I am, according to my own perspective, an emotionally self – sufficient individual; or so I have lulled myself into believing. I’ve been reviewing videos from one of my piano practice sessions. The playing wasn’t any more awful than your average intermediate I agree; but in those videos, while I don’t burst into shouts of “idiot”, “loser”, and other choice derogatives, I know from my demeanor that they are running through my mind. With the recent change in my overall attitude, and an objective glimpse of myself, I am really beginning to ring the internal alarms.
For a while in my younger years, I realised that I had some form of inferiority complex. To me, nothing I ever did (or do) is ever right, perfect or atleast mediocre. I think I suck at everything. I am one of those people who dabbles in everything, one because I can and two because I keep secretly hoping that there will be one thing that I am really good at. I am an artist by nature I believe; I produce decent sketches, I adore photography, I am sometimes decent in creative writing, and I love creating music. My favourite instrument is the violin, but I’ve never gotten the chance to pursue it. The thing that constantly irritates me, is that I know I can be good at something, but my insecurities are there lurking in the shadows, discreetly destroying whatever sense of false bravado I manage to encourage myself with. The drunken captain, perfectly skilled at hiding her inebriated, self – destructive actions by calmly walking the plank and back, knowing full well her foolishness could cause the final fall, just to prove to herself that she’s okay.
I accept that I am considered attractive, but there are still so many doubts in that area. As a matter of fact, for approximately six months, I took photos of myself almost every week, searching for that illusive perfection. At the time, it didn’t resonate within myself that I was searching for that lacking something. I just accepted that because of the years I spent feeling unattractive and unappealing due to my shy nature and mode of dress, I was attempting to compensate for the hidden hurt, with images of me that were sexually appealing (nothing truly explicit). Being on the bustier side of the tree, and also being blessed with pink lips fueled my new – found sense of vanity and confidence. The contrasting thing was (and still is) that I detest being photographed unless I am the photographer. Most of the images I keep of myself were taken by me with great consideration for all my perceived flaws, and while not photoshopped still don’t reflect me as I should be. However, if one is confident, there can’t possibly a problem waiting to be dealt with, right? Surely nothing was wrong with a little camera shyness when one is quite confident, right? Sort of like sailing the Titanic into a field of icebergs because you need to prove to the world that your ship is most certainly capable of weathering anything thrown at it. -___-
There is also quite the sense of paranoia, which I cover by observing the world through a watchful, cynical eye. It often feels as if the people around me must be seeing whatever it is that I’m attempting to hide. It makes achievements that much harder to enjoy. I detest being spotlighted for anything, especially achievements, because if I did well once, then it’s likely the other times the world is looking will be when I’m about to fall on my face in disgrace. I know that there are people who talk about me, however the degree to which I have to fight to persuade my inner self that no one is concerned enough to care about whether I speak with a particular person, or if I trip over my own shoes is downright ridiculous. It was this same paranoia that allowed me to lash out at Adurna during one of our conversations. It surpassed my usual analytical navigation system, and made me press full speed ahead without consulting even one wrinkled paper of chartered course and made me hurt her in the ensuing collision.
All of these aspects of me exist under a new facade, the one I have been forced to create since my forced and willful isolation. The absence of close friends has made it harder to be constantly distracted with other people’s problems or simple moments of frivolity. Instead it is me, myself, my mind, and I- all dreadful companions. To expound further, here is the crux of the matter. I had managed to convince myself that I had no problems, emotional or otherwise. This was made easier by the presence of friends who implicitly trust my ability to take care of myself, little did they know that I was sailing with false insurance and limited skills. When I migrated to this “delightful” land, it meant that I was now forced to return to the state in which I was technically friendless. Sure, I still communicated with my friends, but communication is usually stilted when one has no social life, school life, or any other adolescent markers of commonality to freely discourse about. Gradually, I moved from a flotilla of constant interaction filled with pointless, stupid jokes to a yacht in which I was taxed to find some common ground to make the lines meet again. Considering that friendship is one of the most important aspects of my emotional sanity, you can quite imagine the struggle I had with the internal self about whether my friends cared enough about me or not to bridge the divide. It felt like I was constantly hanging myself over cliffs to reach people who were quite happy sitting on the rocks below without my company. To add insult to hurt, a wide chasm developed between myself and Wolf, and myself and Adurna. This left me stranded, and completely removed all the buffers that I had placed between myself and my insecurities. I was so sure that I had nothing hidden behind my eyes, that I was the poster child of normalcy; good family, passable church life, ok-ish grades, yadda yadda blah blah blah.
So with no more buffers created from the emotional ships I was once sure I had thoroughly insured, I crashed on the rocks and floundered. There on the sandy shore I discovered that my insurance policies were all dried up. The only one there to help me, was me, and it was there I truly realised that I had none of the tools needed to fix the problems. I knew in the back of my mind that my qualifications were manufactured, but I thought that the seas would keep their deceptive tranquility and allow me to remain happily carefree as long as I didn’t stare too deeply into the murky depths below. I figured that I could keep fixing everyone else’s ships, and offer them the trade secrets to healthy maintenance while secretly ignoring the rotting hull and badly patched wreck I masqueraded as a top of the line cruiser. When the objects of my affection executed what I secretly consider ultimate betrayals, I discovered that the love in my “friend”ships that I hoisted and flew as unconditional flags of love, were nothing more than stoppers that prevented me from concentrating on the possibility that I would be completely wrecked. So now, I’m left with the rotting wood created by my festering insecurities that remained untreated for too long. The poster child for all the wonderful words of wisdom and common sense, sits on her bed, a shameful hypocrite, guilty of ignoring her own advice.
Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron
July 27, 2012 2:00 a.m.