For a good portion of my life, I have been plagued with shame.
I have been overridden with guilt and regret for past decisions and situations that I did not volunteer for.
Sometimes I find myself caught up in it all. It doesn’t matter where I am, I can stare off into space and wish that things had been different for me.
Everyone has a tough life, I’m convinced. It doesn’t matter who you are, we were made to endure certain struggles and to be made stronger through those struggles.
I have a not so clean past. A past that seems as though it could only be written about in a cruel novel where the main character is always playing the victim.
Today I found myself having a certain discussion with a co-worker about being able to know things about people just based on observations and the way that they act and react to things.
I was interested to hear what he had to say about me, so after about twenty minutes of me begging him and reassuring him that it wouldn’t be awkward, he caved.
He started off with a certain situation, basically describing how the guys at the establishment I work at always go to the window to stare at “hot” girls as they walk past, or make me switch them when a hot girl comes to the window. Then he said the word self-conscious.
I know this about myself. It’s no big deal.
After I basically pulled it out of him, he said that he would say some key words. So he began. Acceptance. Self-conscious, mentioning the window scenario again, lack of confidence, based on looks, comparing myself to those girls, having a willingness to do whatever to be accepted. All of this was spot on, and yes somewhat general for girls these days anyway. But then he said “and you get upset when the guys make rape jokes, and you don’t like to be touched, so there’s probably something there..”
My heart sank. How is it, that this person who has known me for three months could know all of this information just by being observant?
Whenever I took a mini-vacation from awareness and decided to let my thoughts travel back to my past I had always wished that someone would see it in my eyes. That someone could just figure it out without me having to spell it out, or awkwardly bring it up. I wanted someone to know and comfort me and tell me that there was no shame.
I wanted them to know, but I didn’t want to have to say anything.
This moment for me was exciting. Believe it or not. Someone knew. Someone knew and they didn’t treat me differently.
I think this conversation made me realize that I am seen. That someone noticed. That I was worth noticing.
Sometimes you want them to know, but you don’t want to have to say anything.