Today is just one of those days where my inner voice is telling me “You are useless. You are not good enough. Nothing you do will ever be sufficient or beneficial to others. You are a good for nothing, worthless piece of trash!!!” Flashbacks of the times where people have indicated to me that I am not ‘good enough’ seems to be flooding my mind.
As a child, you are naturally carefree and full of life. You see the world as it is and do not stop to analyze it. You just live in the moment. However, as this little sapling begins to grow older, he or she will begin to view everything in a slightly different light. That spark that we once had as a child begins to diminish bit by bit as time goes on.
The first signs of that spark diminishing within me was when I started kindergarten. I slowly started noticing the little things I couldn’t do – which other kids could. Like walk, run and play sports. Watching them do this took me to my wildest imaginations. I would often lie down flat on my mattress at home, while placing my legs on the floor. I would then start moving my legs, imagining myself walking or running or playing games with my so called ‘imaginary friends’. I would even wear my slippers/sandals so it would give that sound effect while I ‘walk’. 🤣
Then, primary school began and there came other sets of challenges as well. Although I was doing relatively well in school overall, I hated the fact that I was being used as an example to everyone else. They would start playing the “she can do it, why can’t you?” card and boy did I hate that!! Teachers would do it. My friends’ parents would do it. I mean, I understand where they are coming from but at the same time, what they did not realize is that by doing so, they were only creating more barriers between my peers and I. The fact that I was ‘different’ became the highlight time and again. This caused more jealously, hate and envy among my peers and the wall between them and myself was gradually built.
That aside, being told you can’t do certain things that you really want to do was also extremely frustrating for me. I am not talking about the things that I truly cannot do. Things like running, playing sports and stuff, well yes, that’s understandable and I eventually accepted it. But what I am talking about is things that I actually CAN do but was told I wasn’t ‘GOOD ENOUGH’. For instance, singing. I had this inner urge to sing since young and I did sing for certain occasions in school but when I wanted to join the choir, I did not ‘qualify’ – or so I was told. Not only was I heartbroken for not making it through, this also left me truly perplexed and dumbfounded. Because when I did sing at certain occasions in school and so on, I was told I can sing “very well”. But then I asked myself, if this really is the case, why didn’t I get through? Was I really not ‘good enough’ for the choir group? Or was my ‘appearance’ not good enough? Questions like these started to fill my mind as my eyes welled up in tears that day. This also reminded me of the time when my mother brought me to a music academy to let me take up some vocal classes only to have them reject me because of my disability (a word which I personally HATE but let us leave that for another time). Thus, when the choir members did tell me to try again next year, I honestly did not see the point. It’s not that I gave up. I just began to see things in a different light. More sooner than any other kids at that age ever did. However, I still continued to sing for school occasions when they asked me to.
This discrimination continued on at several occasions – like not being able to perform on stage with others (because it wouldn’t look pleasant to the eyes) or not being able to join certain tuition classes because some of the teachers did not want to be held responsible if something were to happen to me (nothing would have happened really, they were just being dramatic 🙄). These little discriminations, though seemingly subtle, has left a deep wound within me and affects how I perceive myself even till today. Although I have wonderful friends and family who treat me just like everyone else, my mind still takes me to places it shouldn’t go. I even tend to focus on the slightest of things, like being treated differently or being left out – both of which are usually almost always unintentional of course. But also almost always misunderstood when voiced out.
These life lessons however, have taught me two major things.
1. You do not have to seek validation from others to tell yourself you’re good enough.
2. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has their own flaws and weaknesses and everybody is constantly striving to be the best version of themselves.
Hence, forgiveness is a virtue I hold on to. My mind may be upset for a brief moment but eventually, I try to bring myself into a calm state and then put myself in the other person’s shoes. Rationalising everything is one way to bring yourself back into a calmer state of mind. Understand their point of view although you may disagree with it. Forgive and move on. Although it is very hard to forget, I think forgiving those who have wronged you helps one move on in life. This is what I’ve learnt and have been trying very very hard to apply every single day. And I’m sure you can too 😉
Love and hugs,