"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Dear Diary: 30 December, 2012

Now Playing: Fix You by Coldplay (high up above or down below, when you're too in love to let it go, but if you never try you'll never know just what you're worth)

So this is something I actually wrote with all intentions to publish. And then my iPad hid it from me.

Or maybe I just really have to find my glasses.

I wrote this when I was going through some shit. Actually, I've been going through some shit on and off for a little while now.

When I was little, people were a little...hostile. I think I just happen to piss off a lot of people. Firstly, I'm smart. Not at everything, and not all the time - I can barely count and I've said a lot of stupid shit in my time. But I am one of the state's top students, and I am good at what I do. That seems to piss people off. Especially girls. I explained this to one of my friends - girls see everything as a competition. Everything you have, you've taken from someone else. So a lot of girls took my talent in writing as a personal insult.

And I can't really say I'm sorry.

Secondly, I'm loud. And crazy. And different. Also pisses off people.

Thirdly...I go through a lot of shit, so I know I put my friends through a lot of shit. My body doesn't always co-operate - I've had to put up with depression, anxiety, hormonal imbalances, acne, scars and the consequent insecurities...and my pacemaker. Having a pacemaker is not fun. For example, on New Year's Eve I carried a 10kg backpack for a grand total of maybe half an hour, probably less. And for two nights after that the area around my pacemaker hurt so much I couldn't breathe.

People aren't very sympathetic to that, really. People just think I'm lazy. I am, but it also hurts to walk up a flight of stairs. It also hurts to lift heavy things. And sometimes it hurts doing nothing at all. But I suppose anger is easier than sympathy.

Friends and me have a pretty bad track record, so as a result, I've spent much of my childhood alone. And even though I still get so lonely I cry myself to sleep, I've grown used to solitude - so much that if I don't get enough time alone I get really cranky. People take that the wrong way, take it too personally. But more than that...I've learned to keep things to myself. I've learned the hard way that people aren't always sympathetic to your problems, and if they think that your problems are going to burst their perfect bubble of normality they'll head straight for the hills. That's what my childhood has taught me. If you want friends, you have to try and be the kind of person people don't want to leave.

It's been hard, making friends and knowing that eventually they'll leave for no apparent reason. It's been hard, not knowing whether you can trust someone or not - not that they'll tell people, but if they start to think you're too fucked up to be a friend of theirs. And I am fucked up, I know. But isn't everyone?

At the beginning of this year, my friends - most of whom I'd been pretty close to for one or two years - decided I wasn't good enough for them. That affected me more than I anticipated - I really stopped trusting everything and everyone. When I was little the only thing that kept me going was the unshakeable knowledge that I am good at something, and one day I'll strike it big. I never lost faith in that, no matter what.

This year I lost faith. I lost touch with what I could or couldn't do. I couldn't write anymore. Everything that I previously was so sure I was good at...suddenly I wasn't so sure. My confidence took a massive hit and I don't think I've fully recovered from that.

And I lost faith in people, too. I was at the end of my tether. I was so tired of being hurt, of being lonely, of being deserted. I put a wall between me and what few friends I had left and convinced everyone that I was okay, that I was holding it all together, when I really wasn't and I really needed help. I did what I always had to do when I was little - I had to try and fix myself. Even though I had people there who were willing to hold me, help me. I just didn't trust anyone anymore. I just didn't want to get hurt again. I just didn't want to lose any more friends.

So this is what I wrote. I hope it makes sense.

Dear Diary 30 December 2012

So, this has to be part of begin again, I think.

I think I've only just realized the extend of how much I was hurt this year. An insecurity that has crept into every part of my life - my work, my friendships, relationships, outlook, everything. I feel like I'm eight years old again - not good enough, never good enough.

And I hate it. I hate feeling like at any moment you're going to fail everything, lose everything, sink to the bottom and be desperately lonely. I hate not knowing whether people love you or hate you, whether they're going to stay forever or leave you tomorrow. I hate not feeling secure in anything or anyone, especially not yourself. When you don't know who you are, what you can do, and all you know is how easily and often you let yourself down. The paranoia is crippling - and then you become paranoid that people will sense that you're being paranoid, which is worse.

