“I am not my significance”

Project Description:

When I was younger I was made to feel, that because I didn’t fit the mold, because I was different, I was less than. I was made to feel that, by being true to myself, I wasn’t important enough or significant enough. That person wasn’t wanted; something was wrong with her. I was pushed aside and left alone in a world where all I wanted was to be accepted. So I created a persona that fit with what people around me expected me to be. I was quirky and loud and boisterous and seemed confident; like I didn’t care what people thought.

But I always cared what they thought. And it tormented me.

I was so obsessed with feeling significant and accepted that I hid parts of myself to please other people, tried to cover up the bad parts. I was afraid to show a version of me that would be seen as wrong, that wouldn’t fit with what others wanted. I was unhappy with who I was, but also so afraid that being totally myself would leave me alone and unhappier. I never let anyone in, never opened up to anyone, which made me feel lonely, but I thought it was better than being alone.

With time and a more accepting climate, I have overcome part of this fear. I try to be true to myself and my desires and because of that I have been able to achieve more than I ever could as that façade of a person. But I am still afraid to show my ‘wrong’ parts, still scared to be someone people might not find likeable or important enough. I am constantly plagued with the fear that my friends are only around for the good parts of me, and if the weaker, sadder, selfish, ugly side comes out, they will all leave. I listen to others faults and insecurities and don’t think twice about faltering in my friendship, but the idea of trusting the reciprocal is terrifying. I feel like I have to serve some purpose for people in order for them to accept me and that if they see something wrong with me, I will be left behind all over again. With as far as I have come, what other people expect me to be drives what I do.

I might always care what they think. And it torments me.