Earlier today the conversation I was having somehow landed on our aspirations as children. I’ve always been on the shy side, but up until the end of elementary school that didn’t stop me from wanting to be on stage and doing what I loved – performing in one way or another. By the time I got to 6th grade I got a little more realistic about not being some Broadway star and decided I wanted to grow up, get my Ph.D, be high and mighty in the research world, and present research and speak all over the country. This brought on some dropped jaws when I admitted this tonight to say the least.
Now, at 24, I can’t stand having a room turn around and look at me, and am just now starting to get to the point of not feeling like I’m going to get sick right before presentations. Saying I don’t like that attention on me is an understatement. So of course the questions came.
Why such a dramatic change – How did you go from that, to hiding in the back in such a short time?
It’s a reasonable question, one I’d probably be curious about if I were on the other side of the conversation. I’m rarely open about my abusive past, so I shrugged my shoulders and responded with an “I’m not sure.” I’m not going to say that abuse is 100% to blame for this dramatic change, but it didn’t take long for it to begin to take a toll on my self-confidence, self-image, and self-respect.
Thankfully, now I can say I’ve slowly started to build these things back up, but it is a whole heck of a lot easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult. Rather you have kids/adolescents, are around them regularly or irregularly, every word that comes out of your mouth and every action makes an impact.
Are you making the kind of impact that’s going to shape a confident, secure adult?