“Ugly, Fat, Cootie Girl, Milk Carton, and Stupid” are just some of the names that I was being called since Kindergarten.
These names hurt and made me feel like I was nothing but an ugly spot on a perfect wall.
I would walk around school with my head down, always looking at the ground because it didn’t make fun of me. It was always there. I never smiled because I knew that if I smiled I would just get made fun of more. I wanted to be invisible. If the kids at school saw me cry, I felt like an even bigger loser. I felt worthless.
There were a few kids who tried to be my friend… but they were made fun of and called ‘cootie mother,’ ‘friend of stupid,’ or they were completely ignored by other kids. (Needless to say, I never had a friend for long… and eventually, I didn’t have any friends.) I would eat lunch alone, play by myself, and would always feel alone… because I was. I never understood why the kids in my class didn’t like me. I would constantly ask myself, “Why do they hate me? Am I really ugly? Why can’t I make just one friend?”
I grew up in a home with my 2 sisters and both parents. We would walk home every day from school because my parents had to work. I never felt like I had someone to talk to. My mom never understood why I was so depressed at home.
I struggled with the feeling that I didn’t belong in school or in my own family. I felt as if my sisters hated me and that my parents wouldn’t understand how I was feeling. I wanted to disappear when my sister would make fun of me. I knew that if I were to disappear, no one would even notice or care that I was gone. Dinner time seemed to be the worst time because I would want to share what was going on at school, but I was constantly made fun of by my sisters and neither my dad or mom would ever stand up for me. I wanted them to tell them to stop, but instead, they allowed it to keep going on and on. I decided that even with my own family it was not a safe place to share my feelings. I felt rejected in my own home – another confirmation of the fact that I was invisible.
As I grew older, it was hard to believe that people were going to stay friends with me. I always felt that if I did anything wrong that they wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. I began to think that I would never keep friends if I was myself. So when I finally made a friend I would do whatever she wanted me to do. (Even though my mind was telling me this is wrong.) This led to getting drunk, sneaking out to hang out with guys that I had never met, and being put in a situation where I was almost raped.
It wasn’t until one of my best friends now, Jess (yes, we share the same name!) invited me to her Lovely group.
She would share her story and I would hear the other girls talk about what they were dealing with. Until that point I felt that I couldn’t talk to anyone, but these girls were different. I decided to become visible. I began to share about the things that had hurt me, and the feelings I had. These girls cared about me and would listen. Every time I went to Jess’s Lovely Group I felt that I could talk about what I was feeling and how I viewed myself. How I thought I was ugly, dumb, and stupid.
Then, just like that, one day I felt like I wasn’t ugly, dumb or stupid.
For the first time in my life I was being just, me. And I was loved for it. I finally understood that I was beautiful, and that my life had meaning.
I am discovering new and exciting talents, and others are discovering them too. I have always dreamed of designing costumes for the theater, and just last month, I was one of the main costume designers for the huge stage production of Maggie! I never would have believed in myself enough to attempt something so great before now. I am so glad I decided being invisible was not where I was meant to be. I discovered my Value.
I used to be an ugly spot on a perfect wall,
Now I am Lovely.