Waiting for today...: A Look Back At: Pretending

Wednesday, August 19

A Look Back At: Pretending

Secrets… once they take root, they fester and in time make the secret-keeper ill.  Once blistered, the ill become social lepers...
Loneliness can make a person do desperate things.  What started out as a temporary break from reality turned into years and years of withdrawal from what was becoming my real life. Actually, if I’d remain present maybe my life would have made it more pleasant turn... in time that is.   I could only hope.  In either case, time spent in my head... pretending, did more harm than good in the end.
On the one hand, I made a friend who was verbally abusive, controlling and a thief. On the other, I was faced with almost an entire class of peers that treated me with indifference... I chose to slip into myself again. Except, this time I stayed there a bit longer. I began to imagine and pretend my schoolmates wanted to be my friends. I would not only envision, but would also act out playful scenarios. Like a little girl having a tea party with her stuffed animals. Just as those stuffed animals would be given attributes and personalities, I would give my classmates the same... ~ August 15th, 2014 Welcome Back
I've only spoken about this dirty little secret of mine twice.  The first time was during one of the most difficult times of my life and it was to my bestest friend.  At that time my mother and I's relationship had cracked under the pressure and although surrounded by other people, I still feel most alone and an outcast.  My stress levels were high.  I was reaching... hoping that someone would take my hand, tell me they understood my pain and promise that no matter what they will handle me delicately and with patience. While her sentiment was obvious and authentic, it didn't help me.  Not much changed.
I remember there being an attempt to include me in various activities, gatherings and outings. I remember my second mom telling me, with all good intentions, that it was “okay to talk to yourself”.  Yet I don't remember any of their efforts to seek answers to the “why”; to understand and to help me to understand as I hadn’t tried to wrap my head around it myself. So on the heels of their falling short of helping me, whispers and gestures of indifference and rejection, I was brought right back to the place insecurity.  And I returned to my place of comfort; I kept right on “talking to myself”...  pretending.
Some time ago, I shared this deep secret for the second time, with my therapist.  I can't recall how it came up.  But, I remember having both a sense of uncertainty and consolation. Uncertainty because of the obvious embarrassment.  I thought to myself over and over again how messed up and pathetic she was going to think I was.  And obsessed over whether or not she’s treated anyone more weird.  I wanted so badly to avoid the subject.  I want to continue to hide.  But more than anything, I wanted to get that toxic secret out; release it for good.
Consolation was waiting for me once I finished.  My therapist's’ response was what I had been looking for so many years ago when I first ripped my heart open. I remember her eyes they were sad for me and nonjudgmental.  She said that she couldn't imagine how lonely I felt.  The memories of those times were so vivid.   In the end, I felt safe.  There was even some laughter and let me know that I had finally let go of that strange security blanket.  Or so I thought.
In it’s infancy it was a “creative” way to ease the culture shock and eventual sadness I experienced returning back to the states: new city, new school, no friends.  It should’ve been short-term.  I should’ve been able to adapt.  I should’ve talked to someone… anyone. So many “should’ves”... that don't matter anymore.  I allowed to continue on... to thrive and handicap me.  It fed off my insecurities, played tricks on my self-esteem and soon I feared rejection which gave rise to social anxiety and awkwardness.  It helped to run my life.