Growing up Different

Even as a young child it was noticeable, I was different. Never fitting in with the groups on the playground. Playing make-believe one day, and the next I was playing football with the boys. Being the odd one out resulted in ridicule from many. Other kids were taken aback by my quirky personality. Some decided they liked me, others continued to bully and gossip.

This odd ball out dilemma was apart of my home life as well. My father was controlling and extremely abusive. Anytime I felt the need to express myself, it would result in punishment. My ideals never lined up with his even though he tried incredibly hard to brainwash me. I could not be the person he wanted me to be. Being a child and not being able to please your parent greatly added to my internal struggle.

As one might expect, this is an issue that I carried with me throughout my adolescent and adult life. The bouts of depression, insecurities, self esteem issues, you know the whole shabang. Most of my life there’s been a war in my head, to be me or to be who they want me to be? My life has been a balancing act to say the least. Showing the world bits of my true self then fleeing and hiding my face with a fake persona.

Fortunately, I have been gifted some amazing people in my life. Such as my mother, spouse, siblings, aunts, cousin, friends and well the list could keep going. These beautiful people have not once discouraged me from being myself. They have embraced all my phases, changes, and growth. They have shown me unconditional love, and I’m forever grateful. Without there support, I would more than likely still be waging a war inside my head.

This has been an issue for almost 25 years. I’ll acknowledge that it may never truly subside. However, I am proud to say that I am now at peace. The years of torment and abuse for merely being different will no longer hang over my shoulder. There is a sense of pride that comes with being unapologetically yourself. It is freeing knowing that I am capable of being myself, whoever that may be, without obsessing over other’s thoughts about me. I am always going to be different and moving forward I am going to be proud. I will be letting go of the negativity and emboding my truest self while not giving a damn about others thoughts of me.

This is a struggle that is happening within just about everyone, children and adults alike. Yearning to be themselves, but fearful due to the criticism that comes with it. What an easy fix it could be if everyone decided to just set the judgement aside. We all know that will never fully happen. My hope is that maybe this brief in sight on life can encourage you to be your authentic self. While it is not easy to be vulnerably you, you will find peace and acceptance within. Take it as a huge accomplishment, especially considering the type of society we live in.

Find pride in being the ugly ducking.

With love,

Kandice
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