I was ten years old; it was my first year at school in Sweden after moving here from England. We had a fixed seating arrangement in the classroom. In other words, we had to sit at the same place every lesson, and sit next to the same people. I was placed next to a girl, I remember her being very kind. She was from Chile. But this made me so uncomfortable, not that she was from Chile, but that she was a girl. And what made it more uncomfortable was that she was so friendly to me. I just wanted to escape. These are things I’ve dealt with in therapy this year, and I’ll get to that in a moment…
So she started writing notes to me. She wrote letters and gave them to me during class, underneath our desks. If I was uncomfortable already, guess how this made me feel… I was so uneasy about it and I couldn’t even read the letters. I felt so uncomfortable and I threw them away as soon as I got a chance.
After talking about this memory – along with a lot of memories and thoughts – with my therapist, I’ve been able to deal with it and pick it apart, and look at it from the outside. So much has to do with upbringing and what you learn in your early years. Habits, roll models, friends and different environments you find yourself in. I can’t say I’ve had the best roll models when it comes to relationships, no matter what kind. And on the other hand, I’m not unique here, either. But therapy has been absolutely priceless for me in dealing with all of this, in so many ways. Not only to figure out why we act the way we do, but to find answers and also find forgiveness, for myself and for people around me. I’ve been going to therapy for a year now.
My deskmate had no evil or selfish intentions, and she wasn’t trying to make me feel uncomfortable. I just didn’t understand the language because I didn’t know people could be so sweet to each other. Being from another country, as I was too, she probably felt a connection. And childish as I was, I thought closeness meant pain. That’s a story in itself that I might tough on “in a later episode”. It’s been fascinating going through these episodes in a professional environment. I’ve ticked off several of these “pain” boxes now, and in this rate I’m sure I can be president of The United States one day.
Song of the day: Dua Lipa – Be the One