“What are you supposed to be, when often you were told you were nothing?”
I remember everyday waking up, not just going through the motions but fighting through the thick emotional struggle that every morning brought. My home life was fine normal, two loving parents and a traditional sibling relationship but I was nothing like my family. My father grew up as an athlete my mother as a cheer leader, the popular kids. They weren’t High school sweet hearts but when they met it’s like they should have been. My sister was following more in both of my parent’s footsteps a cheerleader and a soccer player. My sister was wildly more successful than me when we were in High school and she was two years younger. You know those movies where there is just kid in the family that wasn’t anything close to the rest of the family, that was me, I was the one who sat quietly while my father watched football, and all I wanted to do was go read. Or when my mother wanted me to go outside, all I wanted to do was learn. I believe it frustrated my father at times, that I wasn’t the son able to watch sports and talk about it with him, but once the Television was off he understood and our Relationship never became strained. My mother was different, she always let me do what I wanted, even if she wanted me to go play outside. Each time I responded she was ok with it. She supported me and loved the person I was, but a lot of the times as loving as she was I couldn’t see it, and that’s what almost brought my life crashing down.
I knew I was different, I knew everything that was acceptable I wasn’t that version of a high school student. I just didn’t know that it was ok to be different, to be me. I wanted to learn, I wanted to read, I wanted to study. I was never the kind of person that was going to be popular for obvious reasons. How do you focus on loving yourself when you’re too busy trying to be a completely different person? I could see people talking socializing and having fun. They were getting into relationships and creating the perfect image of what people are supposed to be. I wanted that, or that’s what I thought I wanted. I just wanted to fit in, I wanted to be that person where I could go home on Fridays and be inundated with text to come out, and go to parties or hang out with friends. I still wasn’t that person, and trying to reach that person made it worse. That reading, studying and quite some self was what brought the wrong attention to me. All anyone could ever see was that “Nerd” why are you reading? Let me copy off you, you’re such a loser. Along with things far more crude that don’t ever need to be said again.
I started to believe everything, every harsh word, every put down. It was becoming critical to who I was, who I was at that moment was a person, believing my life was never going to be anything because I don’t fit in, and I will never fit in. That darkness, those messages that swirl in your head they seem like they will always win, they seem like each hateful word will drive you into being exactly what they said. On my worst day, the day that seemed like it all was enough, seemed like the day I was no longer worth being me anymore. Right When I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I had a conversation. I finally read something that lifted that cloud and brought every bit of perspective into my life.
I was online reading something, trying to find a way to get out of this life. I came across a letter, a story. It was a person who went through exactly what I have gone through, just being different and that difference is what finely defined me and that I needed to understand that. The letter showed this man’s life as the struggle and problem that it seemed like mine was, but what it was, was a letter of proof. Proof that no matter what you can make it. You can be who you want to read, you want to study? Do it get good grades, go to a good school and change the world. You enjoy writing? Write stories that will challenge people’s life’s. No matter who you are, or where you come from, it’s your life, it’s all about what you do and what you will do to change this world big or small, and that no matter how cloudy your life is, the sun will always come. And you will always see the way.
Here I am 28 years old, a programmer. I’ve worked for some of the largest companies in the world, I have worked as an advisor for several startups, and am now freelancing traveling the world. I finally got to love myself, and that love I found in myself I am able to offer to my girlfriend each and every day. The life we experience and the memories we make that bring us closer together each and every day. One thing that I want you to know and get out of all of this is that those people that cared in the beginning are there, you aren’t alone and for me that was my family. I’ve never been closer to my dad. Yes, I got into football and basketball, who would have known right? Every time, I come home I get to hug my mom, I get to give her the love she always gave me, she was my rock in those times and now I never miss a chance to repay to her the love and life she always gave me. Love those that prove they love you, because life is never better than that heart inside the person who works to protect yours.
Just like that letter was out there to offer support in any way possible, this is my way of putting something out there as proof that if I can make it, so can you. You are not alone and someone is always there. Family, friends, or strangers someone will always listen. Never give up, never stop being you, because the person you are will change this, world and love will find out.
If you need Help reach out, someone is always there to listen.
National suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)