I read an interesting article on Elephant Journal today about our secret battles. The author wants to create a "cult of reality" where we are more honest with each other. I typically am pretty honest with people, but thought I would write a few things that maybe people don't know yet because the topic never came up.
When I was growing up, I was bullied. A lot of people think everyone is bullied when they are younger, but it was pretty bad for me. So bad that my mom wished she would have known the extent so she could have pulled me out of some classes. I internalize so much, and make everything out to be my fault. I am trying to teach myself to realize that the world does not revolve around me, so obviously everything isn't my fault. It's not easy.
Consequently, I desperately wanted people to like me when I was in school, but never could make it work. I tried so hard to be lked. It wasn't until high school that I met people who were more like me. I made it into the IB Program, so most of the other students were intellectuals like me. We thought the same and felt the same, more or less. There was still the pecking order, there were still people who were wildly popular. For once, I wasn't trying to fit in. The program was a lot of hard work, but I found myself for the first time. I decided I wanted to go for a Chemistry degree in college, and become a chemist.
When I entered college, I was so scared. It was a new experience, but the only thing that was different was the school. I lived with my parents because we couldn't afford much more, but we managed to make it work. I spent five years there, and working at Michael's Arts and Crafts, graduating without any student loans. I really found myself more in college. I still found people who were like me, and I was really quite happy. I even met my husband through a group on campus, though he wasn't a student.
Shortly after graduation, I found a temp job for an FDA trial. It was a great experience that told me I could learn anything, and I love working in the lab. Unfortunately, it didn't last long and I went back to school for my Master's in Forensics with an emphasis in Toxicology. My true dream is to work in a crime lab or for a Coroner somewhere. While I worked on that degree I worked at a local hospital in Medical Records. Never a glamorous job by any means, but it helped us keep our house while I went back to school.
Over $40,000 in student loans, and no real job prospects, I am still working at the hospital. Last year we had our 10 year high school reunion. It was strange to think that ten years had passed, and yet, I felt like I hadn't gone anywhere. My husband tried to point out that I have two degrees, which is more than a fair number of people have. But to me, what good is a degree that I am not using, when my goal is to be in a lab? I keep applying for jobs, and hoping for the best.
So what have I learned about myself you might ask? I have learned that I throw myself into my work to avoid being alone. My husband has a schedule that conflicts a little with mine, so I spend a lot of time alone, though it is getting easier. I still want to be perfect and have people like me. It is always hard when people seem to hate me for nothing. So this is just one thing I am working on.
It is really hard to post this. Even now I am thinking to my self that no one could possibly want to read this. I am just some random person on the internet whining about my childhood. But then, I am trying to let those insecurities go, so I will post this anyway. If nothing else, face fear head on, right?