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What if... ?

Suddenly an old grief took over me. A grief I have not been aware that I have carried, but which came to the surface, despite the reluctance I felt and the shame that I "should not" feel this way...

What triggered it, were some posts I previously saw on Facebook.

So this year, we who were born in 1991, turn 30, so it's extra big for us!

I've seen quite a few posts this year already. But today it hit me a little more, since my birthday is coming up soon.

I felt sad that I would not receive such greetings from those people on my 30th birthday, because we never got to know each other that way.

It made me think of the time that has passed. Who I have spent my time on etc.

I never got to know these people, but I really wanted to.

Many of them I went to class with.

Several of them, met me with a nice energy and a warmth I remember. I always appreciated the approach despite the fact that I was not always so good to repay it.

But when I was a kid and in my early teens, I was not very receptive to most people.

If only people knew…

I was often "the new one". I never went to the same class for more than 3 years at a time. (Except for my first years at school in Gjøvik...)

Many people tried to include me, I remember, but I was simply a little overwhelmed by that kind of attention.

I came from a part of the country further south in Norway where that type of culture was not exactly common there, when I moved to northern Norway, only 10 years old (due to a crazy divorce between my mother and father).

I was very skeptical of other people I remember. I could not quite see the difference in good intentions from people unfortunately.

People misunderstood me, based on how I responded.

Despite everything I carried, I felt safe at Bardufoss. I already had aunts, uncles and cousins there which I know well from before and my cousins were my age.

Still, I did not have the right tools when other people tried to be nice. I only let in a few (and fortunately, they are still some of my best friends).

I did not have a healthy and good self-esteem or self-confidence at that time, as many had at my age. Children who have it generally do better at school, are often more popular and good at a sport. I remember I was jealous of others in my class if they had it.

Had I had the self-esteem in place, then probably things would have been different and I would have met others my age in a different way as well.

Over the years, I have gained the tools I then missed. I take it as a big compliment when other people hear my story and then they say ssomething like:

“You shy? You are one of the most open people I have ever met!”

It feels like a victory to me.

My story does not define me, but still it has shaped me into who I am today.

I have come so far since the time I was an insecure child and teenager and I am incredibly proud of the person I have become.

But sometimes, yes like today, I wonder: "What if…?"

What if, for example, my mother did not get a new job in Tromsø and we stayed? Maybe I would get a better contact with those who only became acquainted. It's just speculations.

Nevertheless. Being shaken away from something that had begun to become safe and be put back in yet another whole new environment, became overwhelming for me I remember.

I had to get to know a lot of new people again, and then in a city where people are more skeptical of new people (especially people from the south of Norway). Then I also had to deal with the fact that my body was developing.

Hormones, pimples started to show and I also had to deal with others in my new class that struggled with hormones as well etc.

I also experienced being bullied at school, harassed, kicked in the hallway, thrown stones at after the school day was over. I was sometimes robbed from fellow students if I had some money on me. I was a witness to fights, teacher who was beaten down by student.

Students who set fire on the toilets and bookshelves, so that we had to carry our heavy books every day back and forth (which in turn resulted in me at a young age, struggling with back pain and tension headaches.)

... perhaps many of these events would have happened to me at Baruofss as well? Again just speculation.

So how would I manage to develop any kind of a healthy and good self-esteem with all this hanging over me at that time, when I also struggled with the chaos of my parents in my personal life?

Grief is really more complex, I understand that, but the key is to let it come up. Let it be seen and suddenly before you know it, it feels easier.

What you feel is what you heal!

It turned out the way it did and I would never have developed so much empathy and sympathy for others who are struggling, if it were not for everything I have been through.

"Nothing is so bad that it's not good for something!", as my mother use to say.

- Maybe you have also felt and experienced something similar? Please share.

- Kristina

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