywhere, they planned on going. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t thought of her as my old friend.
I had an even harder time with my own family. The people I trusted with my whole life have body shamed me, called me crazy, would reprimand me about my looks, and would threaten me if I didn’t clean around the house. I was always scared to bring home my grades because my mom had a powerful voice, and I felt dumb. Of course, I had no excuse for my behavior, and I did deserve discipline for it, but there was never a day when I received guidance.
It was so bad growing up, I had to create my own circle of friends and family and pretended to be someone else. In my world, I wasn’t Kathryn. I was always a different name, but the same person. I didn’t feel accepted in my family, nor with the kids at school, so I would talk to my imaginary friends and family. It’s hard to admit this, but I still do it to this day.
Despite having a hard time fitting in and belonging, I was obsessed with the arts. I had a dream of being a choreographer and enjoyed dancing, and I loved to draw and color. I even drew on my bedroom wall one time. I would dance all the time, and You Got Served was my favorite movie. However, after I turned 12, I had a conversation with my dad, and when he told me that I wasn’t slender enough to be a choreographer, I scrapped that dream and never thought about it again. Although I gave up my dream of being a choreographer, I still drew and even got into writing before I turned 14. At first, I was reading fan fiction, and even created my own. It made English class and writing tests easier for me in school, and I took reading seriously. Besides writing helping me improve in school, I excelled in Art class, to the point where the other students requested that I drew their names for them, and I was ahead of the class in my art assignments. Art was the only thing I held on in my life.
But no matter what I do, it feels like it’s never good enough. What I did to improve and excel, nothing I do keeps people from leaving. And I’ve asked myself, “What’s the point?”
At some point in my life, I wanted to give up on myself. Compared to elementary and middle school, I worked hard in high school to make sure I had good grades, and even received awards for being a model student. It was still not enough. My mom and sister would say that they would try to tell me what I needed to do, but I would always end up doing everything by myself and by the book. My sister did a lot more with me when preparing to work, but I felt less confident into doing anything because even their “words of encouragement” and “tough love” felt like reprimands and demands on how I should be an adult. They always told me what career path to take because of money, but what they wanted for me wasn’t what I wanted for myself. They wanted me to be a nurse, a teacher, anything that had security and money. And there’s nothing wrong with being any of those professions (for anyone who is a nurse or teacher, you are heroes in my eyes), but what I wanted to do was write. Writing was my comfort along with art, and I wanted to take that one as a career. They just didn’t approve
From 18 years old and on, I became responsible, independent, and driven for completion, but I was still that immature, sensitive person. This time, it got worse. I learned that I wasn’t the easiest person to deal with as I was always triggered, and when I made mistakes, I wanted to hide and never be seen. I didn’t take anything too seriously, and it wasn’t until one coworker sent me a long text message on New Year’s Eve that other people were afraid of me, and that I had to get my act together. On New Year’s Day, I didn’t eat nor leave my room the entire day. I was so angry with what she said to me, and my mom even took her side, or any other side besides my own for that matter. It just got lonelier and darker, and I didn’t bother developing any relationship with anyone anymore.
Between the ages of 5 and 26, I felt lonely, rejected, ignored, pushed over, and stupid. I didn’t have any guidance, and I learned to do everything by myself. I had made some decisions in my life that made me feel so proud of myself because I was able to accomplish certain things by myself, financially and academically. However, I have made decisions with my emotions that led me into debt and feeling like I reached a dead end. Let’s just say that being gullible and vulnerable made me lose everything that I worked hard for. And almost every single day, I questioned my existence and purpose.
I could say that after all that has happened, I would have come out stronger, but that isn’t the case. Although I learned from my mistakes, there are certain moments that triggered my memory, whether in real life or online. I continue to believe I’m repellant against everyone, and I feel anxious about how people treat me. So, even when I am close to anyone, I would always ruin the relationship. It felt like a never-ending cycle to me, and I didn’t know how to get out. I’ve struggled to keep up with therapy because I thought no one knew what was wrong with me.
That is until I decided I can no longer feel that way anymore. After listening to personal development books, and read motivational quotes, I decided to stop feeling like my existence means nothing.
I lost sleep, trust, faith, and control on my emotions. I drove people away, I got used to it, and I always blamed myself for everything. I even brought myself down, and no matter how many compliments I’ve received, there’s a voice that would tell me that it’s all lies. I was my own worst enemy, but never my best friend. Even when other people are around me, it still feels lonely, and I’ve been so afraid to speak because I believe that I would be rejected and ignored There are nights that I have nightmares, and I’ve cried myself to sleep because of the scenarios that play over and over in them where everyone fought against my existence.
You’re probably thinking, “What’s wrong with this girl?” “Does she not know how lucky she is that she has a support system?” “At least she has a family that cares about her and her future,” and “She needs to grow up, and she has a lot more to do.” And you know what? You’re right. I didn’t know what was wrong with me until I got into college, I should consider myself lucky because my family has taken into consideration of my future, and I have a lot of growing up to do. Everyone has a messed-up childhood, more messed up than mine but it’s time to acknowledge all that has happened, appreciate that I’ve come this far, forgive, and move forward.
While writing this article, I have cried a lot, and I went to sleep hoping I made the right decision. For anyone to read this, I’m not expecting anyone to feel bad or give me words of encouragement. Honestly, I’m anticipating that readers will respond otherwise, even telling me that I’ll get over it or it’s the past so I should get over it. It’s so hard to get over it because I needed help, but I avoided it because I didn’t believe that anyone would understand. However, writing is the one step into accepting everything, forgiving, and moving forward.
As I’m coming to terms with where I was, and who I was, now it’s about coming to terms with where I am and where I’m going. On the next episode of Coming to Terms, Part 2.
Thank you for tuning in on Olive’s Corner at Olive’s Café!