Who I really Am

There’s a lot that people don’t know about me. Things that I keep tucked away inside of me. Things that I feel would change a persons view on me.

When I was young, I didn’t have the best childhood. I saw things happen between my parents that I shouldn’t. My father was an abusive alcoholic and my mother harmed herself to deal with it. I remember being an eight year old girl standing between her parents so her dad wouldn’t hit her mom. I remember running after my mom when she fled to the upstairs bathroom and cut herself. I remember asking my mom to let me in so she wouldn’t go to far and to clean up the blood. I remember feeling like the world was crashing down around me and I wasn’t strong enough to get back up. My dad was in a out of jail for most of my childhood so my mother had to work a lot to pay for everything. A lot of the time, it was my brother, my sister and I who were the only ones home. We had to grow up faster than most kids. I had to go to school everyday and pretend that nothing bad was going on at home. I had to hide that part of my life away. However, school was no sanctuary for me.

I had matured at the age of nine. That meant that my body matured faster than most girls did. What my mother told me was natural was seen differently at school. I was bullied for how I looked. I still remember some of the insults I was told back then, today. I had went from being flat chested to having two small balls and my butt got bigger. I had a young adults body. I was constantly insulted for my weight. Even though it was natural, I was ridiculed for it. Although, 5th grade middle schoolers weren’t the only ones who picked on my weight. My dad never failed to remind my sister and I that we were “too big” for our height. We were both at a healthy weight according to our doctors but that didn’t matter to my dad, he thought we could be smaller. These two factors are what caused my body dysmorphia. I hate looking at my body in mirrors because I feel disgusted with what I see. All I see is an obese girl who needs to lose quite a bit of weight. This is one of the reasons why I love wearing baggy clothes, it hides the body I so badly don’t want people to notice.

Don’t believe me? Ask my boyfriend what I think of myself. He’ll tell you that I constantly tell him that I hate myself and think I’m disgusting and unworthy.

I dealt with my pain by cutting myself. Thats why I have scars on my left arm. The physical pain helped with the emotional pain. Seeing my mom do it at such a young age made me feel like it was okay. If she could do it, why couldn’t I?

Enough about my early years in a place that still haunts me to this day. I want to talk about what happened when I left for Ireland earlier this year. I left Wisconsin believing that I was on good terms with everyone, but I was wrong.

I had a guy friend in college who I started off as really close with and slowly drifted away from as the years went on. Sophomore year, I developed a crush on him. A lot of that had to do with peer pressure and everyone telling me that we’d be “such a cute couple.” It got to my head. This resulted in a silly little crush. I finally had the balls to tell him the summer before junior year. At this point in time, the crush I had was gone and done with. Thank god. I didn’t tell him I had a crush on him because I didn’t want to ruin the friendship we had. Well, telling him ruined it anyway. I noticed how he barely talked to me and I could see him distancing himself. I felt the insecurity I had from high school all over again. From elementary and on, I was told that I was “annoying” and “over the top.” I thought that I had annoyed him enough and pushed him away so, I started asking him if we were okay a lot. That probably got annoying in itself and if he ever ends up reading this, I apologize for that. Anyway, when I left, he started talking badly about me. Portraying this side of me that isn’t true. I wasn’t obsessed and crazy about him. Honestly, I didn’t really think about him while I was in Ireland. I didn’t think much about anyone in Wisconsin. I’m sorry if that may hurt, but it’s true. As I said, I got over the crush I had on him pretty quickly cause it was awkward and weird.

The thing about this guy is that I thought he was my friend. He was someone that I counted on and trusted. I didn’t expect to come back and hear that he thought so negatively of me. That he had no problem expressing his thoughts about me to everyone I knew. This hurt me. I felt betrayed and worthless. I cried about it when I was alone. No one bothered to ask me if it was true or not. No one bothered to ask me how I felt while this was going on. That hurt just as much. I honestly don’t know which felt worse to me. Now people have this image of me that isn’t me. It’s not who I am. And it still hurts that they’ll see me this way because of someone who I had believed in.

To the guy friend who did this to me, if you ever read this, why didn’t you talk to me about this? Why didn’t you tell me how you felt or how you viewed me as? I would’ve told you that the only feelings I had were platonic. I would have been honest with you as I always was. I just wanted the friendship we started with back. However, I forgive you. Regardless of how much you hurt me, I forgive you. I forgive you because I don’t want to hold onto this hurt and anger anymore. I forgive you because I know you’re a decent guy, you just weren’t to me. I hope you’re doing well and I wish all the best for you.

