Berate Me But Don’t Hate Me

“I often find myself thinking about the kind of person I was and the person I’ve become. Part of these deliberations include answers to questions I never through could possibly arise, had I been someone who didn’t reside in the Grey Area of Conflicted County.”

Inherently, I’ve always been a people-pleaser. I’ve done things and said things that I thought people wanted to hear, because I thought that it would make them happy. Putting aside the entirely different tangent I’m preventing myself from taking off on – that happiness is highly overrated – who was I to decide what would make someone else happy when I couldn’t even figure it out for myself?

My greatest failure till now has been knowing that I could be better, but wanting that because of someone else. If I had indeed decided that I chose to be a better person for myself, wouldn’t that have been a real achievement? But no, I wanted to change myself because I thought I wasn’t good enough. Going to reiterate that – I thought that I wasn’t good enough. No one said it to be explicitly, but of course my beautiful mind, always happy to make a cocktail of emotions and thoughts, decided to whip up a brand new mixture which I like to call Let’s Find More Reasons To Undermine Myself. And let’s be honest, low self-esteem has this magnetic effect on all things overthinked (I’m aware that this isn’t a word but if anyone knows the past tense of overthink please hmu!)

I often find myself thinking about the kind of person I was and the person I’ve become. Part of these deliberations include answers to questions I never through could possibly arise, had I been someone who didn’t reside in the Grey Area of Conflicted County. Do I still want to please people? Will I go out of my way to do something for someone I love? Would I do that for someone I don’t love? Such contradictions often plague the vacant space I call my mind, when it’s taking a recess from wondering how much more of a disappointment I could possibly prove to be to myself.

Look at me ranting about these improbably unimportant matters, pretending as though my entire being going up in the flames of the fire that are my feelings is more important than the next person’s devastation. For the sake of knowing that the next person would validate my starving self-worth, I’d forego the idea that the crumbling façade of my life is intact, and allow myself the diversion of playing savior. But who am I to give myself the importance that my words or actions would save someone from feeling as though their reality was evaporating? I couldn’t play Superman any better than I could walk on water. But I’d want that validation – the gratification of being there for someone else because I want to be Superman, and pretending that even for a moment, I could be something more than the wreckage of a plane crash that is outcome of the conflict of emotions askew.

Avoidance is the most real thing I’ve ever felt. If you gave me a million bucks to face my fears, I’d probably double that and give it back to avoid the way I feel – and that’s only because I despise the human I become when I’m portraying the version of Superman that needs to save themselves first. It’s like when you’re on a plane, you’re told to put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help others out, right? But no. I’m the kind of person who would want to play martyr and try and rescue someone else first just because it would make me feel good about having made the sacrifice; once again, giving myself the undue importance that I did it for the betterment of someone else. And at some level, I did it because I didn’t want to rescue myself. Because if I did that, then you wouldn’t get the chance to play my knight in shining armor.

I want to be saved. I want to be rescued. I want to be caught because I’m free-falling into a spiral – a tornado that is blowing through my body like it’s pumped up on coke, and frankly, I’m not going to survive it. I’ve made my peace with it and managed to keep it at bay, but you know as well as I do that the only person who could make the tornado feel like a drizzle is the likes of the one person who believes I am about as destructive as a tornado anyway. So, as I put on the mask of survivor once again, reckoning that I’m still fighting this battle with my one-man army of multiple personalities, I just want to put it out there that this is me accepting that I’m everything you thought I was, and probably a lot worse. But I’m not going to change myself because I like knowing that if no one else is going to give me the importance, then I can do that for myself. And that is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt till date; do unto yourself as you would have others do to you. Be your own hero, your own warrior, and your own damn Superman.

Does this owning of my characteristics make me any wiser? The answer to that, as you probably have guessed, is in the negative, primarily because there’s no one to tell me otherwise. I’ve perfected faking the gypsy – or so I’d like to believe – floating through life with no clue, no stability and no sense of direction. You were a mirror, a reflection of myself with the horns and the tail that I so desperately needed sight of. But above the horns was the halo that you didn’t acknowledge. And while I’m no longer pleasing people, I’m still not pleasing myself. I’m stuck in the rut I created for myself, and while Superman is a worthy candidate for my façade, I’d throw the halo off my head like a broken boomerang if you put together the pieces of the mirror that shattered when you departed from the eye of the storm.  

Tell me what I did wrong. It bothers me to not know. Will I change myself based on what you think of me? Probably not. But I need to know. I’m curious as to what about my newly embraced beautiful self has driven people away. My constant need for validation demands answers from the souls that managed to slip through the clutches of my need for validation. Tell me what about me was it that you couldn’t take anymore? Was it just the constant need to prove myself for a test I was the maker and taker of, or was it just the idea of having to play rescuer to the false sense of security that was my Superman identity that made you finally throw your hands up and decide that I was beyond saving? Help me out here; accuse me, insult me, berate me. Just don’t hate me.

With love from My Battered Self-Esteem.

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