somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

Dear Internet,

As I’m hot on the heels of the posts about lack of self-confidence and being mindful, it’s time for me to dissect another struggle of mine: self-esteem.

I tend to re-read previous days worth of entries in my paper journals to see where my train of thought has been and if I have missed any of the minutiae of my day to day life. (Remember I want to be the Samuel Pepys of my generation.) I typically don’t read my back entries on the blog too much with the exception when I link to them inside a new post and I scan the content to verify it matches my point.

I tend to forget what I’ve written on the blog (and sometimes in my paper journals) more often than not thus rereading the content always gives me a bit of a surprise. (I also sometimes forget my back is tattooed and it’s always a delightful revelation when I see the black work.)

The almost relentlessly ongoing theme with my paper journal these last few weeks is the story of moving forward, my sense of accomplishments, and letting myself heal. Because I am me, I wonder if these are actual steps to to convince myself that this is actually happening or if I am only fooling myself.

It is harder still when you believe you are stupid and those (it seems many) think you’re awfully, terribly smart and you honestly believe they are being duped. The irony of the believing you are stupid as historically there is no trauma or pattern of being called or treated as if you were / are stupid. You were in fact told about your amazing abilities of reading (age 3) and writing (same), you were singled out with a few others to participate in gifted children classes. They wanted you to skip a grade, send you to a gifted high school, and you refused both.

Finally the belief you’ve held on for so long is cemented when all the tests you were given as a child, and aced, did not lend themselves to various tests when you were older. You “flunk” your SATs. You “flunk” your GREs. You pick colleges and universities who don’t require those tests. You push to excel then because it was either get a degree or pack sausages for the rest of your life. It is not about testing your brain, rather, it’s about survival.

(You did not know then was the insistence of instructors to teach the same widely used learning style which does not fit you and you were untreated as someone with ADHD far into your 30s. (Typical symptoms of ADHD such as poor word retrieval (cannot remember a word when speaking or writing), difficulty in pronunciation and spelling of words, dropping words in verbal and written communication also firmly take hold in your belief of your stupidity.))

How much would have changed if you had believed in yourself, got medicated, and worked with a tutor to help you.)

If you believe in such things, your IQ is in the 130s.

The reason you hide for so very many years of why you want to be stupid is because being smart alienates you. You’re already a taller than average, bespeckled nerd with very few friends. Those who are beautiful and popular have everything. Those who are smart and nerdy do not.

Denying your gifts at least puts you somewhat with the people you perceive to be normal.

No one wants to be special because it does nothing.

Oh! Lack of self-esteem, how you torture me so.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2004, 2001