I Thought That To Be Strong, You Must Be Flame Retardant

I have trust issues. Doesn’t everyone? Mine run deep to the point that I struggle trusting people to take my money to the bar for a drink. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ve been in two separate schools of drama and in both, I couldn’t do one of the core tasks of team-building; I couldn’t let myself fall backwards and be caught by somebody else. In order to do this task, you need to trust the other person to catch you and let go of your body completely. I could never do it, I always desperately tried and felt pathetic because I couldn’t but I didn’t want to have to trust somebody to catch me. I wanted to know how to catch myself before I hit the ground.

This lack of trust has lead to me really sinking into myself. I make myself appear like an open book and some things I’m not really bothered about sharing, I don’t feel ashamed of my secrets so I share some but there’s a lot of me I don’t show. I’m seen as mouthy, argumentative and somebody not to be messed with. The truth is, most of that is a way of protecting myself. Sure, I can hold myself in an argument and in a lot of ways, I am made of steel but mostly I’m scared and I’m hiding behind this façade in the hope that I’ll mostly be left alone, I’ve been a victim one way or another for my whole life and I don’t like being seen as that so I act like somebody who can’t and won’t be victimised.

I worry about those I love turning their backs on me, leaving or betraying me so I always have a plan in my mind of how to cope if they do. I trust myself, I love myself and I’m not scared of being left alone. I’d just much rather not be because as much as I say I hate people, I need them and love them.

The title of this post was a lyric from Amanda Palmer’s song Ampersand that always stuck with me, it’s exactly how I’ve been for the past 5 or so years. I’ve tried to show weakness as little as possible and when I do, I feel disgusted and ashamed as if it’s something to be ashamed of and it’s only been recently that I’ve really realised that the people that do love me love the less aggressive side of me which makes me feel a lot better about myself but there’s still the issue of how do I let these people who see through me in? I trust very few people and with them, it came naturally or in my boyfriend’s case, with time. Aside from the few people I trust, I seem to have forgotten how to do it. If only trusting was as easy as self destructing, I’d be fantastic at it.

Writing this was hard and I was shaking most of the time but it was worth it. Even if everyone sees through me, and knew this anyway, even if someone does find out I’m weak and decides to victimise me because of it, I’ve been completely honest about who I really am. I don’t like arguments, I don’t like being the person who shouldn’t be messed with and I don’t like being angry. It’s just easier to be that way than it is to let people in. I’m not sure how much more rejection my heart can handle but when I put on my metaphorical armour, I feel stronger and like I can’t be beaten. Anyway, this is me. Scared to trust, scared to love and ok with admitting it.

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