Silent Struggles

April 26, 2018
By , Pittsburgh, PA


I’ve always been an introvert at heart and in my mind. I was the girl sitting in the corner of the concrete drawing at random during recess. Other people and the thought of being anywhere near them was intimidating. Being social was avoided at all costs, and those rare occasions when I was in a circle I would be overpowered by extroverts. My voice, my words, my thoughts, it all felt so worthless and like I was wasting someone elses time. It was as if my mouth was wired shut in grade school other than talking to my teachers. I felt a sense of belonging and comfort around them and preferred them over people my age. But I never vented or expressed any real emotion, and a subtle from rested on my face. I didn’t mean to come off as upset and hateful all the time, i just inherited a resting frown on my face that appears mainly when I’m focused and fearful. I envied other peers popularity and charisma and I still don’t understand how it’s possible.

My number one priority was grades. I can remember sitting at my kitchen table crying when I couldn’t comprehend or understand concepts. The thought of getting anything lower than an A haunted me, and I never felt or feel a sense of satisfaction or pride. I only will at 100%. The look of anything below that was and is pure evil and mocks my sense of self worth. Getting ahead made me feel special. I would be sitting in the class doodling or messing with my phone while everyone else couldn’t understand how and struggled to one up me. I miss those stress free days, and there’s much to blame on their disappearance. My grades were my friends, and seeing them happy on my report card was what I always looked forward to. The familiar approval of my dad fueled to the obsession.

I’m shocked at the things I do now at the age of sixteen. I’ll actually ask for help at stores and in school, pay someone I compliment openly and not leave it sit in my head to fester, I actually know some human beings besides myself. But, I sometimes question whether it was worth it. Crying over another person, the feeling of loneliness when you leave them, the questioning of what a relationship status actually is, arguments over something that could’ve just never existed if I would've just...just stayed on mute and never came out of my own head and opened my mouth up.

Eighth grade year was the year the wires were cut, I remember the overwhelming sensation of speaking to people on the regular. I had acquaintances and actually created some solid relationships, but that was the year my grades cried out for help. My eyes were dry and unsympathetic, my dad questioned his beliefs, and I failed to see the numbers slowly counting down as they waited to explode onto my record and report card. It’s tenth grade year as I write this. Both 9th and tenth grade year the kitchen table scenarios returned, I’m obsessed with every grade I can possibly get, and I stress over school all day and night. I always wonder if I’ll mute my volume completely again, and delete the circle I’ve developed and whether the stress, the pain, the highs that come and go, and the uncertainty other humans give to me is really worth it.






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