There’s two things you can do with insecurities:
- You can hide your insecurities and pretend it’s not there. Pretend your insecurities don’t exist.
- You can face your insecurities, be honest with yourself about your insecurities and learn to embrace your insecurities with love.
At age 9, puberty kicked in. Sounds pretty young to start the journey of going through the phase of different changes in my body. I mean acne started to grow on my face, at one point it felt like you could connect the dots, time of the month started, cramping felt like I was going to die, my chest began to grow, emotions on high, gained weight like there’s no tomorrow and hair grew in places I couldn’t understood why?! Nor what to do with it(lol). Like come on, I was 9 years old and everything was going way too fast for me. Things happened to me that I couldn’t understood as to why it happened. Again, I was 9. There was no sit down, there was no “time for the talk”, there was nothing… it’s just “ooh, you’re starting puberty. Ok, well your body will begin to change and make sure you do NOT get pregnant” … umm okay. Thanks(I think)
In today’s technology, there’s an app to keep track of whenever it’s time for the time of the month. Sometimes it’s accurate and other times it’s not… Well, I wish there was an app in the late 90’s, to give myself a heads up of when it was time for my time of the month.
It was the 3rd grade and my period came without my knowledge. I didn’t have any pads, no nothing … I wore a light blue jean and blood was all over my jeans … everyone in class pointed at me like there’s this big monster on my lower back. Some boy said “Stacey pee’d on herself.” And this girl in 3rd grade class who I believed was a friend of mine said “no she’s bleeding”(lol). Now, I can laugh about it because it’s funny when an 8 year old explained to little kids that it’s blood and the look on everyone’s face was confused(lol), but anywho, everyone started staring and looked at me in a weird way. You would think I did something so terrible for people to stare the way they did. My teacher at the time(Ms.Fernberg) took me to the nurses office and she explained to me about everything I needed to know about periods and THANK GOD for the nurse who tried her best to make sure I didn’t feel less of myself.
Once I came home ,I was told “you should know when your period comes, you can’t assume it’s not coming” . Like come on , I was 9! At 9 years old, how am I supposed to remember? But, the reason behind telling you my embarrassment as a child is the beginning of my insecurities. On the day of my embarrassment, I felt lost and I felt confused. I didn’t feel good about myself. I thought there was something wrong with me. I wanted to hide away from everyone because after puberty I began to gain a lot of weight and there were too many emotions on level high. Also, I had a stupid dentist who held me down to pull out a tooth that wasn’t supposed to be pulled out. It was a traumatizing moment as a child, but I will save that story for self – hate to self love.
My teenage years insecurities were my voice, my arms, my face, my skin, my eyes, my body and brains. Back then, a perfect body, a perfect face, a perfect skin, a perfect look or a perfect style is to be known as beautiful. Although, there’s no such thing as perfect.
In my teenage years, I had no style, there wasn’t a perfect body or a perfect face or a perfect whatever. I knew I didn’t want to wear anything that didn’t seem right for me. I would try to wear something with a little style, but my arms will show and I’ll hate it(lol).
Sometimes, I’ll push myself to be more confident, but once someone makes a “joke” about how big I was or how big my arm looks or how “ugly” I look, I’ll go straight to jackets. Jackets were my best friend, I didn’t care if it was 100 degrees outside, all I knew was I didn’t want my arms to show because of how big it is.
Whenever my arms isn’t hiding under my jacket, sometimes people will come to squeeze it like it’s something to squeeze and it has made me felt uncomfortable but, I put on a pretend face and pretended like it didn’t bother me because if i were to cry then it would of made me look weak and sensitive.
I was told “if you cry, you’re weak. If you cry, you can’t handle the truth.” and I tried so hard to not cry when people point out my flaws. I’ll hide myself in the bathroom, cry a little and wipe my tears away. Pretended like there were no tears on my face. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and say “I’m beautiful” because if people say I’m “ugly” then I guess i’m “ugly. What’s the point of looking at myself in the mirror? (btw, I did have some people close to me who always reminded me how beautiful I am, but whenever I was at school. I didn’t feel pretty enough for the “crowd”. Especially when boys felt the need to come up with a rating chart of all the girls at school).
If I could go back to elementary, middle school and high school I would of never try to fit in with the cool kids and be myself more often. If someone believed I was ugly then cool, I’m still beautiful. I was a giver and a people pleaser, I didn’t like drama, I didn’t want to make anyone mad, so people would take advantage of my kindness for weakness. There was a time when I failed 5th grade and everyone knew about it. There was a girl who felt the need to remind others I would never graduate from high school or I’ll never be someone special in life. She kept poking the bear(lol). Until, I snapped and I fought her in 5th grade because of what she said, plus what she told everyone about me.
