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Wrecking Ball

When I was a little girl, I was faced adversity that was easily judged and looked down on.

It took many things from me and my childhood. It left me with an overwhelming feeling of "I have to be the best." If I could just be accepted, loved, adored, chosen... I would be rid of the pain.

And that's where it started. I would lie to people about my life, hoping the less beautiful things would be less visible due to the grandiose ideas I shared.

I did things I didn't actually enjoy but everyone else did. I tried to look like someone I wasn't. I created this whole persona that just wasn't me.

It started when I changed my name in elementary school.

My mom told me the story a year ago, and it shook me. I want to be called Anna (my first name), not MacKenzie anymore, the girl whose dad was in prison. I wanted a new identity.

I stuck with that name until my third trip to treatment for drug addiction, just last year.

I remember sitting in a chair in group, bursting into tears when I was asked when my walls went up. When had I started wearing these masks?

I had built walls so thick and high that I couldn't even see past them anymore. I had to protect myself from everything and everyone.

My persona after years of pain and bullying became “Anna - the tough bitch… intimidating, angry, and hard.”

Sadly, I found pride in being this person that no one was allowed to know. Don't get me wrong, I was still loving, funny, and loyal, but I was miserable inside.

I didn't know who I was at my core. I was searching endlessly to find her. To be her.

Through treatment, learned that she had been there all along, trapped in this overwhelming maze I built around her.

After I came to this realization, my eyes were opened. I had been silently killing myself, carrying the heavyweight of every feather-light mistake or failure. Building unnecessary walls that hurt no one but me. Convincing myself that I would never be good enough.

Tallying all of the things I had done wrong. Everyone who didn't like me. There were so many little things that I made large in my mind.