The irony is – the reason I’m writing this post is the reason I almost didn’t.
I always knew this about me. It has been a part of who I am for as long as I’ve known. I’ve come to accept it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. It’s one of those things where I believed – it is what it is.
I never really understood how it affected my relationships and friendships. I never psychoanalyzed myself. Until a few years ago. I was on the phone with him and I said, “Well, you are still mine right?” for the millionth time that week and I could sense his irritation on the other side. My mind ran a million miles a second. Ohmygod, he’s annoyed. He hates me. He doesn’t want to be with me. He’s going to leave me right now. He asked me why I have this need to confirm it every other hour. Like I didn’t know already. Said he was sick of saying it over and over again. “No. I’m not going to dump you in the next ten seconds if that’s what you’re asking.”
That was the first time I noticed that I was doing it. We have those moments when we become self-conscious about something we normally do and it becomes this thing we notice about ourselves every time we end up thinking or acting that way. I suddenly realized how many times in a day I questioned whether he’d leave me. How many times in a day I wondered how much he hates me. How many times in a day I wondered if I was a pain he was putting up with simply because he asked me out and feels bad about changing his mind now.
It was the first time I realized that what I had come to accept as a simple part of my life had essentially ruled every relationship I had ever been in. Because that’s what happens when you feel this way. When you’re at your best and you still feel uncomfortable in your own skin. When you’re at your happiest and you feel a pang wondering when it’s going to come to a crashing end. When you’ve met that perfect person and can’t stop thinking if he’s going to run away any moment now. When I stand in front of the mirror and like what I see only to feel the need to cover it all up as soon as I walk out the door. What if they see? What if they hear? What if they read? What if they leave?
We wear different masks for different audiences so we can fit in. We tell them what they need to hear so they’ll keep us close. The way we shake our hands. The way we walk, talk. The way we live. Everything dictated by the one thing we can’t control. When nothing we do feels good enough. When a compliment feels difficult. When self-confidence is a charade.
I have forgotten who I am amidst the masks I wear to please people I’m afraid will leave if they ever knew what really goes on inside my head. Because I grew up with this feeling. This feeling that you have felt at some point as well. This feeling that has taken over my life. The feeling that influenced many of your decisions. It’s what keeps us hanging on to someone while also craving isolation. I need you to tell me I’m perfect but know that I will never believe you. I want you to stay but know that I’ll run before you do. Because someone told me, leave before you’re left and I’ll always believe you’ll leave. It’s not what I want to think. It’s what I’m made to think. Because this feeling has taken over every inch of my being and there is nothing left of me.
I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to control it. But I know what created it. The moment it hit me that just because you love someone with everything you have doesn’t mean it has to be reciprocated. When I realize that the person who is supposed to love you can still walk away from you. That when it comes boiling down to the very last second, everyone is selfish about their emotions and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Insecurity. It’s why I didn’t want to write this post. Because I didn’t know if anyone would relate to this. Maybe this is going to be boring. Maybe they’re going to think I’m hopeless. Maybe I am hopeless. Because I can never win against it. But this is me trying.