starshowers: (maybe)
Rox ([personal profile] starshowers) wrote2016-07-11 03:44 pm
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(no subject)

Maybe most of my problem is that I've never been able to hear myself think.

By that I mean myself, specifically. As in, I see myself, and I have always seen myself, as being who I am in the eyes of other people.

It always goes back to my mom, I guess, as much as I wish that it didn't. The fact is that I was raised by someone who desperately needed someone else. When people have a huge void in their life that they need to fill, they don't hide it very well - at least, I can always see it, maybe because I was taught to look for it. She needed me to be there with her, she needed me to tell her that it was okay, to take her side in arguments, to be the excuse when she wanted to leave a room full of people she hated, to make her life-changing decisions for her. My sister moved out when I was eight. For ten years, I was all my mother had.

She made me acutely aware of the hidden needs to other people, of that fact that I should never trust when my grandmother said she would clean my dishes herself or when my papau said he didn't need help to get down the stairs. I learned to always doubt, to always listen for hidden meaning - that this was my most important job in life, and that everyone counted on me to understand and meet their needs just like she did.

It wasn't that she did this maliciously. She thought these things were important. She thought it would help me.

I mean, I was a selfish little kid - truly a spoiled brat. My grandparents spent ungodly amounts of money buying me toys that I never used and I didn't bat an eyelash, people did things for me and I just thought it was normal, I didn't know how to do chores without complaining and procrastinating and dragging them out for hours or days until I was a teenager. It would've made sense that I needed to learn how to be humble and aware of the needs of others, right? I was so selfish and headstrong before that it should've all balanced out.

But I was a good girl. I had always thought of myself as that - as a child, everyone treated me like a little angel. I wanted to be a little angel to everyone forever. The idea of being bad horrified me.

So I was taught that being a good girl meant being responsible, and being responsive, and knowing what people needed even when they didn't really tell you what they need. It didn't mean just being perceptive - it meant being a mind reader, a feat first described to me disguised under the phrase "common sense".

The older I got, the more inadequate I became. I was not up to the task - the most important task of my life, my only real task of value. I failed again, and again, and again.

I tried to hide from my own failure - I tried hiding in fiction, in music, in my own head. I lived there more than I did in reality, with my own friends and family. I honestly don't remember if people made fun of me in school, save for one or two things I heard about second-hand. I didn't care. It wasn't real. But my tastes in fiction, or my ideas? Those were real. If someone said anything bad about those, it hurt.

It didn't really work. You can't hide from your everyday life, and once I became only what other people needed from me, I couldn't just un-become that. There was no turning it off. Whenever I was around anyone else, all I could think about was doing something, anything, the right thing, knowing that nothing would ever be enough.

I would have gladly killed myself, if only it could have fixed my mother's life. Or if it would have been adequate punishment for my constant failures. And wouldn't that be nice, in a way, if one great act could affirm your value to someone forever? If I could have just sacrificed everything and known that, because of that, I would always be "good enough"?

And would it really matter, if there's no "me" to kill? I don't know who I am. I don't think I ever have. I'm just other people's voices, spiraling around in an empty head.

But of course it doesn't work that way. That would only make things worse for other people, so obviously that was never an option.

Even after all these years, all these failed attempts at connecting to new people and starting my own life, I fail. I fail because I can't hear myself, and I don't know myself. You are supposed to start forming the basic seeds of an identity as a teenager, right? I'm 23, a month shy of 24, and I don't even know where to begin.

But I have to, or I'll keep losing the people I care about. I'm tired of watching them all go away. I'm tired of not knowing how to stay stop, wait, I do need you and care about you, really, even though I can count one hand the number of times we've spoken in the last two years. I'm sorry. Please don't go.

Who is apologizing? Who is begging for a friend that they quietly pushed away?

Until I can answer that, I can't fix anything.

Who wants to be friends with a blurry, broken mirror?