“I am not my baggage”

Statement coming soon

“Don’t tell anyone.”

I’ve been told not to tell anyone about certain aspects of myself and my life since I was a child.

“Don’t tell anyone about what goes on at home.”
“Don’t tell anyone about our money.”
“Don’t tell anyone about how you’re feeling.”

It was offered in an attempt to shield me from the cruel labels of the world. I heeded that advice. However, it made me severely self-conscious of those problems, to the point that I defined myself by them. Eventually after listening to “Don’t tell anyone about ___” so many times, I decided to just cover all of the bases and make it “Don’t tell anyone about YOU.” To reveal these troubles would be to admit not only difference from other people, but weakness. I alienated myself from others so that they wouldn’t get to know me, find out my flaws, and think lesser of me, maybe even leave me. In essence, I condemned myself more than society probably ever would have.

By not telling anyone about me, I, to an extent, maintained the image that I strived for – people call me “strong,” “put together,” and “independent.” But at the same time, I created an image that I am not proud of, that is the exact opposite of what I hoped for – people also call me “antisocial,” “cold,” and “bitch.”

Today, I look back on my high school and college careers and I realize all of the lost connections. To all of those people that wanted or tried to be close with me and I put up a wall between us, I want to apologize. You offered yourselves and I, in a selfish act of pride, didn’t return the courtesy.

As of today, I’m taking down that wall. It’s become too lonely behind it. I want to know you, and maybe you want to know me. To start off, I’m putting all that I was told to be afraid of people knowing on the table:

I am a victim of mental abuse.
I am far from financially stable.
I suffer from depression.

I will no longer condemn myself for these things. I hope you won’t either. And if you do, I now realize that’s your problem, not mine, because all of me is worth knowing.