I got such a sweet response when I did The Getting to Know You Better Tag, that I’ve decided to dedicate my own original post for y’all, my ever-so-lovely readers, to get to know me even more! I’m hoping to find the courage to get decently personal with this post – as I know in my heart that a bunch of people will identify with at least some of the facts of my life. In contrast, I don’t want to get TOO personal and give anybody the creeps! LOL!
Honestly, I struggle with being really real both offline and on; I think I’ve gone through life too long – 34 [officially 35 on November 25] holding things about myself deep inside for fear of being rejected by others – even people I don’t know. I think this fear stems from experiences of rejection as a young child and then, quite naturally, throughout the rest of my life.
However, I’m typing this post without fear of judgment, rejection, or offending anyone – I just want to put myself out there, to project the Maggie I am on the inside on the outside.
I have always been incredibly weird about people knowing my birthday – believe it or not, it was tough for me to actually type the date of my birth above. I’ve always been lucky in that I’ve always been either out of school or off work for my big day, as it’s super close to Thanksgiving – I was actually born on Thanksgiving Day. This year it falls on a Saturday, which is amazing! I’m an oddball about others knowing my b’day because I’m scared to death to get attention on that day – even from those close to me; therefore, I’ve never made a big deal about it.
On the other hand, I triple top secretly want to shout my birthday from the rooftops – to receive some recognition for being put on this earth. But, I get so uncomfortable when others decide to honor me or make a fuss over little ole me. Maybe I feel like I don’t deserve it; I really don’t know the reason. I know I’m loved when someone actually knows my birthday – it must mean I’m pretty damn close to that person.
My workplace puts out a calendar every month, which includes staff birthdays. I was simultaneously thrilled and disappointed when I noticed that my big day is missing from the November calendar. It doesn’t matter why it’s missing – as I stated previously, I want, but don’t want, to be showered with attention at the same time.
It’s Maggie, Bitch
Quite often, I encounter people who automatically assume I was named for someone named Margaret or that my full name is, in fact, Margaret. But this is so not the case. I was named for my great-grandmother, Magdalena. My parents toyed with naming me the full on Magdalena, but my mom had visions of me being tortured by having to spell my name constantly, so they shortened it to simply Maggie.
I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through eighth grade and I swear, every single beginning of a school year, the resident nun/principal would argue with me for seemingly ages about why I wasn’t named Margaret. I don’t know if she was truly a dumbass or if she just picked at me annually. I vividly remember basically screaming in her face that my name is NOT short for Margaret.
I also remember being in third or fourth grade when each student in my class was instructed to choose his or her patron saint. Naturally, I chose Mary Magdalene, because, hey, my namesake. Well, lo and behold, the nun argued that my patron saint should be Margaret. I can still feel my blood pressure boiling as it did during that nonsensical disagreement. Long story short, I didn’t budge on whom I had chosen as my patron saint – it’s a miracle I didn’t just tell the nun to shove it up her ass.
True Friends Are Scarce
I’ve always had a hard time making friends. A lot of the time, I’ve thought people who were real friends in fact were not, as I’d inevitably discover that I was dogged by said friends behind my back. Therefore, I’m pretty self-conscious and cautious when attempting to forge new friendships. I’m now rather suspicious of those whom seem to want to be my pals.
I seriously started dealing with friend drama bullshit beginning in at least second grade. I’ll never forget walking into class on that first day of school, noticing a new girl in our class, smiling at her, going up to my supposed best friend at the time, only to have her say “we’re going to hate her,” referring to the new girl. My so-called first ever fake friend also told me at one time that same school year to stop being friends with my OTHER best friend. When I refused to break off my other friendship, the bitch stopped talking to me for two weeks. Needless to say, she tortured me throughout grade school and to this day thinks we were close – she’s certifiable.
I always hated the term ‘best friend,’ it’s an empty phrase in my book. I’ve had many girlfriends proclaim me as their ‘best friend’ only to be either stabbed in the back by them or dumped for a new ‘best friend.’ For instance, in my 20s, when I had gotten engaged, I asked this girl, who, of course, called me her ‘best friend’ to my face, to be a bridesmaid in my wedding. She immediately got this disgusted look on her face and didn’t even answer my question. After that, I just left her alone. I did send her a wedding invitation, but she didn’t give me a congratulations, a fuck you, nothing. So much for ‘best friends’.
In high school, I was so not popular. Sometimes I feel inadequate because my mom was super popular in high school – she was a star basketball player, the life of the party, and was voted a superlative all four years of her high school career. I just never found my niche. I did my best to be kind to everyone, but to no avail. I remember being dogged by other girls – one in particular – because they thought I looked ‘like a model.’ I was never full of myself, never considered myself anything more than cute, but was still judged based on what I looked like.
I can’t say that all the girls in my class ignored me because of what I looked like, but I just can’t wrap my head around why I wasn’t accepted as a teenager. The boys in my class were really sweet, for the most part, but I was never able to break into a group of girls throughout high school. I recall going through high school pretty much as a ghost, an invisible chick haunting the hallways. I remember being straight up ignored when asking particular people questions or making comments right to their faces.
I cried a lot during high school. I was never asked out on dates or even to dances. I barely made it to prom – I had to ask a guy friend, who totally made me sick prom night and wished I had just gone alone. I never knew when parties were – I know not everyone was popular – but I couldn’t help but feel totally left out. I never participated in events at school and dreaded pep rallies. I guess that’s how I rebelled in my own way – by being completely bored of anything socially school-related.
My whole life, I’ve wondered why I’m the way I am. Of course, as a social worker, I know that a mixture of biological, psychological, and sociological factors are at play in determining who one is as well as the choices he or she makes. I’ve always known I had anxiety, especially as a child, and it spilled over into my teenage and adult years.
I can pinpoint a few distinct instances in which I’ve been severely depressed, especially when I hit college. Looking back, I sometimes wonder how in the hell I made it through graduate school – I cried practically every day and barely functioned, but somehow, I managed to graduate with good grades. Back then, I thought I would just be a pendulum swinging between utter self-doubt and total self-confidence forever; it was simply my lot in life.
When the psychiatrist I had been seeing since childhood retired, I went on a long search for a new one to fill his shoes. I finally landed in the office of my current psychiatrist, who ultimately diagnosed me as bipolar. At first, he was averse to telling me my official diagnosis, but I pushed the issue – I wanted to know not to be labeled and use my diagnosis as a crutch, but to have an explanation for why I am who I am. When he finally let me in on the truth, all the puzzle pieces seemed to fall into place; there is a name for what I’ve experienced throughout my life, a reason for why I can be so damn moody. All I can say is thank the Lord for psychotropic medication!
I’ve made the decision to make this post volume one of a series of truthful posts. Once this post got to be pretty long, I figured I’d have mercy on my readers and break my tales of inner truth into chapters.
By all means, if you have any questions you’d like me to answer in a follow-up volume, please ask! I welcome your questions and curiosity!