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Never made to measure.

by Sarah Duffy 11 months ago in Embarrassment · updated 6 months ago
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When you never quite fit in.

Never fitting in, has never been a momentary discomfort for me. More of a way of life.

As a child, I was so shy and at least a foot taller than my counterparts.

I had a long, thin awkward body, which I hunched, twisted and folded, just to be eye to eye with my friends.

When I was older and started making that body work for me, I still didn't fit in. I was a mediocre model (not thin enough, or too thin. Not tall enough or too tall).

As a model, girls hated me on sight, and their boyfriends weren't allowed to talk to me.

Oh how I dreamed of being normal.

Looking back to my 20s, it is gut wrenching.

The years had vigorously erased my self esteem.

It was no longer my body that didn't fit. I now truly believed that everything about me was wrong.

Every element that made Sarah,was distorted, disgusting and broken.

I saw myself as nothing.

As I matured it was necessary to create a persona.

I made a fake me, that would be accepted.

A self deprecating humour to put the girls at ease.

I Curbed my intelligence and curiosity and constantly asked the boys to explain.

After many years of honing this super girl personality. I actually convinced myself that this girl was me.

Still playing my epic role, like an Oscar winning actress, I married and had children.

Executing being someone you are not, 24 hours a day, year after year. Adapting your role daily to please others is not sustainable.

Believe me! I tried.

Beneath the surface, I was rotting, crumbling, falling apart. Something was starting to stink.

I couldn't ask for help. I couldn't break my 'normal' reflection in the mirror.

If the mirror smashed, I would be broken, distorted Sarah again.

My mind was spiralling out of control, my behaviour becoming unpredictable.

I thought I was still putting on a good damn show.

I never imagined people noticed me enough to see the damp tissues stuck to cuts on my arms.

I never questioned whether they believed my endless stories as to where my bruises came from.

Once more I didn't fit. I was so full of pain and confusion. Everyone else looked happy and at peace.

I would go to the shops and just stare at people.

I didn't understand why they looked so happy. I was in agony. Just being in a store for me was like battling a dragon.

Forgive me for these words, but I just wanted to die. I needed it to end.

Luckily, I didn't die. Somehow I found a tiny essence of Sarah, and I asked my doctor for help.

I remember the exact words I said:

"If you don't help me, I will be dead tomorrow"

I was admitted to a locked psychiatric ward.

I was so frightened, but funnily enough, I fitted right in!

I was diagnosed with a psychotic episode, bi polar and OCD.

I won't lie, I spent 5 glorious weeks in that sweet, safe bubble. I started necessary medication and therapy.

I saw a tiny light, at the end of a very long tunnel.

When I left, I was far from perfect, but I was a more real me, than I had been in 15 years.

Still, it seems it is not my destiny to fit in.

Walking for the first time, since my release, with a hidden joyful skip in my step, I went to collect my brave children from school.

I headed towards my usual year group mums, a genuine smile on my face.

The tidal wave of their discomfort hit me.

I physically recoiled at their looks of horror.

Some with no embarrassment, turned their back and crossed the playground.

Others I had considered 'mum' friends, shot me apologetic looks, but also scuttled as far from me as possible.

Me, the freak, I stood frozen, my breathing was irregular and my eyes filled with burning tears.

These women, wore t shirts saying 'Be kind', they forwarded inspirational quotes on WhatsApp about women supporting one another.

They demanded diversity and acceptance at school meetings.

Sorry, but can I call BULLSHIT?

I inhaled my pain, and exhaled a huge smile for my kids running towards me.

I still don't fit...well I am officially crazy! (I'm allowed to say that).

The difference is, that now I don't care. You want to be my friend? Come and fit in with me.... Nah only joking, I'll take anyone.

Embarrassment

About the author

Sarah Duffy

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