Be Kind to the Person in the Mirror

If you met yourself as a child, what would you say?

A. Aud
5 min readOct 30, 2020
Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 from Pexels

As a toddler, I was extremely friendly and exuberant. I was goofy and entertained anyone that crossed my path, willingly or not. But growing up, I started becoming shy and reserved. Nothing wrong with it — as I later found out, I was a budding introvert.

Other children, however, never seemed too into it. I would be mocked for preferring to spend my breaks alone with a book and for being too quiet. I was smart enough to just coast through school, and that made it worse for me.

In my school, it was never the “dumb” kids — and I put that in quotes because I don’t really believe there is such a thing, but you know what I mean — that got laughed at and bullied. No, where I was, it was the bright kids that experienced the most harassment, and it just so happened that I was one of them.

I was bullied relentlessly for years since starting primary school. Puberty hitting me in an unfortunate way — I only started recovering after hitting age 20 — did not help.

Is it surprising, then, when I say that I have self-deprecated for as long as I remember? And not in a humorous way — that’s what I do nowadays — but in the sad, heartbreaking way, the way you would never want to hear your children talk about…