Scared of Different (Self Story 3)

My name is Adelle, spelled A-D-E-L-L-E and I am four years old. I live with mom, dad and my baby sister Kathryn, I named her myself! I live in Kindersley and I go to play school… but I don’t like it there. I’m scared to leave my mom and dad every morning and mom took me to the doctor where they asked me a lot of questions about why I am scared. My babysitter yells at me that I’m too much of a baby because I cry by myself in the living room. But at play school I’m most scared of Christina’s mom, she’s black and nobody is black in Kindersley. I know it’s bad to be scared of her, but she’s different than me.  How can I trust somebody that doesn’t look like anyone in my family, church or my teacher?

I’ve always been incredibly ashamed of this story, knowing that as a child I was so afraid of someone different than me. Without my parent’s guidance, I wonder about whether my fear of the unknown or different would have transcended into racism and discrimination. I hope that when I have children I will be able to be privileged enough to live in a diverse community where my children will experience “different” often. 

At the end of the day, I was more privileged than my friend Christina. Although I had anxiety, I was white (while she was black) I was raised by two parents (her only one) and I lived in a middle class house while her father provided the only income. Christina always stood out because her hair did not lie flat, and I just took for granted that I “fit in” in our narrative while she didn’t. My privilege came in the form of never having to worry about my hair or skin colour being different, nor did I have to worry about having the “right” clothes to wear or getting good grades. My backpack has been full of not having to care, and that is where my privilege lies.

2 Comments

  1. Adelle, your story is so honest and vulnerable. It shows how socially constructed our views are at such a young age. It also shows your humility and openness to learn which will help challenge the social construction.

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  2. I loved this! I have read stories about kids not noticing the differences and I thought that happened to me too but you really got me thinking with yours and I do not remember an exact moment when I was scared of the different but I can almost bet there was one. Maybe we do not notice why we are scared of something but we are anyways because we unconsciously know there is something that is not “normal”. Than you!

    Like

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