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 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 would always be 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 19 or 20 I was diagnosed with dyslexia and some features of dyspraxia. It came as a relief for I knew it wasn’t me to be blamed for my odd ways of perceiving and expressing things. Ever since I haven’t stopped diagnosing myself with every possible mental disability or 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 repeat to myself “So they are – just 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 sense of fear. To be able to face it. To live through it. To adapt to 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.