THE SCARS THAT FOLLOW US

Today I feel like a child with a drooping lower lip and quivering chin. I’m angry with myself for feeling hurt and humiliated by two friends who would never hurt me intentionally, but did anyway.

My mom worked her fingers to the bone to keep me in an excellent but expensive school. We lived in a poorer area of our town and endured the daily commute with gratitude, because that is what you do when you are privileged. I was very aware of how lucky I was to be given a strong educational foundation, and to this day I feel indebted to my mother for her sacrifices.

As with most things in life, my posh school was not all boxes full of giggles. I was teased relentlessly for living where we did and for the car my mom drove and all the other things rich kids tease poor kids about. It is not a new story…

But these things did not stay with me. At least so I thought. When I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a house a few years ago, I found a cute but old house in a lower middle class neighborhood, big enough so that my parents could move in with me. I was on cloud nine, baby. I drove my folks nuts! My room was on the opposite side of theirs and when I met them in the morning, I would explode: ‘Morning parentals, morning to my house. Please hand me that coffee mug that is standing on the kitchen counter in my house.’

After my parents’ deaths I started having more friends over. At first it was lovely. But then my friend, Lucy (I think I’ve written about her before but I cannot be expected to keep track of all the pseudonyms) started making comments in jest about the curtains in one room. Or the floors in the next. Or the wall paneling in another. She is as self-deprecating in her humor as she can be teasing and she is by no means a mean-spirited person. But over time the comments stuck and instead of dealing with it like an adult, I created a nice little room for it in my mind where it festered like it was on fertilizer, growing into a deeply unhealthy complex.

Today Lucy and another friend teased me about where I live. They meant nothing hurtful by it, they were merely exploiting a fact for its comedic value. But that little room where my complex sits with its hot chocolate in front of a comforting fire place exploded in an avalanche of fire and every little childish feeling of inadequacy flooded my mind.

Here’s the thing, I’m less concerned about their teasing than I am about my response to it. After all these years, should I not be ‘over it’. I like my old, weirdo house. I have good memories here with my folks in their last years. Why did I feel so hurt about their words?

Maybe it’s for the same reasons we never tell our parents about the weaknesses of our boyfriends or girlfriends. We want our long-term loves to like our new loves. We want our loved-ones to love what and who we love…

Or maybe it’s as simple as me not having enough self-love and confidence to accept that despite where I live, I am equal to those who live in Paradise. But then I have to admit that a large chunk of me has never moved on from being 13 years old.

Perhaps I’m just bloody ungrateful.

But I don’t want to admit any of that…

Clearly I also have not moved on from being a stubborn ass…

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