I can’t deny that I still live with the social trauma that I endured in my adolescence, even though the circumstances in my life have changed. I went to a elementary and high school where my peers treated me poorly and didn’t seem to like who I was at the time. My peers at my church were not significantly different. In my family, my perception was that who I was (and to an extent still am) wasn’t and isn’t really supported. In this type of environment I learned to keep who I was to myself. At times, though, I even kept who I was from myself.
More than 7 years after I graduated high school and more than 3 years after most of those church peers left my social environment at church, I still interact socially as if those circumstances are still there. I still feel that I have to hide who I am from people. I still hide things from my family. I try to keep the moments of my day where I take off layers of my mask away from those whom I think that can’t handle it or who I think that aren’t deserving of that privilege.
I still interact with people as if they have no choice but to interact with me, like my peers from my adolescence. I still perceive their dislike of me, even if this is just in my mind, and make decisions based on this assumption. I just can’t seem to believe that people actually say the truth when they say that they like me for who I am.
I have the feeling that this will not go away. I know that I have to learn to recognize this type of biased reaction, to assess rationally if the biased reaction has merit or not, and react accordingly. The problem is that I don’t know how to actually accomplish this when it is actually required for me to carry out this process. I guess that this is something that I will have to learn and master over time.