CALLING ALL ATTENTION SEEKERS
I was raised by a man who wasn’t my biological father. Also in our house was his biological daughter. This man and his daughter had a bond. It was beautiful and genuine. I was always jealous of the ease at which they got along.
This man’s name was Kyle. I called him dad, because he was my dad. He was my protector. He was my source of love. He was a single father raising two daughters the best he could.
Unfortunately, despite his best intentions, while growing up, I couldn’t help but feel that I wasn’t enough.
I found out I wasn’t biologically his when my first step-dad broke the news to me at the tender age of 11. This was very confusing. It was not okay for him to tell me. It was not his news to share. It was made more confusing when my dad denied it, but my mom agreed with it.
My dad went to his grave denying that I was anyone else but his (which I loved).
None of this is a dig at my dad, my mom, or the wonderful man who I did learn was my biological father. This is simply a part of me and who I am as a person. But these experiences did shape me as a child.
While I was confused when I was told (due to the parents disagreeing with each other), the news actually made EVERYTHING make sense. It didn’t make me love my dad any less. It just made me understand him more.
It didn’t take away the sting of feeling like I didn’t belong, but it definitely made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. But unfortunately, not belonging didn’t end at my front door. It followed me to school.
I don’t know if I was weird or if that was just the way kids treated me. I mean, what is weird anyway? My sister never struggled to make friends, where there were many days I felt invisible. This is nothing I hold against her now, but it was hard to not do back then.
I was picked on, teased, and beat up from the time I was elementary school until high school. The physical bulling stopped as I got older, although I almost preferred it to the verbal attacks.
I did have friends in Jr. high. But as Jr. high is, it was messy and full of drama. I don’t know if I even liked half the people I hung around with. I just liked that people were talking to me. But that just made the times when they wouldn’t talk to me all the more unbearable.
Bullying is obviously real. So many kids experience it in one form or another. I could and probably will write a whole other blog post on that at some point. But for now, the specifics to which it happened to me aren’t apart of this.
The theme of not being enough always lingered with me. It was something I feared in every relationship I’ve ever had.
When I say relationship, I don’t mean dating because there has really only been my husband. But when I say that, I mean every person who has been a part of my life. Including work related people.
I get that we are all more insecure than we let on, and that these feelings of not being enough more than likely were a part of my empath traits soaking in their feelings (more on that another time). But whether it was true that I was never enough for people, or if it was just a second hand feeling I believed was mine, regardless the nights I’ve spent crying over it are very real and very visceral to me.
Clearly So much so, that a random quote could cause me to cry in bed when thinking yet again of not being enough for someone.
People may see me as seeking attention. But I’m really just seeking acceptance. And really, when we break it down, isn’t that what we are all looking for?