It’s funny. As soon as I think I’ve learned something, it slips from my fingers. After writing my last post, I felt like I was on top of the world: Confidence? Yeah, I got it. Shame? Ha! What’s that?
What a difference a day makes.
It’s not exactly that the feelings and thoughts have entirely evaporated, they’re just ephemeral. (Does that word work here? We’re going to say yes because I’ve always wanted to use it…)
The challenge for me is other people. It’s one thing to feel self assured and brave when I’m in my home by myself, but when I step outside it’s another story. When I try out my tentative confidence in the light of day it tends to get whisked away with the wind. If someone looks at me funny, I take it as a sign that I was completely off base. “See?” the voice says, “You really ARE fucked up. Everyone knows it and you need to just crawl back in your cave where you belong.” I tend not to argue with this voice.
Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if everyone would just stop acting. If we could all agree to just stop pretending and let our fucked-upness shine in all its glory, maybe then I wouldn’t feel like such a freak. As it is, I feel like I’m the only one who struggles. Especially since my struggle is written all over my body because it happens to manifest in the form of an eating disorder. I find myself at least wishing I had picked something more easy to hide. Except I wasn’t given a choice.
Anyway, my therapist assures me that other people have these same insecurities and fears about themselves that I have about myself. And then there’s that quote admonishing us to “be kind, for everyone is fighting their own battle.”
I suspect perhaps it’s possible, but I have my doubts. I mean, that totally put together lady I see downtown? What’s her problem? That super hot guy from high school? What could he possibly have struggled with? And my therapist, for that matter – what could her deal be? I just am not convinced that I’m in the minority.
So I guess that’s where I am right now. Flirting with the possibility that perhaps I’m not quite any more fucked up than the next person. That maybe, just maybe, I’m not quite the freak I’ve told myself I am for the last fifteen or so years. I’d like to believe it, I really would, but right now it feels a little akin to suddenly believing that I’m not, in fact a girl, and contrary to what I’ve been told, the earth is indeed flat.
I suppose the best I can do right now is to at least entertain the idea and to cut myself some slack. If nothing else, it at least feels like some kind of weight has been lifted to air my dirty laundry for anyone who accidentally happens upon this blog to see. I’m tired of feeling like I have to hide – like I have to keep the fact that I struggle a secret – that I should be ashamed that I struggle. I don’t want to hide anymore. I don’t think ANYONE should feel like they have to hide for fear of being judged.
It’s sad that we acquire that fear as we get older, but such is the nature of society – people who don’t fit a certain mold tend to be criticized. My one wish for this world is for everyone to simply feel safe being herself. I can feel myself stepping up onto a fairly large soapbox now, so I’m going to stop, but perhaps you can help me to achieve this dream – be yourself today – no apologies. And if you have children, teach them to live that way too.