believing that you can believe in yourself

We are now a month in to a new year.  There are some who make resolutions…are you sticking with them? I don’t actually make resolutions, but I do set goals. Of course, a general goal is to become a better person.  Inside of that general goal are smaller ones…being a better wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend. I am constantly questioning and evaluating how good I am at any of the roles that I play. I never really feel that I am doing a good job at any of them. I’m not looking for sympathy…it’s just how I feel. Not sure where this comes from, but it’s just how I feel.

Anyway, yesterday I read this blog post and it hit home.

Over the years I was hurt by friends that I thought were my BFF’s. Eventually, I think I just decided that it was better to not get too close to my friends. Not to mention, before high school my parents almost got divorced/separated/whatever, but decided to stay together. Needless to say, there was a lot of turmoil at home, but nothing that I felt that I could share with a friend…at least nothing I thought they would be able to understand. So, I think I stayed distant for that reason.

I played sports, got good grades, went to parties, had boyfriends, and always had girl friends, but never a BFF.  Why?  I don’t know. (Maybe part of it was because I always had my sister as a BFF since we were just a year apart in school)

What I do know is that I wasn’t perfect.  I made mistakes, but I didn’t deserve what happened to me halfway through my senior year of high school. The blog I read yesterday put it perfectly.  In some ways I feel that I was “Heathered”, too.

I actually watched part of the movie Mean Girls 2 the other night on ABC Family and it made me sad. Girls are mean. And, it’s not true…they aren’t just being mean because they are jealous (what my parents used to tell me)…they are just MEAN!

It is almost 20 years later, and I still feel like a bad person. I made a mistake, but they made it worse. I cried everyday at school. I couldn’t eat in the cafeteria that I ate in for 3-1/2 years. I ate lunch alone. Stayed home from parties that I used to be able to go to. My sister was my lookout and only confidante. Eventually, I found new people to hang out with, but come on, this was my senior year in high school. It was miserable.

I hope I can teach my daughter to not be a mean girl and protect her from those who are. I need to feel good about myself so I can teach my daughter to be a strong girl and grow up to be a strong woman who believes in herself no matter what other people think about her or do to her. I need to find something within myself that makes me feel good about being a friend. I need to believe that I can believe in myself…as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and any other role I play in this life.

That’s all I have for today.

home is…believing that you can believe in yourself.

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16 thoughts on “believing that you can believe in yourself

  1. Jen says:

    I’m honoured to have inspired you. I know I have “bad self-esteem” and I guess you do too. We’ve both got to work on that. At the same time, no matter WHAT you did, there’s no excuse for the kinds of things that kids do to each other in high school. I hope your daughter doesn’t have similar trouble, but even more importantly, I hope she grows up to be the kind of girl who won’t put up with this sort of stuff happening to the kids around her. If she’s kind and brave, she’ll be okay.

  2. Melissa says:

    I love your post Steph–Girls can be mean–and it is important to remember that you are loved by many and have many friends–I am honored to be your friend, mama!! Your little girl will have the guidance of you to remind her that there are some nice girls out there too….this is my new Mantra and probably something I will post as my status soon–it fits for life in general–I think you will like it too–lets do coffee or HH soon girlfriend!:

    “There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So…Love the people who treat you right, and pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE. Getting back up is LIVING.”

  3. Bruce Zimmerman says:

    Thanks for sharing! I guess that we have all been “Heathered” in one way or other in life. But that’s the best part, we can get beat down and pushed around and we still get up! Even if all they remember is the fall, hey at least they remembered! I have a saying that I share with my kids that goes; “The only thing that you can control in life is the 7 inches between your ears”. Focus on the positive and believe in yourself, even when no one else does!

  4. kathy says:

    I am so sorry that you all had those experiences… those children were not friends, they were bullies… at least one of them a little psychopath who gathered a little gang of bullies to find and torture folks with good and trusting hearts under the guise of friendship. It doesn’t help much to know that bullies are dreadfully insecure… even more insecure than most teenagers… and powerless in their lives… so much so that they have a continual need to dominate and abuse others in order to gain a semblance of power. You escaped and survived but not without a great deal of pain that continues to this day… hopefully with friends and family who love you for yourselves, flaws and all. We do, you know….

  5. kathy says:

    I read in a magazine about the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi”, the beauty to be found in imperfection… the article quoted Leonard Cohen:
    “Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in”

  6. Fil says:

    It’s a cliche and true that kids can be cruel. Sometimes merely thoughtless cruelty, not malicious. Junior high and high school are littered with land mines for a MAJORITY of kids. It is indeed a very small number that “breeze though” on current of high success and uncritical popularity. Ask any high school teacher, ask my kids. Most high achieving adults, especially in the arts, are among the wounded veterans of public school. Ever noticed that in novels and films, it’s the flawed vulnerable characters that are the most interesting?

    • stephany @ home is what you make it says:

      I don’t think there is a stereotype for who gets bullied in school. I think people tend to focus on the vulnerable, flawed, nerdy, or introverted kids as the ones who are bullied, but I don’t think that is always the case. I was popular, played sports, got good grades, was liked by my peers and teachers and still got “bullied”. People tend to look past those of us who seem to “have it all” and think we had it easy. It is not always the case.

  7. Steph says:

    Steph –
    You are an amazing woman and those girls are crap…yes I said it CRAP. There is absolutely no reason to be mean and you are anything but mean. You will teach sweet little Loreli to be self-confident and nice…she will have a ton of good friends.

    I am so sorry that you had that experience and I pray that none of our girls go through that. It think that is going to be one of the hardest things to address as parents, but I think if we just keep supporting and loving our kiddos they will know what true support and love are so they will be able to translate that into their relationships.

    Again you are an amazing woman, mother and friend. I know we haven’t know each other that long, but I can definitely tell what a nice and wonderful person you are. And I am lucky to call you a friend! So thank you for sharing your story and making us realize how precious it is to teach our kiddos to be nice!

    • stephany @ home is what you make it says:

      Steph-
      Thank you so much for your comment. It truly means a lot. I do hope that I can teach my children from my mistakes and what I learned about being treated badly by others.
      I do think it is true that we should treat others the way we want to be treated…unfortunately, not everybody believes that.
      So much we have to teach our children…I hope I can do it right! With the support and encouragement of wonderful mommy friends I think we can!
      Thanks again FRIEND!

  8. Ryan Taddeo says:

    Thank you for your honesty! In some small way we can already see how utterly common an experience this is. In no way does that make it any less serious or painful but hopefully there is some comfort in knowing that you, or Jen, or Bruce, or myself etc have all been “Heathered” in some way. Some of us, I know I have, have also probably done some “Heathering” to others ourselves. Uggg, I know how shitty I feel for doing it. I am optimistic that with our combined experiences and awareness of the most extreme responses to bullying (school shootings, Facebook announced suicides before they occur etc) that we can influence our children to NOT act this way. Additionally, by blogging about these things I think you help take them out of the back rooms which are safe havens for bullies. Bullies are cowards without any real strength that’s why they cower under public eyes.

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