This past year, being fearless, was being who I wanted to be, and pretending that I didn't care if people stayed or left, as long as I could be myself. But that's the biggest lie of all, isn't it? I'm terrified of being alone, of being lonely. We all are. But the only way to live that lie was to pretend that I was okay - and I've quite perfected the art of being enchantingly funny even when all I want to do is break down and cry. I didn't trust anyone enough to totally break down when I needed to, I didn't trust anyone with my troubles, I didn't trust people to not run away if I showed them how close to the edge I am. I was just so tired of people telling me to grow up and get over it, in the end I kept it all to myself so I never had to hear that ever again.

And in a way it's strangely therapeutic. It forces me to get on with things, to try and block the paranoia and insecurity and depression out of my mind. I can't be sad, because I have to face another day. Smile at my friends. Do something nice for that girl who will never return the favour, say something to make that boy laugh. Be the kind of person they wouldn't want to leave, rather than the mess of a girl they'd run away from in a heartbeat - And it wasn't just for other people, too. I hated my depression, my paranoia, my insecurity. I hated not feeling well enough to face the day, strong enough to battle out petty playground politics, brave enough to grit my teeth and get over things. I hate how much I dwell on things, how I let little things hurt me, how I get too attached and fall too deep and get too hurt. It's hard to accept yourself as someone you don't desire. I tried to be the person I wanted to be, for me. I really wanted that giggly, bubbly, feisty, funny, witty girl to be me.

But it didn't feel all that good, outsmarting my friends, lying to them, always bracing myself for the goodbye, always ready to be the first to leave rather than face being deserted. People are under this illusion that I'm very trusting - and I suppose it fits in with my childlike personality - but the truth is, I'm just very open. I want people to know who I am.

I don't trust anyone. I never have. Aside from family I've never had the security of...not unconditional love. Not even close. I haven't even had the security that people won't randomly leave with no rhyme or reason. Because that's what people do, to me. I meet people, make friends, wondering when they will leave me behind, move on to someone better. And it's worse than being dumped online when you're thirteen and floating precariously on cloud nine. It's worse than being passed over by your first love. It's worse than any pain my fucked up body and numerous medical procedures have put me through. So much worse. I've lost friends and entirely take the blame for it, of course. There are friends I let go of when I should have known better. But for the most part, I try my best, I really do. And when things fall apart in my hands, nobody can honestly say what I've done to deserve what they're doing to me. But they do it anyway.

But I've always told people not to buy into stereotypes, or to judge individuals on how the majority behave. I think it's time to tell myself that, too. Because even though so many friends have left me, hurt me, given me scars that will never really fade, I have a handful of friends who have stuck with me through thick and thin, who have picked me up every time I fell, people who have let me cry on them and scream at them. And I think I owe it to them to start trusting them a little. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get lucky. Maybe these are the only people in the world who won't run away because I'm weird, or loud, or smart, or different.

I promised myself I would begin again this year, just like last year I swore to become fearless. And so, I'll make a promise to you. I'll trust you. I've got to leave some old scars behind, and take a leap of faith. I'll tell you the truth even if I think it's going to kill me, even if that means I have to say stuff we both don't want to hear. Because I have to begin again. I have to start trusting my friends. I have to stop lying to myself. Somehow, I have to find it in me to move on from the past, from the way things have always been. It's a whole new life now, a whole new day in a whole new world. And I can do this. I have faith. And now I know, somehow, that there are a tiny handful of precious souls who have faith in me too, and I can't let them down.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

I think I'll start with "Everything you have you've taken from someone else".

Is there no conservation where abilities and resources are concerned, individually and socially?

(Will admit to having a bad case of that when I was 14, 15 - when there were things I really wanted and saw not how to get them).

Ah, normality and bubbles! Have been playing around with a bubble kit this Christmas/New Year, which was going to be given to some children, but the giver thought better of it.

And this too "fucked up to be a friend".

It's a long journey to rebuild faith, yes. And reason won't do it all.

I find (relative) security in walking away/new settings. (As a sidelight: the Korean university system seems very open to talent and distinguished people).

"When you don't know who you are, what you can do, and all you know is how easily and often you let yourself down. The paranoia is crippling - and then you become paranoid that people will sense that you're being paranoid, which is worse."

Underlining this. And then it is very recursive.

Enchanting? Funny?

The "grow up and get over it" sentiment and your reaction. If you got over it, you would lose important parts of your growth and development.

Something about "being able to give without 'ordinary' thank-yous".

And, yes, even a little bit of blame is still blame.

Trust is not "owed".

"And I can do this. I have faith. And now I know, somehow, that there are a tiny handful of precious souls who have faith in me too, and I can't let them down."