It started at the age of five. From what I recall, anyway, though there are probably many more things beyond that age that I can’t remember.
It was my fifth birthday. I cried. For no reason, really, for all I know it was the sadness I was born with.
I went through life in a constant and acute sense of alienation. The fear of losing people never ceased, though there really wasn’t much to lose for I never really connected with anyone. There were some moments when I felt I could truly connect, but they would not last longer than a mili-second. That mili-second was blissful. The rest of the time I would just pretend I was connecting. I would just blend in in accordance to people’s liking. I would pretend. I would assume roles to the extent where I couldn’t tell which one of those roles was the real me. I wouldn’t feel like any of those roles were me, really, I would only find truth and peace in total solitude and complete detachment. I was drawn to it. I desired to retreat.
I never belonged and I blamed myself for it.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing horrible has ever happened to me. Never really had any traumas. On the contrary – I was always loved, protected and sheltered away from any harm. Even in the most distressing circumstances, there was always someone who would want to look after me. I was well taken care of. People loved me for what they wanted to see in me. They never saw what was ‘me’ for even I myself never knew who or what it was.
I was approved for being what I was supposed to be. I knew how to please. And I hated myself for it.
At the age of 20 I was diagnosed with dyslexia and some features of dyspraxia. It came as a relief for I knew it wasn’t me, but my brain to be blamed for my odd ways of dealing with the surrounding world. Ever since I haven’t stopped diagnosing myself with every possible disorder that I could at least vaguely identify with. I was seeking diagnosis, I needed it badly for I had to find a reason that could justify my sadness.
I felt guilty for not being happy. I still do. I’m ashamed to admit my profound sadness which follows me as a curse – all my life I was trying to escape it.
When I first auditioned for a drama school, they thought I was overly serious. Their advice to me was: “Find your funny sister”, so I started looking.
I’ve learned how to laugh almost mechanically, I’ve learned to make jokes. I’ve learned to make people laugh. I’ve learned to entertain.
All the while I felt numb inside. I still do.
I live in a paralyzing sense of anxiety of everything falling into pieces. Of something horrible happening. Of people abandoning me. Of things being temporary. No matter how many times I say to myself “you just have to accept it” the fear wouldn’t go away.
I have lived in several places, I have moved places, I have met people and deliberately cut contact with them, trying to adjust to the fear of losing. To adapt to it. To live through it. I still haven’t come to terms with it.
I hate being told what to think or feel, and I hate myself for hating it. I wish I was less resentful towards submission. Hate is not a nice feeling, it isn’t allowed, so it only exists in my solitary moments. I direct my hate towards myself for I know very well that nobody else deserves it.
I’m not a very nice person, but you’ll probably see me as such.
I’m not a very happy person, but you’ll probably see me as such.
I’m not a very peaceful person, but you’ll probably see me as such.
I’m sensitive alright, but you probably won’t see that.
I forbade myself feel in your presence and I have no recollection of how it should be done.
Everything you see in me is a well-rehearsed performance, a performance I practiced for life.
There is noting real about me in your presence except of this piece of writing.
Sometimes, I find it hard to breathe.