I have felt like a freak for probably as long as I can remember. Freak to me meant that I was so different, so "wrong" that I would NEVER belong, I would NEVER fit in. I would always be alone, rejected, misunderstood and beyond that I was so strange I didn't even deserve to be understood. I was a freak in kindergarten because I went to Falk School, and the kids on my soccer team teased that I went to "the Incredible Hulk School". I wasn't very good an soccer and preferred to pick flowers while playing defense. I was a freak in first grade because I went to three different schools in three different states and I was so shy that I didn't really make friends at any. I think second grade was the first time I was actually called a freak- there were a bunch of older girls who liked to tease me and make fun of my clothes at recess. My "hand me down" clothes were apparently an easy target. My mom told me to tell them "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me." Except they did. A lot.
I was called a freak by others because of things I did or said or looked like. The worst part, though, was that there was so much I had hidden, so much of the REAL me, so much of my own truth that would have just made me stick out even more, so much that IF ANYONE KNEW. . . I would just have been rejected forever, eternally unlovable. Sometimes I was aware of things others weren't, sometimes I knew what was going to happen before it did, sometimes I knew things I just shouldn't know, knew things about other people that I shouldn't know, communicate with people and animals I shouldn't be able to communicate with. I remember sitting on my bed in middle school, doing a devotion in my Bible, and saying to myself "Well, maybe some people can see the future, but it certainly didn't come from GOD." In effect, demonizing myself. I loved the character Topenga on the show "Boy Meets World" and so wanted to have the courage to be like her, because she was true to herself. She was hippie, and "out there" and weird, but was still sure of who she was. I just pushed "who I was" farther and farther away because of how "wrong" it was, how wrong *I* was.
And, seeing my response to my friend's question, this was a feeling that I carried into adulthood. Even with the healing I had been doing for the five years prior, that had brought me out of the depression I had been in since before I was put on medication in fifth grade, the healing that had allowed me to release my anxiety, the healing that had helped me accept parts of myself that I had hidden away. . . even through that, I still had the very painful wound of FREAK.
(Warning- if you are easily offended, you might want to skip the video below. Maybe find the radio edit song without any images. But definitely listen to the song. :) )
A wonderful friend posted about flying her rainbow sparkly freak flag high, and as soon as I read her words I knew I had to paint one for her. Looking at it has given me courage to be true to me, to speak my truth, to stop even trying to "fit in". Because having the freedom to not fit in can be freaking awesome! :D