You weren’t to know

_mg_7776A post for anyone who ever felt different or struggled to accept themselves. I had this in mind as a performance piece.

YOU WEREN’T TO KNOW

You weren’t to know that there was no shame in having ginger hair or glasses or dyslexia or parents too poor to buy you trendy shoes. How could you have known, when the playground bullies singled out kids like you and called you names?

You weren’t to know that it was cool that you were interested in engines and robots and beetles and the stars. How could you have known that your scientific curiosity would help shape the future, when even your teachers regarded you as an anti-social nerd?

You weren’t to know that you hated sitting exams in stuffy classrooms because your passion was for rock music or performance art, and that it would be your unique gift to the world. How could you have known, when everyone judged you on the grades you achieved?

You weren’t to know that you could be bad at sports and love poetry and roses and cry when you were sad and still be a strong and courageous man. How could you have known, when the other boys hit you and called you a wimp?

You weren’t to know that you were worthy of respect regardless of your weight or the width of your hips or the thickness of your thighs. How could you have known, when the fashion magazines and the girls in the changing rooms told you otherwise?

You weren’t to know that hating yourself so much that you couldn’t say your own name out loud was a sign that your mental health was suffering. How could you have known, when no one told you your mind could get sick as well as your body?

You weren’t to know that the reason you did drugs or drank so much when you got to college was mainly to hide your insecurity and numb your pain. How could you have known, when it was considered a normal part of the student experience?

You weren’t to know that one day you’d stop struggling to be someone else and ask for help instead. How could you have known, when our culture still treats therapy as something shameful?

You weren’t to know that with support, you could learn to accept yourself for who you are. You weren’t to know, but now you do, perhaps you could let someone else know too.

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