Back then, there was no such thing as bullying or saying “no to bullying”. It was more of handle it or do what you got to do or “BE TOUGH”, “HAVE TOUGH SKIN” or my favorite “STOP BEING SENSITIVE” … and I didn’t have tough skin, I tried to pretend to not care but, it hurts.
After my first fight in elementary school, I got in trouble more than her because she was bleeding and they felt like I was the troublemaker, but I wasn’t and no one wanted to believe me. I heard from the adults that “Stacey is a troublemaker”. Truthfully, I wasn’t, but at the time there wasn’t anyone to talk to, except my grandma who always reminded me to ignore what people say, I am special and I was going to be okay.. The girl’s mom came to my house because she felt like I could have damaged her daughter’s brain and I was forced to apologize to her. Which caused my insecurities began to rise because I felt like I tried my best to make everyone happy, no matter how I felt about myself and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. Also, I was the type of kid who wanted to be friends with everyone(lol)
Teachers were no help with my insecurities, throughout my school years I’ve been called “stupid” by some of my teachers and no, I couldn’t report any of it because no one would believe me. At the time it made me feel less of myself.
Elementary, middle school and high school I had a speech therapist because the way I spoke, it was hard to understand what I said. The best speech teacher I had was Mrs.Whittle in elementary school. She was patient with me and believed in me, but when it was time to move on to middle school, I wanted her to move on with me, but I understood it was time for a change.
The middle school and high school speech therapist was someone who didn’t care, he would say “You’re probably going to become a statistic and I wouldn’t be surprised because I don’t see anything special about you”. Again, how can a teenager report something disrespectful. He was a white man who felt like he could say anything to anyone and I was a black girl who had problems of her own. Who do you think they would’ve believed? In the early 2000’s ? No, it’s always “No matter what, you have to listen to your teacher”. I was an average student, once a teacher didn’t believe in me then I wouldn’t believe in myself. So, when my speech teacher at the time told me there’s nothing “special” about me, my confidence went super low.
Growing up, I didn’t think there was something special about me. I didn’t believe I was beautiful because I didn’t look a certain way. There’s times I was asked “why can’t I look like this person?” and it would make me feel shameful of myself, but I’m 28 and looking back, regardless of what was said to me or about me. Today, I am special and I am beautiful. I do have flaws, but my flaws are beautiful.
Sometimes I have my moments, but I am beautiful. I love my eyes, my lips, my thighs, I love my black gorgeous skin, I wish I had a booty(lol), but I am beautiful and I am enough. I always wanted to make people like me or try to believe in me, but I can’t please everyone and I’m not meant to please everyone.
If I could tell that little girl in elementary school when she felt less of herself, when she’s been told she’s not beautiful, she’s not special, she’s not enough, there’s nothing good about her or she had no one to talk to because she was forced to keep quiet because she’s a child.. I’ll tell her YES, YOU ARE. YOU ARE MOST DEFINITELY SPECIAL AND ENOUGH PLUS GORGEOUS. Don’t let anyone push their insecurities/problems onto you.SPEAK YOUR TRUTH.
Comment below: What has insecurities taught you?
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This was truly a great read Stacey! It’s amazing to see how we can go through something but God somehow turns it around for our good. Like yourself I was bullied and had many insecurities as a child that shaped how I viewed myself in my teen and early young adult years. Thankfully when I found my identity in God those things began to fall away one by one. I still have my moments where they try to resurface but now I’m wiser and I know how to handle them. I always wonder what the younger me would be if I had known the things I know now. But I’m encouraged because I am the person I am now because of that same “younger me”.
Thank you for reading and I love how you say you’re wiser and what it has encouraged you to see your amazing self. and yes, some days my insecurities will try to come up but, I have learned to accept myself and love it more than ever because no one can love our flaws like we can.
I constantly battle with my insecurities but I’ve learnt to manage in different ways. One way is by reminding myself that what I consider are my ‘imperfections’ doesn’t necessarily make me imperfect (cause often I’ll make them synonymous). I’m still worth of love and respect , kindness regardless
Karen x| thekcomponent.com
“I’m still worth of love and respect.” – Yes!!! No matter what, in the end there’s always love and respect within ourselves….Thank you for reading…
I wish I had someone that could’ve explained to me what insecurities were when I was a teen. However, as an adult I’ve learned to embrace mine. What I can fix, I work on. What I can’t, I accept. Now that I’m older I realize they are a part of me. But, not my entire existence.
“I realize they are a part of me, but not my entire existence” – well said. Our insecurities are part of who we grown to become. We can either love it and embrace or hide it but, can’t hide it forever…. thank you for reading ❤️