“How are you?”
“Fine, how are you?”
“I’m doing fine too.”
Everyday small talk for probably all of us. I know it is for me. The honesty of this interaction has become the face of the changing times and how little people chose to truly interact. Of course, in a lot of social situations, you never want to get into anything too deep, as most strangers are unprepared for serious life problems. But eventually, being ‘fine’ all the time can get to you.
I was always fine. My mom was overwhelmed with the three of us and both my siblings were going through serious problems. It was too much for me to be depressed or anxious. I was fine when she asked, and I behaved. My homework was done and my grades were good. I also listened to her. All the boxes were checked, so I was in fact fine. But I began to slowly fade. I just wanted to hide and I was numb. Eventually, my parents did notice a difference. But it was too much for my mom to deal with three struggling kids. So I was told to be ‘fine’, and I was.
It bled into every inch of my life. I stopped wanting and needing. I figured if I acted fine I would be fine. Everything that I didn’t like about myself and my life was something I chose, and with a switch I could change it if I wanted to. I wasn’t a depressed and withdrawn young girl, I was contemplative and uninterested in the shallow kids my age. I wanted to be alone and I was nonchalant. No matter how bad things were, it was ok because I didn’t care. And if I did put in the effort and care, my life would be completely different.
I was a ‘cool girl’, but that only worked out in my head. I was really just a sad person who couldn’t have handled being rejected by anyone else, so I rejected them first. If anyone asked if I was ok, I was. I was mean and not interested in anything. I was a tomboy because I was ugly, and finding my own personal style and developing my own look was pointless. Me trying to be and feel normal was pointless. My only hope was out growing this stage. Google told me some people grow out of it. I believe I did, but the way things played out left a giant crater in my heart.
Being honest now is me saying exactly how I feel. Telling people close to me the whole story. Even though it’s not easy, it’s something I’m working hard at doing. I’m being honest with myself. Instead of rebuffing my feelings, I allow them. It’s not easy to accept how what were the most important years of my life were so awful and why they played out the way they did. Sometimes I’m even angry that no one seemed to truly be invested in helping me at the time. I became a self fulfilling prophesy. I said I was fine, and I acted normal, so I was fine. Sometimes I regret being a good kid. Maybe if I was more expressive and honest, maybe someone would’ve seen I wasn’t fine.
As caught up as I can get in the past, I know the most important thing is to be honest. Moving forward, I can no longer hide how I feel. Being honest with myself, how I feel, my likes, dislikes etc. is an essential step to finding the person I was and who I lost so long ago.