Socially Anxious

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Monster.”

The Green-Eyed Monster

 

Today’s daily prompt encourages to write an anonymous letter to someone we’re jealous of. I’m not actually jealous of anyone. I truly think that jealousy is completely pointless, each and every one of us is different, why should we all try to look /be/act the same way?

 

I actually wanted to write about shyness. How it all begun and how it formed me as todays twenty-something young adult. But, I decided to give it a chance to combine the two together. So… here goes nothing.

 

Dear Amazing Confident Beautiful Girl,

 

In the past, I was absolutely jealous of you. I could envy anything you had, starting from your super flat belly and flawless skin to your unconditionally confident manner, which made the whole world love you. I don’t envy you. I’m completely different and I’m fine with that. Over the years I was trying to follow the image of a perfect girl imposed on us by the media, glossy magazines, super-skinny skin-on-bones models that I completely forgot to embrace the beauty within me. I’m over that now. I eat anything I want to and I don’t feel guilty about it (unless my belly feels like exploding after a three course dinner with my favourite brownie with melted chocolate inside). I am skinny, and when I do my workouts I feel amazing inside and that’s helping my body too. I guess you should envy me, because I’m a healthy, pretty girl who doesn’t need to starve. I win. 🙂

But that’s not really what I wanted to write about. I got carried away a little bit.

Did you know that shyness is a social anxiety? Some experts think that it might be due to people getting stuck at the normal stage of shyness that all children go through between the ages of three and seven. I believe that to some extent. Let me tell you how it all begun for me…

First grade – school number 1. After a month in this school my mum crated a big row about my tutor and how she treated children. I don’t remember it well, but from what I remember the teacher had her favourites and those who weren’t her super students didn’t have a voice, they were only stupid kids who didn’t know anything and couldn’t behave properly. On my last day at school we went for a trip around my hometown, after the trip Paula and I told our mums what the teacher was doing, we never went to that school again. Paula was my best friend back then, unfortunately Mrs. Evil Teacher hated her. At one point during our trip she grabbed Paula and started jerking her and shouting at her, something along the lines that she was a stupid kid and couldn’t behave like a normal person, etc. As we were only children Paula started to cry and I, completely baffled, was speechless for a while. As soon as we were released to go home Paula and I decided we are not going to school ever again. Our mums created the biggest row ever! The whole school heard them complaining to the headmaster how unprofessional the teacher was. They moved us to another school with an immediate effect.

Still first grade – school number 2. Everything seemed fine. I loved our new teacher, she was one of these people who loved their job and she was very good at it. We were welcomed to the class and she tried to ease us in so we didn’t feel left out, because the rest of the pupils knew each other since kindergarten. Everything seemed really good, but soon after my teacher moved me up to the front row suspecting I couldn’t see properly, and after contacting my mum and a visit to the opticians, I had to put an awfully ugly pair of glasses on my nose and pray I was invisible. Kids are nasty when they don’t understand they’ve upset someone. Once I was so embarrassed trying to hide in my chair as low as possible that I actually missed most of the lesson, when asked about the seasons of the year and the position of the sun for each of them I had to admit that I didn’t know. Everyone laughed at me. I sat back down covering my face, forcing myself to think about something else so I don’t cry. I didn’t want to speak in front of them ever again.

Third grade – school number 3. If you thought that school number two was bad, then you have to read about school number three! A third school in my student career and I was just 9! Well, this one was purely because we moved to the other end of the town and my mum wasn’t completely happy with me travelling on a bus that far. In this school, I didn’t have Paula anymore, so I was absolutely on my own! Everything seemed to be fine until my teacher told the whole school where I lived. Long story short, my parents got their first own place, a council flat in one of the buildings at the very end of the estate, beyond that were just fields of wheat. These buildings were famous for its occupants, which in majority were alcoholics and all kinds of families put on the very end of the social importance. In simple terms these people were poor and for most of the others, not worth knowing. Kids actually didn’t pay attention to where you live, but some of their parents were awfully prejudiced. My teacher was one of them. One day we had a fun day planned and loads of different competitions. One of them was to peel a potato without splitting the skin. The person with the longest peel wins. My nanny taught me how to peel potatoes a long time ago and just before she taught me how to peel one without splitting the skin at all! I won. Of course, to put me back in my place (which was being one of the slums) she said; ‘At least you’ll get a job peeling potatoes when you grow up. Everyone! We have a winner. Looks like some people are only useful for one thing.’

Everyone laughed. One boy quietly congratulated me, but quickly went back to his (better class) friends. Somehow I survived the rest of the day, but as soon as I heard the bell ending classes I run back home crying my eyes out. When I got home mum asked me what happened. ‘Why? Nothing’ I replied.

‘Your teacher called. She wants to meet me. I’ll go tomorrow during your classes. Do you know why she called?’ mum said, I had no idea.

The next day I found out why she called overhearing their conversation. The teacher told my mum that I have no skills. Mum got worried that I can’t learn a single thing started studying hard with me, and quietly talked with my dad about setting up a business for me when I grow up so I could achieve something in my life, at least some decent earnings. Of course the teacher was bullshiting. She only said that because I lived in the ‘slums’, a year later when our teacher changed my mum went to talk to her about helping me out to learn the basics and some life skills. The teacher was completely surprised, asking my mum what she meant. She said that I had no problems and mum shouldn’t worry about me, whoever said I wasn’t smart was crazy. Did any of your teachers tried to tell you you’re nothing only because where you’re from?

I hated being shy my whole life. I wanted to be like you amazing girl – confident, beautiful, funny. But I only was scared. Scared of being laughed at, called stupid, meeting new people and what they could think of me, speaking up even when I knew I was right, only because someone else might think I’m wrong and argue with me. I was so shy and had a completely shattered self-esteem. When I found out we’re leaving the country, I took it as a chance for a new life. Back then I didn’t know it would change me into a person I am now, I only hoped to start over and be less shy!

Of course it wasn’t as easy. I got used to being shy so much it took me years to get out of my shell. Even now when I’m meeting new people sometimes my body reacts in a self-defensive manner, trying to shut them out before I get to know them. It gets better though. Today it all becomes easier, but such a social anxiety can bring you down so low that you’d think there’s no hope at all. I don’t give up, I learned that now. But… There’s still so many people with problems similar to mine… and you… confident, amazing beautiful girl instead of being a bitch and laughing at shy girls you could help them like themselves and teach them to love being different and confident. You’ll never know what these shy girls will do when they grow up, one day you might need them.

With love, not jealous at all

20DreamGirl

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