Let's be real.

I spent eight years of my life pretending to be something I wasn't: Happy.

Every day from the 4th grade through the 10th grade (it is eight years - I did the 5th grade twice) I woke up in the morning determined to make everyone around me believe that I was fine, that I was normal, that I was content. Some days, the smile actually was real. But a majority of the time, I was faking it. I learned how to make a forced smile look natural. I learned how to laugh easy so as to keep myself from crying. I learned how to fake being a social butterfly even though being around people was often the last thing I wanted to do. I even learned how to look like I was having the time of my life with friends in the middle of struggling with a panic attack.

Because that's what people expected of me. My personality and experiences have made me kind, understanding, patient, gentle, and a lover of hugs. Displaying these traits earned me the label of "the happy-go-lucky one." And since I hate to disappoint, I forced myself to live up to it, even though I hated every minute of deceiving the people around me. Especially those who came to me and opened up their hearts and lives to me. They go to be themselves in front of me because I was safe and trustworthy. I got to sit there and listen and pretend to be okay with not being allowed to share my burdens with them in return.

When I started planning my farewells and figuring out which method of suicide would be the most effective and least messy for others to deal with, I realized that I had a serious problem. It's taken two and a half years, but I am finally fairly comfortable living up to my own expectation of being real with others, instead of living up to their old expectations for me to be an incessant smile machine. And I think people are beginning to be comfortable with the fact that I'm not always happy.

So yes, I will take you as you are. You are your own person, and I refuse to place expectations on you or try to change you. You and I both deserve nothing less than to present ourselves as we are.
TeapotK TeapotK
18-21, F
1 Response Jul 13, 2010

Wow. *hug* You just described my school experience...right down to the debating what method of suicide would be least trouble for people to clean up. I'm glad that I stuck around to fight...and I'm glad that you did too.<br />
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Be well, sweetheart. :)