‘You need to change yourself!’
This is one of the things said to me, but the theme remains the same.
I have been criticised for being shy, quiet, not pretty enough, and then for being mentally ill.
On each occasion, I would feel ashamed, and wish to change myself.
The problem is, I threw the baby out with the bath water.
Some of my characteristics had value, even being shy and quiet.
This helped me to understand other shy people, and also to observe the world from my position on the margins.
Even my mental illness had value, as this taught me to recognise vulnerability in other people.
When I tried to change, I threw the baby out with the bath water. I also acted in ways that were not consistent with my character, and only embarrassed myself by trying to fit in.
I am beginning to understand that I do have worth, and something to offer, even with my limitations and experience of depression.