Insecure_A True Story
I like to say I grew up in a very good home, but growing up, hearing and reading about the childhood of a lot of people, made me realize that I grew up in an amazing home. Definitely greater than good and I have God to thank for that really. Amazing and understanding parents, caring and beautiful siblings and fun and reliable friends. You know the drill.
I thought My life and everything in it was fairly perfect till about my first year in secondary school when I began to notice some patterns with myself and in my friendships.
But I’ll back track a bit.
I grew up with two older sisters and a younger brother, and so my mum had an opportunity to raise two lovely girls before I arrived. So before my arrival, you could actually say my mum was a professional parent to girls. I know there’s no way to rate parenting but I want to believe she had thoroughly learnt the ropes, having had two girls who were both 10 and 2 years old, before I arrived.
Unfortunately for me, my two older sisters were very similar, they were very conservative, prim and very proper. They didn’t talk that much, they didn’t have a lot of friends, and I think they also listened a lot more.
So when I started growing up and I appeared to be the opposite of them, my mum I think started to panic. Like “why are you so different!?”
I wasn’t as quiet as they were, I had a lot of friends, and I usually had to be told and explained something before I saw reason to do or not to do it. That’s how comparison in my life started.
My mum would unconsciously throw it in my face about not being like my sisters and she was always comparing me to them. It was worse because they were also very academically intelligent, and well me, not so great, so she probably thought there was a link somewhere between their personality and their grades. Looking back now, I see how it made a bit of sense.
In comparing me with my sisters, I noticed I started to bottle up my real self just so I seemed to be like them, so what happened was that I got used to not being myself but being anyone else I was compared to.
I got to high school and the cycle continued, I would try to fit in so hard that I would deny all of myself, and because it wasn’t the real Rubie, I had very superficial relationships with friends and all. By then I was even scared to even show my real self and had become so insecure when I wasn’t feigning to be someone else.
I lost a huge part of myself in those years and took on the identity of anyone who appeared to be “better” in any situation I found myself.
I remember crying into a mirror one day after school about my cheekbones being ‘too out’, I think I also attempted pressing them in with a cloth and hot water. I tried to make my hair a certain way and generally just be a different person that was never Rubie.
If you’ve tried to be something or someone you’re not you know how painful it is when rejection comes after all your hard work in being someone other than yourself, so I dealt with rejections very horribly and being young as I was, when a friend rejected me on whatsoever basis, it would put me off and make me so mad.
Right before I got to secondary school, I had this scenario with my oldest sister where I had a quantitative reasoning assignment and I brought it home and I was doing it in the kitchen while my sister was there and I remember I got stuck and asked her for help and she came and went through it with me, majority of it required multiplications and additions so she kept asking what is “this plus this” is or what “this times this” is and as she was trying to calculate it, I was saying the answers out already, it happened about 4 times and then I remember she just dropped the pen and paper and looked at me and said “Rubie you’re really smart oh, what’s your problem?”
And that simple question just triggered my true self within and so my soul searching began. Who was I really?
I got into high school and because I wasn’t still used to being my real self, I was having issues maintaining good friendships and was just always trying to fit in. It took a while, and in that time, I also found God before I started to break all the walls of insecurity and comparison around me.
I started learning and accepting who I really was and although it was the most uncomfortable thing at first, I think I learnt it over time.
The more me I became, the more grounds I would break and I like to think the devil didn’t want me to discover my true self because he knew what I was capable of.
A lot of young and old people today are still living lives that aren’t really theirs. It’s worse in these times because social media tells you what and what is ideal so most people are even unconsciously modelling themselves to look like that ideal, forgetting that it’s in our difference that we find our uniqueness.
God helped me to learn to be my own person and ever since then, it’s been bliss and having been a victim of comparison, whether good or bad, I’m more conscious so as not to pass the message of “you should be like this person” to anyone.
I’ll forever be pro-be yourself.
It’s the only antidote to insecurity.
Rubie is the convener of Foch woman, which is a community of young girls and woman aimed at living intentional, purpose and value-driven lives.
She’s also a Software engineering student interested in all things technology, education, politics and social justice. She blogs on life issues on her site, Foch Woman.
Website – www.fochwoman.com
Twitter – Rubie_TT
Instagram – rubie_tt