I started seeing a private social worker 2 weeks ago. I am enjoying the sessions as she values past experiences and how they play a role in our present. I have not experienced this before despite how obvious it feels to me.
We were talking last week about my first memories, my family, the church that I left and my friends growing up. She pointed out to me that majority of my younger years were spent trying to find out where I fit and going to desperate measures to ensure that I fit in or cope with not being able to do so. I knew all of this about myself but for whatever never noticed the pattern.
Family: My sisters stuck with activities (sports, gymnastics, dance) but I never stuck with anything. People were always asking me if I was the “lacrosse player” or “the dancer”. I could only reply, “No, I’m Kristen.” And to myself say, “I’m the daughter that does drugs, drinks, has sex and tries to die.” Who wants to brag about that daughter? I did feel there was favouritism, I was jealous. My response to this was to get angry and stay away from my family. As I grew older this all changed. I do not believe any of this was done on purpose by my family. I love my family and they love me. I am known as the activist in my family and I proudly wear that title!
Church: I didn’t behave like a regular Mormon girl. I didn’t look or talk like one either. I questioned everything, noticed that sexism and other issues in how we were being taught. I dressed to hide myself at church (wearing black, a big hoodie). My friend’s mom frequently shot me dirty looks when she saw him with me. I was also experiencing all of the depression and so angry that God would make me go through this. How my depression was manifesting was pushing me away from church as I saw it was not the right place for me. I also disagreed with the churches stance of same-sex marriage/relationships, abortion, sex before marriage etc. I coped with this by not going to church. Church is not for me. If there is one thing I did take away from the Mormon church it’s the importance of family. I can also spot a Mormon Missionary before I see their name tag 😛
Friends: This was the worst. When you are young, you are already trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in. Adding my issues on top of that made it very difficult. My friends frequently stopped hanging out with me or talking to me. If they didn’t cut me out then they were threatening too. “If you don’t stop cutting I can’t be your friends anymore.” It was so stressful. I coped by doing what I thought was cool or what was cool, always making sure I was one-upping everyone. It was very destructive. I think this may be why the majority of my closest friends also have mental health issues. I accept them and they accept me.
All of these categories have improved or been dealt with. I still find myself trying to find where I fit in. This is probably why I fear rejection, why I am hard on myself when I can do something for someone, why I act different ways in public, just why I am currently me. I feel like I don’t fit in, yet, I have many examples of finding these places and people for myself. I need to realize I can stop searching and that it is now time to enjoy myself.