I watched the college girls walk past me with their short shirt dresses. Their laughter filling the corridor as they headed to the event. They blew past me, not acknowledging my existence. As they headed up the stairs I was shocked at the fact that their hind ends were almost hanging out from beneath the flowing bottom edge of the material. “Now that is short.” I thought to myself. I looked down at my sweater and floor length maxi skirt. I tried to fight the thoughts, but the message is embedded deep inside of me, the realization that ‘I am nothing to write home about.’
“Nothing to Write Home About”
I think I picked up that saying from my mother. She used it when she was referring to someone who didn’t have much to offer. I remember her using it randomly for various women who were coming or going. I don’t remember her ever using that phrase on me, but somehow it stuck. I’m sure that I saw a piece of myself in the women whom she commented about, and therefore thought the statement fit me also.
Growing up……I was a wall flower, I was plain, and I learned at a young age that boys weren’t interested in a girl like me. Rather than get my hopes up in thinking that maybe…..just maybe a boy would like me, I surrendered to the idea that it wasn’t going to happen for me. I knew I wasn’t ugly, but knew I wasn’t pretty either. I just fit right in the middle…right where I could go unnoticed. I remember feeling this way as early as 5th grade.
Not being ugly meant that I didn’t get picked on, not being pretty meant that boy didn’t like me. I accepted my role perfectly.
I was the Buddy
In high school I had quite a few dates, but I always thought that they asked me out because I was their buddy. It wasn’t because I was beautiful, or because they were interested……..Always because I was easy going, fun, and there were no strings attached. I knew I wasn’t the kind of girl they were interested in and it was okay. Everyone had their role to play and that was not mine.
I remember that when my husband showed interest….real interest, I was surprised.
It was almost like I was looking around, to the right, then to the left….sure that there was a beautiful woman around……trying to see who else he might be referring to because I knew he wasn’t looking at me. When I realized that he was……. I was thrilled. He gave me the attention that I had longed for. For the first
When I realized that he was……. I was thrilled.
He gave me the attention that I had longed for. For the first time I thought that maybe I could mean something to someone. Maybe someone could love me and cherish me. We were married and I thought I would get a happily ever after.
It didn’t last long…..I was deflated
Believing that I could be loved and cherished didn’t last long. On our honeymoon, we went to Hawaii and on the beach his eyes wandered to the other beautiful women in bikinis. It quickly became apparent that I wasn’t what he wanted. That I wasn’t good enough.
I was angry, I had accepted my role perfectly and had stuck to the sidelines…knowing that men didn’t want me. Then he came along and for a short while made me believe different. Having the dream pop was more painful than just knowing my place to begin with. I had trusted him and he had betrayed me. I spent the next 19 years watching my husband check out other women. I couldn’t go anywhere with him without having his eyes wander. I became a nervous person, each time the messages were so clear. I wasn’t enough! I found phone numbers in his wallet, he even went far enough and he cheated on me. Talk about my life turning into a nightmare. The saddest part, I thought it was my fault. I thought it was because I was nothing to write home about. That he did it because I wasn’t good enough.
Trauma Haunts Me
“You are nothing to write home about.” A message unintentionally sent by my mother because of her comments about other women.
“You are not enough.” A message sent by my ex-husbands inability to control his Lust.
The gift to me is trauma that continues to haunt me. I watched those tiny college girls, and I fought the ugly messages that plague me. The messages that remind me that no one will ever love me and cherish me enough. The messages that say I will never be good enough. The messages that leave me alone and afraid, and disconnected.
Will I Ever Believe That I Am Enough? Leaning Into It….
I have good days when I know that I am enough, and bad days when I feel I will never be enough. I have come to recognize that trauma will always be a part of me. It has changed me and I will never be rid of it. I have learned what I can do with it.
1) I can continue to lean into the trauma no matter how painful it is. I don’t want it to win.
2) I can continue learning about it and learn tools to help me fight it.
It still gets the best of me at times, but it hasn’t won until I give up and I am not ready to throw in the towel quite yet.