Creep by Radiohead is a song that sits close with me – on so many levels. Clearly, I think it is a good song to listen to full stop, plus the background story to it is intriguing to say the least – but it is the lyrics that resonate with me. They have also been with me at various points of my life and it is a song that figures on a number of my playlists.
It first came out around 1993 when I was in my teens. I was a very awkward teenager (like a lot are), I didn’t have many friends, I wasn’t smart so struggled at school, I had zero confidence in any environment (other than sport) and I had horrendous acne so for me, school wasn’t a particularly fun experience. It wasn’t horrendous, I was mouthy enough to be a class clown and be avoided by the bullies but I didn’t enjoy it – I did what I thought I had to do to get by.
One factor of my psyche that did develop at school was an over bearing feeling of not belonging – not fitting in. I couldn’t find a group to fit in with. And that is something that I have felt throughout my life. I have touched on it previously in other posts – it is a stand out for me – I do not feel like I belong anywhere. I am the odd one out. I am weird. I am different. Except. Around few people that really get me. And that is what this post is about.
Feeling like a weirdo is not fun. Thinking bad things about yourself is counter productive. You say them often enough that you believe them. You think that’s it. That’s me. That’s my life now. School is a hard place. It is where you start to get pigeon holed – it is where beliefs form. From teachers telling you that “you will never be able to speak French” through to kids telling you that “you’re the spottiest ugliest kid they’ve ever seen and you’ll be a virgin for life” to parents telling you “you’re a failure – you fucked up these exams and you’ll never amount to anything” it is a pretty rough time. All before the age of 18. When I am not developed mentally – no where near it in fact. How about give me a fucking break. And to address those 3 points in particular I do speak French (fluently), I am definitely not a virgin (no shame if I was either) and you know what parents – don’t judge me – judge yourselves. I will tell you if I amount to anything when I feel like I have. Doesn’t mean I haven’t already – I just don’t know where my journey will lead me.
Those early years are so brutal. Daunting. Judgemental. Derailing. They, unless you are strong, start you on a belief journey that is hard to break away from. Let’s look at some of the lyrics – and I will give examples of how my belief system developed accordingly:
I wish I was special (an every day thought at school and at times when I am out of control of my brain)
You’re so fuckin’ special (what I thought about anyone else at school and most people when I am out of control of my brain)
But I’m a creep (Maybe not a creep but definitely different – and alone a lot of the time)
I’m a weirdo (Major belief for me. I believe this to this day. Because I am different. I am always swimming against the tide. But on a good day – I am proud of that. On a bad day – it is lonely)
What the hell am I doin’ here? (Felt this everyday at school and I feel it very often even now)
I don’t belong here (School, Work, Friendship groups – this is another belief that I fight)
I wanna have control (I want to manage my beliefs and brain better)
I want a perfect body (I hate how I look. I avoid mirrors. I have since I was 15. I have never been attractive. I am ugly. I am fat. I have no redeeming physical features. I don’t see myself ever beating this one)
I want a perfect soul (I am craving to be a good person. I want to do good. I want to help people and make the world a better place. But I am not capable. I do not have the skills)
I want you to notice, When I’m not around (I want to be missed – I want people to want me around. The right people anyway)
The above is a representation of beliefs that I have allowed to develop. Partly through negative experiences (well mainly) but also by putting myself in situations and with people that facilitated that. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of – for my nature and feelings to be used. I still do occasionally but I am getting better at recognising the warning signs. Ironically – what has helped me, is people. The right people. It is about recognising other souls that work with yours. That reflect you. I am so lucky to have found some that do. They have come to me at various points in life – sometimes unusual points – but they all came along at the right time. These are people I know care. I know they like me. I know they like me to be around. Some of them might even miss me when I am not around. These people are special. I cherish them dearly – and I will do forever. They are people with different backgrounds living in different places around the world. They know who they are. Well – I think they do. I will make them aware if not. They make me feel special.
And that is the key. Those beliefs I have might still be there – some of them certainly are – but they do not dominate my life – they do not shape me. It is about understanding them. Beliefs are limiting. One of the best books I read over the last couple of years was “The 4 agreements” which talks about gaining freedom from self limiting beliefs. That was a recommendation from the closest of people to me – and it was an inspirational read. Managing, changing and conquering some of those beliefs is key. It is all surmountable – and progress is most certainly being made. It is just a long journey – and is it any wonder when the first decade or so of your life is spent being shaped at a time when you are at your most vulnerable.
I am proud that I identified my challenges. I am proud of the work I am putting in. I am proud of who I think I am. I am proud to call the people mentioned as close friends. I hope that they are proud to call me a friend. I will continue to be me. I will continue to be different to a lot of people. But I won’t see it as a problem anymore – that can sit with the people that think I am weird.
One day, I want my kids to read these. And I want them to be proud. I want them to understand that the feelings they will have are okay. I want them to understand there is no need to shape themselves until they are ready. That whatever they are is amazing to me. That I will love them. Cherish them. Support them. No matter what. I want my kids to know I love them. I want them to see school as the start of a journey through life – not THE journey that shapes their lives. I want them to be them – and for them to discover themselves their own way.
Enjoy your days. Thanks for reading.