Hide and seek


I’ve been meaning to come back for a while now, but I got all swept up in living and stuff. All sorts of things have happened to me–we’ll get to them some other time.

I’m back tonight specifically because my self esteem is particularly low and I really want (and probably need) to purge these shitty feelings by writing about them. I have no idea if this is going to come out all wrong and self-pitying–but I have a feeling it will, so, you know, just a heads up. And I don’t expect to be writing constantly about my low self-worth, though I’m sort of glad to be outing myself on that one, anyway. Mostly I just really need this outlet tonight, and here it is. So here I go.

Tonight, in light of a couple A-ha Moments that I do not have the time to share, I had to come to terms with the number of friends I’ve made and kept since high school: three (3) if I’m being optimistic, one (1) if I’m being emo.

I know, I know. “If you can count your friends on one hand…,” etc. etc. But guess what I can almost count on 2 hands?

People I’ve Met In College Whom I Befriended And Then Had Some Sort Of Falling Out With.

It’s really hard to lose friends, however brief the relationship was. And it’s in my nature to self-evaluate, to try and figure out What Went Wrong. But lately it’s been a steep slope from self-evaluation to self-deprecation to self-demonizing to self-loathing.

Tonight it’s this one thing: I seem to have a knack for offending people without meaning to.

In freshman year of high school, my Math teacher exploded at me in front of the class because I repeatedly used the phrase “Jesus Christ!” as an exclamatory statement. I hadn’t any clue I was saying it as often as I was.

Four years later, as college freshman on winter break, I wrote a Xanga entry about the fact that hanging out at home was feeling old, boring, repetitive. My friends responded with defensiveness and anger. Looking back on the now private entry, I truly see why. I think I was trying to describe ennui, but I didn’t know that term, so I improvised; I didn’t choose my words wisely. Back then, I didn’t realize that people would take me seriously, that my words served as an extension of myself.

There are countless examples. Some incidents are still breathing, too alive to write about.

I’ve been determined to not let it happen again, but of course, it inevitably does. I respond identically every time: with red-faced guilt, a racing heartbeat, pure shame, and the immediate urge to amend the situation–apologize, explain myself and my intentions, beg to be at least understood, if not forgiven.

So this one thing, this propensity to anger, offend, or hurt people without even knowing it–when I think about what that means about my personality, I come up with adjectives such as self-centered. Careless. Callous. These are words I now have to come to terms with as self-descriptors–traits I try to keep in check, try to change.

But recently I’m starting to recognize more negative self-descriptors than positive: Know-it-all. Flighty. Glib. Boring. Inconsiderate.

Even the same old shallow ones are gaining more importance: Fat. Ugly. Blotchy. Smelly.

This will sound horrible, but in high school I always thought I was the most socially adept of Karen, Linds and Ilana, only because I thought I was more fearless–louder in big groups, and hence, more often the center of attention. But high school is one environment, and college is entirely another. And eventually, fearlessness wears down, and I’ve realized that under all my bluster I’m not much to see. Karen, Ilana, and Lindsay all have more friends than me because they’re kinder, more interesting, less show-offy, and all-around nicer people than me.

I don’t know if it’s possible to make over my personality. Is there a show I could nominate myself for, maybe like a What Not To Wear, but for the inside? How Not To Be?

All kidding aside, this is really starting to hurt my soul. I set out to simply try and make myself a better person, to be honest with myself about my flaws. I ended up here, losing my grips on who I am and what my worth is.

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what to do. All I have is my words and my actions. When they fail, I’m lost.

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About the Author: Becky