I am unpacking episode 5 and 6 of My Mad Fat Diary.
I recently wrote an essay for a teen website about my experiences as a young dancer. Writing it was both cathartic and disturbing. I didn’t realize, more than 10 years later, how many things I had pushed down as if they never really happened and never really mattered.
I’ve learned that life is a lot like high school if only because for most of us, we never escape the same patterns born during those years. We learn that those same traumatic situations are only dressed differently years later. The difference with time is learning how to see those things and make different choices.
I made a quick post on Facebook about something one of my fellow dancers said back then. I soon got a flurry of messages from girls I knew and admired back then who were afraid it was them. We began discussing our current lives and our pasts. I apologized for being a raging bitch. I knew I was then, but felt justified. The only way I knew how to express my emotions back then was through cruelty. I felt I belonged nowhere and trusted no one, so I pushed people away in whatever manner possible.
The funny thing is that they also shared bits and pieces of what they were going through too. Looking back now, it made sense, but at the time, I could not see outside of myself. How could I? When you only know a brief part of the world, it is difficult to see anything else.
To me, that is what series 2 of My Mad Fat Diary is truly about. It is not about Finn or about body image or about friendship, not really. No, it is about how we see and why we see and what we see. It is about stories – the ones we tell ourselves and the ones the world tells us – and what we make of them. It is about our realities, how nothing is really as true as we think it is. You can never know anyone as much as you know yourself. But many times knowing ourselves and knowing our singular worlds can cause more damage in the end than what anyone else might say to us.