I made this post because I’m tired of hiding in the shadows. I’m tired of being written off. I’m tired of my voice, my story, my truth, not being heard. I’m tired of being viewed as someone who was “crazy” and “obsessed” about a boy because I will NEVER be that girl. I’m just trying to be the best version of me. I will stumble and make mistakes. I may hurt some people in the process with my actions and I’m so sorry if I do. I don’t want to hurt anyone but I know that I will because that’s a part of life. Even with the best of intentions, we can still hurt someone. So, here’s a small inside look of who I really am. A girl who is just trying to navigate her way through college and find her place. A girl who is trying to learn to love herself and battle the insecurities and demons she hides inside. A girl who just wants to belong.

Thank you.

“Oh my Gosh” Students Enjoy Charlie Berens

Charlie Berens, from “Manitowoc Minute,” visited the Journalism 347 class Oct. 15 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to talk about his life before “Manitowoc Minute” and gave some advice to the students. This discussion took place in Heide room 309 and started at 2 p.m. 

Berens started the discussion off by talking about how he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and “fell” into journalism. Once his passion for journalism came about, he worked on the MTV show “Choose or Lose.” 

It was no easy task working “Choose or Lose,” as he once got arrested from a Minneapolis Republican Protest he was covering. However, Berens didn’t mind being arrested.

“You might as well spend the time and effort being what you want to be,” he said.  

Wanting a change of pace, Berens went out to Los Angeles, California, and worked for a production company. This is where Berens learned how to use camera equipment and editing software. 

Berens got to work behind the scenes for an interview with Johnny Depp. Berens also worked as a red-carpet host in Los Angeles. 

Berens headed out of California and went to Dallas, Texas, as he got a job as a news reporter. Being a news reporter became awarding when he won an Emmy for one of his news reports. 

One of the students in attendance, Kim Reinders, 20, said,” It was really cool to see someone as successful as him go through different jobs as he tries to figure out what he’s good at. It was refreshing to know that it’s okay to not have it all planned out when you graduate.” 

Berens ended up joining the social media world as he got a job with YouTube. The show was called “One Minute.” 

While working with YouTube, Berens did stand up comedy at night. The comedy clubs are where “Manitowoc Minute” was born as this was where Berens was able to create and harness the character in the videos.  

In “Manitowoc Minute”, Berens has to tell a joke about every eight seconds to keep people interested and not click away from the video.

Berens advised the students to start doing what they can right away for future career opportunities. He answered any questions they had and used his experiences to guide them in the direction they want to be career-wise. 

 “Don’t go chasing butterflies, build a good garden and the butterflies will come to you,” Berens told the students.


Charlie Berens, right, and his manager, left, talk and laugh as they speak to James Kates who arranged the visit.

Studying abroad-Ireland edition

I had recently studied aboard in Galway, Ireland at the National University of Galway. I was there for a full semester, so four months, and took 12 credits. There was no way I was taking more than the bare minimum since I wasn’t there to entirely focus on school. I was there to experience the culture and to essentially get out of America.

One big adjustment I had to make while I was in Galway was my roommate situation. In Europe, some countries have no problem signing people to coed apartments (flats) without their knowledge. This is because that is a part of their culture. Many of the Irish students that I talked to said it was normal to live with boys/men, especially on college campuses. I just never expected that I would have two male roommates from India. My third roommate was a girl from Minnesota, which made the transition a lot easier since she understood my slang and what I was talking about when it came to “back home” or America. Their names were Harshall, Sanku, and Kelley. I never particularly thought I would enjoy living with boys at this age but with the cultural differences between us, it was a lot of fun to get to know one another. Sanku would also cook us chicken tikka masala and let me tell you, you’ve never had authentic Indian food unless it was made by a person who was born and raised in India.

Ireland also has some of the most beautiful scenery that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Between the many destroyed castles to the view of the Pacific Ocean, Ireland generally doesn’t have a route where there isn’t a part of nature that awed you. The Cliffs of Moher is a place where nature compels you to put away your phone and to stare at what it made. The Cliffs of Moher is a very tourist place to go with many rave view and it doesn’t disappoint. Even with all the people around me, I felt at peace and couldn’t help but admire the way the oceans moves and the sounds it makes. I would have spent countless hours there if it wasn’t for the fact that I was on a tour and we had another place to go.