The shame grew like a wildfire in those high school years and the internal messaging was clear: Stay small, don’t have needs, don’t make them look at you and you will make it. Be successful, make friends with the teachers, find allies and get out. You will survive but you are under attack and you need to fight for your life.
And fight I did, for many many years. Alone, in and out of therapy, not really aware of how this shame would manifest as I became an adult. Trading my authenticity for safety. Safety First.