A Villain

Several months ago, I wrote about being asked about moving on. While I still agree with all of my statements in that post, I don’t think that it’s necessarily about me moving on. I think with some current events lately, it’s clear that I haven’t actually moved on.

The end of a serious relationship is always difficult. The end of a marriage is even more so, especially when it doesn’t end amicably. There’s a lot of pain that one endures; a type of pain that sticks with you, no matter how much you try to rid yourself of all of the baggage.

It shows itself in feeling completely alone with your thoughts. It shows itself in the inability to really connect with another person. It shows itself in being completely disinterested in any type of relationship. It shows itself in feelings like you are simply too much trouble for anther person to have to deal with.

I know I’ve written about my inability to connect and the trust issues I have. I don’t want to be seen as beating a dead horse. But I’ve been encountering this major downfall in a newer way recently. In high school, I saw myself as completely undesirable. In college, I probably settled a few times more than I should have for guys that weren’t all that great. I don’t know what’s changed since then. I’m still incredibly awkward, not the perfect picture of beauty, and I don’t have much going for me. I live with my parents, I’m carless, and I’m waiting tables. But somehow, I’m attracting people. It’s a completely foreign concept to me, one that’s taken me aback and left me confused about what to do.

I’m still in the “I’m never getting remarried” phase. Actually, I’m still in the jaded phase of feeling like relationships are mostly a waste of time and emotional energy. I’ve got several friends that I love with everything in me, but sometimes I just don’t have the strength to be around them and their significant others. It’s not that I’m unhappy or jealous. I suppose it mostly just reminds me of what I thought I had five years ago before everything started to really fall apart.

In the writing course that I’m still wading through, one of the prompts involved fictionalizing and vilifying my own traits to make myself the villain in a story…turning it into a sort of shadow self. I blazed through over three pages of writing, and my shadow self was all about one thing: emotional destruction. An excerpt:

“She was carefree. Carefree in the way that she handled hearts. She wanted to be loved- more than anything, she wanted to believe that she could be loved- but she didn’t trust anyone to fully love her for her, so she hid her qualities until she was a shadow of a person.

She was a wild thing. She was a person who had trained herself to ignore any possible pain she might be causing anyone because otherwise, she’d never do anything for herself. So she turned off her ability to connect with others, especially in a romantic setting. She came in like a whirlwind through men’s lives and demolished everything in her wake.

She was an all or nothing type of girl. And when it came to fight or flight tendencies, she ran every time. Part of her realized that with the running, she just wanted someone who would want to actively chase after her. She knew that when people learned her true character to the fullest extent, they would no longer want anything to do with her. So she kept parts of herself hidden from the world.”

It’s funny. Part of me wishes I could find someone that I can truly be myself around, a person who could love me despite all of my flaws, a person who I could trust with anything. But there’s this other part of me that wants to run any time anybody shows any sort of interest in me. I’m a person who was completely broken, and even though I’m putting myself back together, the cracks will always be visible. I don’t want anybody to have to deal with all of those cracks.

Neptunbrunnen (The Neptune Fountain), Berlin, Germany - May 2014
Neptunbrunnen (The Neptune Fountain), Berlin, Germany – May 2014

listening to: Letts, Awolnation, Purity Ring

Finding Balance

Life is strange. It’s beautiful in the strangeness, but it’s got an edge of danger. There’s this quote I read not too long ago about being on the edge of life instead of in the middle of it, because watching the chaos is better than being the center of that chaos. I like the visual that creates. It’s like this wild dance- if you’re in the center, you’ll be completely consumed, but if you’re too close to the edge, you fly out into nothingness. There’s a fine balance that exists, and I often find that balance difficult to achieve.

I got asked the other day if I believed in myself. Not just on a surface level, but at the true root of my being. The entire conversation was very emotionally charged to begin with, and despite responding with a “yes”, I don’t think I was very convincing. It’s funny, really. I’ve realized that I unintentionally come off as pretty confident to people I don’t know very well, but I think it’s a shell personality. It’s a way to protect the insecurity that I’ve always dealt with but haven’t been comfortable enough to let others see until recently.

I think it’s really difficult to transition from a personal outlook of insecurity to one of actually believing in yourself. It’s not as if I haven’t had supportive friends and family. I have. But I also had expectations that were astronomically high. Some of my most vivid memories from my past are ones where I just knew I let somebody down. My depression took that even further. I transitioned from somebody who had all sorts of potential to somebody who could barely function enough to do daily tasks like change clothes and eat. I suppose part of this disbelief in myself stems from a fear that I’ll be too overwhelmed with the business of this new life I’m leading and the thin pane of success I’m treading on will completely shatter. Of course, I know part of the issue is the living in the past that I’ve written about before, but I do know that I need to occasionally step back and look objectively at my actions and life to make sure I’m not unintentionally headed back down a road leading to depression.

I want to believe in myself. I want that surface confidence that I supposedly have to permeate through those layers and show up in the deeper parts of my life. Intellectually, I know I have some things about me that I can be proud of, but it’s truly believing it that is the hard part. It occurs to me that writing and exposing those insecure and vulnerable moments is a practice in being confident, which I believe is one reason why I do write about those topics so often. Perhaps with enough of that, the confidence will slowly start to become a secure part of my personality instead of just a surface decoration.

Niederrad, Germany- October 2014
Niederrad, Germany- October 2014

listening to Damien Rice