*title refers to a note from the teacher on my first grade report card.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
You wanted to know the worst about me, the things I told no one and hid below the surface. How do I explain it? How do I explain who I am when I am not even sure of it myself? How do I put into words the worst parts of me that I have run from for so long? I will tell you my secrets, I will tell you everything. Maybe it will help me. Maybe you will hate me for it or maybe you will understand. I don’t know, but I am sick of it. So here it is, I will give you what you want.
I hate you. That is not true, but sometimes I think it is. I will not answer the phone when you call, even though I want to talk to you. I will not call you, even though it is all I want to do. I will not reach out to you, even though every part of me wants to. I will be mad at you, I will want to hurt you, I will drive you away because I am afraid to let you closer. I need your constant attention, your reassurances, but I will greet them with cold indifference. I will be jealous of the attention you give others, and I will get mad at you for ignoring me. I will feel close to you and care for you one day, only to be mad and want you out of my life the next.
I am an emotional amnesiac, maybe I always have been. I take each event, each day, each conversation as a separate event, always looking for signs that you might hurt me. When I feel neglected, I will get mad and forget that the day before you told me how much you cared. I am an inconsistent mess. There is a part of me who is happy and confident and another part that is insecure and needy. These days, I never know which one it will be. Every time I think I am in control, that I know you care and I feel comfortable with our relationship, the fear and doubt will come back. Maybe with time it will go away completely, but doubt it. All it will take is another close relationship, another new friend, another day and it will be back.
You ask what you can do and I do not know what to say. The needy part of me wants your constant attention, it needs your words and thoughts, your presence. But I know that is not the answer, I must accept the limitations on our relationship. The scared part of me wants you out of my life because it would be easier. The hateful part of me wants to hurt you because it thinks you have hurt me. All I can ask you to do is to understand, to not give up. I will ignore you at times, I may be rude to you, I may try to hurt you. I may hide from you and wait for you to reach out to me, so I know you will care. It is not fair to do these things, but I will. I cannot ask you to put up with this, it is not fair and no matter how I act, I care too much to put you through this. But you asked, and this is all I have to tell you.
I do not like this. I do not like that I am needy and clinging. I do not like that I hurt people. I do not like that I am rude and sarcastic to those around me. I do not like this part of myself. For years, I have ignored this and pretended it was me, but I have realized that is wrong. This is not me, it is a false identity created to protect me from the world. This was not an easy realization, and perhaps I haven’t fully accepted it yet. But I have found my path, I have realized I can change and I can accept this side of me and keep it from becoming who I am. It will not be easy and it will not be quick, but I have faith that I can do it. Perhaps one day I will see me as the person you see behind my defenses, and perhaps one day I will let others see that person as well.
This is for you, but you are many people. You are the people close to me now. You are the people I want to be close to even though I have kept you away. You are the friends I have pushed away in the past, the friends I never forgave and never let back in my life, the friends I never had the chance to tell this to. You are the people I will meet in the future, the people I will care about until once again I push them out of my life. You are the part of me that is still trying to understand who I am. You are all of these people and many more.