Sunday, January 25, 2009

I imagine this is how it feels to be hit in the side of the head with a flying stapler.

My self-image has recently been . . . cracked. I picture it as the image I saw underneath my skin when I looked in the mirror. The girl behind the body. And the crack didn't shatter everything, but rather ran down the middle and split into a thousand other lines like a river and its tributaries, branching out further and further. Every crack moved the glass just enough so that the pieces of mirror no longer reflected a unified whole. I'm looking a collection of attributes that don't add up to me.

I've been searching and searching this person that I think of as me, trying to decide if what I see is the same as what everyone else is seeing when they look at me. Because recently, someone presented to me a picture of myself that was completely different than my own self image. And it broke. And now I don't know what to do.

So, I made a list of everything I could think of that is wrong with me. Maybe not everything. I didn't list things like: I can't park my car straight or I'm sort of afraid of the dark. I tried to list things I thought were important. Things that matter. And I'm sure I missed things. I even asked my mom to give me, without consequences, her list of things that were wrong with me. I wasn't surprised by her responses. I knew about all those things. What bothers me is the idea that there are things terribly wrong with me that everyone else is aware of and no one is telling me. I just recently began to fear that the people that seem to like me don't really like me at all. Its awful. I know. I'm really trying to fix that quickly, but thats where I am. I'm just a little broken.

Then I made the list of good things, which was harder. I don't want to seem vain. I don't think I AM vain, so making a list of things right about me seems, well, vain, and therefore contradictory to my own list. Nevertheless, I took some time to make that list too. Because the bad list couldn't stand alone. Because I am not just made of the bad things people tolerate. I think, more importantly, I am made of things that make the bad things worth tolerating.

So I made both my lists, thinking they would make me feel better. They didn't. Writing usually helps me solve problems and thats why I wrote this whole mess. But the problem isn't solved and I feel kind of lonely even around other people because I'm not fully participating. I'm trying to figure out what I might be doing that might be upsetting other people. And its not fun. And its not healthy. And so this note was born.

And I don't know who on earth would stick with me long enough to get to this part of the note, but here you are, I suppose. I just wanted to ask for affirmation or validation or some kind of honest feedback from anyone at all. Because right now I feel confused and hurt and lost and broken.  I don't want to stay here.

So here are the lists:

What’s wrong with me:
I’m impatient.
I’m stubborn.
I’m selfish.
I’m too honest, especially when others don’t want to hear it.
I’m not sympathetic.
Sometimes I’m uncaring.
I’m slow to forgive those that hurt me.
I’m slow to trust anyone at all.
I forget important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. And actually, they don’t mean anything to me anyway. I hate birthdays and holidays with mandatory behaviors.
I’m a terrible judge of character.
I’m sensitive, even when I pretend not to be.
I’m picky and particular about all kinds of things.
I’m grumpy in the morning.
I’m spoiled.
I’m under the impression that eventually someone will think I’m amazing.
I’m not generous.
I’m not a good listener.
I talk a lot, but only when I feel comfortable.
I always feel out of place.
I need a lot of personal time, away from all the people.
I don’t like animals or babies.
I don’t floss.
I don’t usually believe the nice things people say about me.
I’m terrible at math. And reading clocks. And understanding world politics.
I don’t pick up on non-verbal cues very well. It has to be spelled out in words for me.
I’m irresponsible with my money.
I’m uncomfortable with silence if someone else is in the room.

What’s right with me:
I’m friendly.
I’m polite.
I’m joyful.
I’m unassuming.
I’m agreeable.
I’m honest.
I’m brave.
I’m genuine.
I avoid any kind of conflict.
I’m reassuring.
I’m hopeful.
I’m strong.
I’m optimistic.
I’m open.
I’m always trying to be better.
I’m finally becoming the person I want to be.
I like everyone at first and it takes me a long time to see the flaws.
I’m safe.
I’m affirming.
I’m all about hugs.
I’m uncomfortable with negativity.
I’m okay with whatever it is you choose to do.
I’m open-minded.
I’m accepting.
I’m good at telling people how much I like them.
Sometimes I’m funny.
I’m a good writer.
I don’t make sneaky plans or play games with anyone. I’m forthright.
I’m smart enough.
I’m much more comfortable with sharing my flaws than the things I actually like about myself. That is, to say, I think I’m modest.
It takes me a long time to love someone, but when I do it is completely, the good parts and the bad.
Instead of flesh and blood, I am actually composed of awesome itself. Okay, that one is a joke.

Umm . . . thanks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are awesome my friend. Dont let a stupid boy do that to you, it hurts and it will always hurt but youll move on and be happy again. ABJ