This is me.
I’m insecure. I really want to be liked. I take things personally.
And when I feel ignored, I sink deeper into PND.
It’s not your fault. It’s not my fault.
It’s that old cliche. My childhood.
I’ve blogged about my relationship with my dad, who left when I was a baby.
My mum, who raised me grudgingly, making it obvious she blamed me for being alone.
Feeling invisible was a big theme, growing up.
And being a good girl – to prove I was worthy of being noticed.
For more than 30 years, I was determined my start in life wasn’t going to get to me, or hold me back.
And by trying not to be a victim, I didn’t face up to my past or let the emotions out.
Then I had a baby.
And the repressed feelings are still pouring from me like a burst dam.
I cry at things which are genuinely sad.
But I also cry at silly things.
Take the other morning, on Twitter.
A blogger was saying how her posts have never made it onto a popular Top 10 list.
I agreed. In our 18 months doing Mummy Central, Elizabeth and I have never been selected for this particular honour. Or at least I can never remember being in one.
And the tears came.
Not because of this Top 10. But because of what it stands for.
Fitting in – and the fact I never feel like I do.
It began a Tweetfest about how cliquey women can be – in any situation.
And bizarrely, one of the bloggers who chipped in and told me not to be so silly (well that was her gist) has routinely ignored me on Twitter. And even failed to reply to my emails.
Yeah, thanks love, but you’re choosing to communicate with me now? Seriously?! Don’t bother.
I’m not often brave enough to speak out about these things, as people get defensive and can even turn nasty.
And I don’t want to come across as whining or “look at me, look at me”.
But my counselling for PND is teaching me this is part of my problem.
Wanting to be noticed, but never brave enough to speak up – in case it makes me unpopular.
To make sure I wasn’t being paranoid (as I know I can be) I jumped onto this particular website and read five weeks’ worth of Top 10s.
And found the same blogger mentioned three times.
So my point was valid.
Another good indication was that there were plenty of other bloggers in Twitterland who said they felt shut out.
So I’m not alone.
As usual, the Twitter conversation came down to someone saying I should blog for myself – and not care what others think. I’ve heard bloggers say this before.
But let’s be real people.
If we’re writing for ourselves, for the sole pleasure of putting our words down, why aren’t we just filling a diary – in a book or on a private computer?
Why are we blogging, in a forum where there’s a chance other people will read?
Why are we Tweeting posts? Facebooking them?
Is anyone going to actually admit we’re writing because we want to reach others?
We want to be part of a community. To have someone tell us they’ve enjoyed our writing. Share our journeys.
So I’m going to say it.
I’m learning that speaking up for what I want doesn’t have to sound needy.
I deserve to be noticed.
I’m friendly. I write good stuff. I’m worth the attention.
Comments on posts lift my spirits.
If what I’m saying pi**es you off or means you don’t like me, I will have to be strong enough to take that.
If you choose not to read, if you sneer at me over this, so be it.
I don’t expect this to alter things. I don’t expect to miraculously become one of the popular ones.
But I’m finding the courage to say what I think. I can’t change others, but I can change myself.
I’m going to read, and be warm and supportive to those who extend me their friendship.
(And I’m thankful to those who already have – you know who you are).
For those who don’t…..
Well, I won’t say I don’t care because I do. That’s just the way I am.
But I’m going to block/unfollow/waste as little time on them as I possibly can.
This is me.
A little fear.
But no more hiding.