The perfection of masks
She was always such a responsible, obedient one. I was always the classic “rebellious” one. But what most didn’t realise was that I did care about those that my actions affected. I just chose not to let my emotions show.
Now 25 it’s still a practice I follow. I don’t let people close to me. Physically or emotionally. It’s difficult to put trust in someone, I doubt everything that’s said to me and I have perfected the art of smiling.
My counsellor tells me that a smile can make you feel good. Even if you don’t do it to feel good. In a way she is right. I don’t feel good in myself, but when I see that others are more relaxed around me I feel more content. I don’t withdraw from physical touch as much anymore. I know that I’m not going to get hurt through a hug now. A big accomplishment.
Before going to see my counsellor I use to lock myself away in my room. Parties with strangers were my greatest fear. God the thought of having to “mingle” was terrifying. If I did go most of the time I would spend the predressing stages praying that someone I know would be there, and if so I would cling to them like water to a sponge all night. But most of the time I either spent my time with someone close to me, or spent it alone.
My biggest “issue” was my self harming. Emotional pain cripples me. Because I don’t express myself, I tend to really let what bothers me hurt me within. And I think sometimes that causes more damage than what would happen if I was to let my emotions get the better of me so to speak.
I’ve always had this fear. When I was 16 I was assaulted by a male which left me afraid of physical touch. But not only that it made me realise how vunerable as a person I really was.
Towards the beginning of this year I was betrayed by someone really close to me and a lot of personal information that I shared with her was thrust into the hands of, well, strangers to me. And for a person with trust issues already, it makes it hard to think you can trust again.
In turn it made me see my counsellor for the first time. She was good with it. Although with my trust issues I felt judgement before I even told her. But I realise now that it was my own thoughts forcing that judgement onto me. She has slowly helped change my way of thinking. She knows that I can’t fly, and she doesn’t expect it. And each day is a new day. No suppressing the past until I wake the next morning to deal with it again.
Learning to trust
I have even started trusting a few people. When someone suggested that dreaded word “therapy” to me a while back, I would have thought their opinion of me was I’m a fruitloop. I never would have thought it’s because they cared, or they were worried…My self hate would have kicked in and I would have become the defensive person I was well known for.
I actually did a search on the internet for similar people who share the problems I do and a whole world was revealed to me. It was amazing, and I really felt like I wasn’t alone in this. There is so much information out there if you’re willing to look.
My counsellor suggested that I start a journal to get out what is going on inside. I now have two journals! One online and one in a book that I treasure so much. Sometimes when things seem to big and hopeless it’s good to get it out on paper (or screen) and it really does put it into perspective, and you can see that it’s not as large as you first thought.