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The "perfect girl", Anonymous (16)

I have always been branded as "the perfect girl." The girl who is ambitious and bold, yet compassionate and supportive. The girl who aced her classes but was down to be reckless. The girl who travels to exotic places and wears expensive clothes. Her life is perfect. but truthfully, I am nowhere near being that "perfect girl." I have always hidden my burdens and put on a facade to keep people from asking too many questions about me. I honestly thought that not talking about my problems would make them go away. So I kept my mouth shut and always put a smile on my face. And that shattered me. in reality, I was fighting this battle with myself and struggled with my mental health. I continued to hide it because so many people had these absurd expectations for me and I didn't want to let them down. I don't exactly have a stable life at home. my relationship with my mom has continued to deteriorate over the years, because of the words she has used to call me or constantly victimizing herself in situations where she clearly caused the problem. Her torments tore me apart because I couldn't talk to anyone about my situation. She would tell me that I'm eating too much or I'm too fat or that my actions were ruining her life. The pain from these comments got so bad that I developed an eating disorder and couldn't get myself to tell anyone. because once again, I am the "perfect girl". I didn't have any problems and just moved on from things. So I hid once again and continued to bear the pain. I finally found one friend who didn't judge me for my problems and helped me out with my eating disorder. I'm slowly improving, but I still have many issues with my mental health. People tend to create expectations for others when they may not even be true. It happens so often, that we don't even see ourselves doing it. I wanted to share my story because we tend to forget how our expectations and judgments of another person can harm them. I know that I am not perfect, but the expectations of others make me pretend. And pretending ruins me, and everyone else who is going through this.

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DEAR TEENAGERS,
DEAR TEENAGERS,
Sep 12, 2020

Putting on such a brave face takes so much strength. You are dealing with so many difficult things all alone. However, you need to realize that it doesn't have to be this way. The people who are important in your life love you unconditionally and will support you no matter what. I know what it feels like to constantly maintain an image of yourself. But it's not fair to you, it's not worth the sacrifice to your mental health, and it's exhausting. Although it might feel like you will let people down by showing them your true self, I promise you that is not true. They love you for both your strengths and your weaknesses, and for all of your…

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