Let me tell you how I live my life. I live my life always looking over my shoulder, always wondering, always waiting for the good things to crumble into dust, expecting the people around me to let me down and hurt me. I’ve learned not to let others get too close. I try not to open up to them. I’d rather keep myself back behind these walls that I build… or the masks that I wear. The less I give you, the less you can destroy. It’s a horribly lonely way to exist. It’s lonely and exhausting. One day I would like to stop but you see I’ve grown up this way. It’s what I know. There’s a deep rooted fear inside me that I must battle. Everyday I struggle to some degree to open up – to share, to trust. I come across perhaps skeptical. A cynic with more bitterness than your average lemon maybe. All lessons in self preservation I picked up along the way.
Most little girls who are born into this world, lucky enough to have a daddy present in their lives, idolize this man from the moment they open their eyes. They watch, listen, learn and grow. My daddy was smart. REALLY smart. He was a scientist and a bloody clever one. I knew so much – had travelled too. Well, when I was little, it felt like my dad had been everywhere. He knew EVERYTHING. He was funny too… well at least the big people around him seemed to think so. They were always laughing. I loved my daddy so much I never imagined life without him. I wanted to grow up to be clever just like him. Obviously realizing your father does not have super human powers is all part of the growing up process. I guess it happens to people at different times in different ways.
I found out my dad was vulnerable when I first saw him cry (he was watching a Freddie Mercury tribute not long after the singer passed away. I remember sitting on his knee. )
I realized I didn’t want to be anything like him when he first hit me right across the face in public. Julia Roberts is right *bam and it feels like your eye is gonna explode* but what goes on inside hurts even more. It’s like tearing at the fabric of your soul… your self esteem. I looked up to this guy for everything, so I must have done something really wrong, right!? There must be something wrong with me… something I did… something I said… the way I look perhaps… there must be something WRONG with me. It never gets easier to cope with… or at least it didn’t for me. Some nights I would lie in bed biting my own fist to keep from screaming because of the things my parents were yelling at each other. I’d cry and pray to anyone that would listen that when he did come upstairs he wouldn’t open my bedroom door.
My dad betrayed me – the one guy in this world a girl is always meant to be able to run to, the one who will supposedly never hurt her….He got to me before any other damn bloke got a chance. He used me… and at the same time he twisted all my perceptions out of shape. My mother didn’t believe me.
I may be damaged but I’m still here… and I’m trying to work this stuff out.
I know I’m not the only one. I know it wasn’t my fault. It doesn’t make trusting people any easier. Old habits die hard. when I get hurt I can’t talk about it I won’t come to you and tell you because part of my brain still believes that my feelings don’t matter or that there will be dire consequences to opening up to you like that. Sometimes I need friends to just realize on their own. If I do, by some happy chance, let you know that something is annoying me or upsetting me, please… can you just stop doing it? Don’t say sorry unless you mean it. Your words are sort of empty if they are not followed up by a change in your behavior, just like all the gifts my father would buy me after his latest….violation.
I’m a loyal person… really. I endured years at my father’s hands before I attempted to tell anyone. I hate to see people hurting. It makes me mad. All I want to do is help people make a difference in the world and matter to somebody.. I still cling to the belief that people are basically good.
I trust you – please don’t let me down.. I share myself with you – all of it. Even the broken stuff. I’m not asking you to have the answers. I don’t want you to fix me. I just want somebody I can trust, someone I can be myself with… where I don’t have to hide or feel stupid or silly and inferior. I really don’t want to feel like you’re here because you pity me, because you feel like I have nobody else so you better step up. I don’t hold you to any obligation.
All I ask is this this:
Honesty: really, just be honest, tell the truth… even if its going to hurt me a little… even a lot. Nothing you can say will match the hurt I’ve already been through. And to be hurt by honest truth as opposed to mislead and deceived with lies.
Respect: don’t make me feel degraded… or belittle me. I deserve respect just like anybody else.
Keep your promises: if you give me your word on something you better stick to it. If you can’t keep your promises. Don’t make them.
A two way street: if you want to help me and be there for me you have to realize I want to do the same for you in any way I can. LET ME. I hate feeling indebted to anyone. You can’t expect me to come to your call but not respond to mine. You can’t expect me to open up and tell you everything while never sharing anything about yourself. I don’t want to feel I’m imposing or laying all my crap on you.
I still have a little pride left. Please don’t attack what remains.