Afraid, and Alone
I’ve been needing to write this post for a while now. There is so much pent-up emotion that’s been buried deep down inside of me and all I’ve been hoping for is a moment to sit down and confront it. The sadness, the anger, the isolation, the shame…I’m afraid to tap into this reserve of emotions for fear of flooding, of utter chaos and loss of control, but pushing it away is almost worse. (Almost.) I’m not the person I was a few years ago, the confident young woman who had the amazing friends and the amazing boyfriend beside her as she embraced life. No, with this I stand alone. This is my battle, my burden to bear and no one can help me except me.
Let’s start with the isolation. I am not a scary person, and I doubt there’s much about me that would intimidate anyone. But try to talk to me and suddenly I’m cold, unreceptive…I freeze. I don’t communicate, and probably come off as rude or snobby. I am hopeless at trying to convey any type of peace-offering to others, I don’t know what to say, if I should smile, and I can hardly meet their eyes. This is not just with strangers, this is with classmates, friends of friends, even my own family. I isolate myself from almost everyone, and the worst part is that I can’t understand why. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to others, but what could I possibly have to say that could matter to someone else? I’m also super sensitive and never say anything very personal for fear of being ridiculed. And then there’s just the general feeling of uneasiness around people I don’t know well. I don’t enjoy big groups of people, I don’t like to “put myself out there”. For the longest time this year, my ideal weekend at school is spent in my room alone with pizza and Netflix. I just can’t bring myself to seek out others, even if it’s people I love like my family. (Although it gets more complicated with them because we are fundamentally different). I am alone in areas of life where others have warmth and comfort, and I blame no one but myself.
And let’s not forget this other problem I have hanging over my head. There is a part of me that I am hiding from almost everyone, a secret identity I can hardly bring myself to call mine. My family, my friends I’ve known for years, my coworkers, they would be uncomfortable with this part of me. Some of them would be mean. Some of them would change the way they look at me; they’d get quiet, uncertain. Then there would be the silent judgement. And so I can’t bring myself to own this part of myself, it feels as if it is more convenient to discard it all together (but I can’t, I’ve tried). So here I sit, watching it make me even quieter, even more disconnected from the world around me. Sometimes it’s like my life is a match and I am so close to striking it…so ready to just accept that my life could someday be up in flames.
Have you ever felt like if people knew the real you, the vulnerable one curled up on the floor crying hard, that they would just much rather walk away ?
I wish more than anything that I could be free to be myself with my family. But that’s just not the type of family I have. It’s a choice: I can either sit there mute or run away free. Either way I won’t have the family I want, but at least with the first I still have a family.
And my friends? Well, I guess I’m just afraid to rock the boat.
I guess I’m afraid of a lot of things.