I found it difficult to convince myself to post things here for the past couple of weeks. I felt I was a hypocrite for believing that the stuff I write has any meaning or that the writing itself- any value. I missed it, so I kept writing in my diary but I didn’t trust myself enough to publish anything.
Today, I learned that perhaps trusting somebody isn’t that bad. Having been hiding all my life, pretending, trying to elude questions and maintaining a happy appearance has hardened me. Especially after the one person I confided myself in disappointed me enormously, trust became something nobody could earn from me. All I could see were false friends waiting for the opportunity to see one of my weaknesses, to use the information I would let slip against me or to their own advantage. Slowly but surely, without me even realising I began asking myself every time I spoke: “Do they need to hear this? Does this give any of my secrets away? Could they use this?” Inevitably, I stopped giving voice to many thoughts for this fear. I was never alone, being lonely would be a hint that something was not quite right, that I might not be that happy person. But I didn’t have friends either. I got along with everybody and nobody actually suspected that I didn’t particularly hang out with somebody. I was constantly on the move, gravitating between groups but never really bonding with anyone for fear of being exposed.
I thought this was the only solution. Talking was definitely not the answer. And it wasn’t even a huge sacrifice to my mind. I learned to occupy that time that would have been spent with friends for tennis practices or private lessons, projects or activities. So I didn’t feel that loss acutely. But hearing all this being said to me today, by a person I didn’t quite expect, was a weird, painful experience. It sounded so wrong, it didn’t sound strong as I had convinced myself. It sounded weak, like running away.
I am still not sure what to believe. Especially after many of my previous occupations were over, I did start missing having true friends or belonging to a group. I know that I long this feeling of belonging but I still think that any such closeness to people would inevitably lead to my existence being exposed. Talking about it never seemed right to me, it seemed weak and it still does, but retracting myself from any prolonged contact with someone starts sounding awful too.
The person I talked to today also made an awfully true remark: that it might be too late for change. I am 18 years old and especially in the circles I have wondered until now I can’t suddenly come clean. For them I am already someone, a strong, very independent, but cold and somehow secretive Laura. This is something I always knew, that my current “friends” would never find out and I was content with that idea because I also did not consider them worthy. This also explains my current longing for new beginnings. Going to university is somehow my last chance of defining myself anew, to show another image of myself that I want to project into the world. And I must chose carefully which image this is, because it might just become permanent. I know that in theory one can always reinvent himself and that you can create your own fresh start anytime you want but the truth is that the longer you wear a mask, the better it fits you and the more you start blending into the person you want to appear.
I used to be talkative, friendly, eager to meet people and deepen connections. But years of hiding or better said lying changed me. I find it harder now to talk freely and making acquaintances. I find it even harder to go past small talk with anyone. And in truth, what the person told me today is true: I have no friends. I am alone; constantly surrounded by people but in fact alone.
I had already decided to make small steps towards my “recovery”. I began searching for new activities, new groups, people whom I didn’t have history with in order to write a new one. Especially on trips I wanted to see who I was without my parents influence and become the social me again. But I kind of avoided the question of my secret. I always secretly hope that especially once I got off to college my family wouldn’t even be an issue so there would be no cause for me to hide anything. I always hoped and worked towards it having an ever smaller impact on my life so that there would be nothing to hide. But the person I talked to today made me realise it won’t go away. Even if I am on the other side of the ocean, 18 years cannot simply disappear. They made me who I am today and of course not all is negative. I worked hard to overcome my situation and I became strong because of it. I learned the art of dissimulation and pretense and even lying to myself. It was not all bad but it has left its mark on me. So I still have some time to decide what I want to do about that information and how I am going to project myself.
I could be extremely open about it and thus not letting it appear as a sensitive information or a big deal, but I somehow doubt I’ll ever do that. I am too proud to accept pity or to allow anyone to believe I am making excuses.
I still harbour hope that until I reach college it will only become a memory, a past that I don’t need to share. Now it’s part of my daily existence and for someone to be a constant part of my life it would be inevitable to hide it. But when I am on the other continent, this situation won’t be a situation I have to deal daily with. It will be a memory. And I am certain I can come to have closer friendships without having to share all memories, right? The present is now troublesome, there, the present will have nothing of this. I will be able to share the present and enjoy it and if someone becomes trustworthy and close enough to my soul to deserve to know my memories I will not hide them. I think it is the best I can do and I can only hope that the future “present” will have nothing as horrible as this one to hide.
I am grateful to the person I talked to today for making me ask myself these questions and spelling out loud what I’ve been trying to deny. But deep down in my soul I regret having spoken with him. I feel weak for having broken down and I am sorry he will change his opinion about me, about my family, about my existence. He will explain all his questions with the answers I gave him today even if they are not applicable. I saw he felt sorry for me, I say pity and that disgusted me. He will believe he has now explained himself everything he knows about me and everything he didn’t know even if that is not the case. My situation has made me who I am but has not affected me in the way he now thinks. And I am sorry for this. Plus, our relationship will never be the same again. I know he was happy I trusted him and perhaps on a level this will have brought us closer. But now every time he’ll see me he will think of our discussion and remember how I confided in him. I didn’t want that, especially so soon to our farewell. This talk will become one of those memories that you never forget, one of those rare moments you share with someone that always come first to your mind after a period of not seeing each other. Perhaps we’ll pretend nothing has changed, perhaps we’ll talk of it again. I am afraid he will try that. He will think something has changed and that by telling him my story he has gained the right to receive updates, to check on me. But for me, it feels a little as a mistake. I see this talk as a moment of weakness and do not wish for his concern.
I thought a lot today after the talk about how I should proceed. Part of me wanted to go to him next time I see him and clarify that this meant nothing that it was a mistake I didn’t want to make. That nothing has changed and that he shouldn’t change his views or opinions. But I fear this would make it seem bigger than it is. That he’ll interpret it the wrong way: that I understood the immensity of what I have shared and try to take it back and this will make him hold on more to it. The other option is to pretend nothing has happened. This will probably be how we’ll proceed but I fear those meaningful looks he will give me and the moment he will want to talk of it again.
I do have mixed feeling about what happened but I can’t change it now. I also learned some time ago that live is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. So I will make the best of what I have done. I will be happy I have shared the burden and enjoy this comfort for a moment. I will decide how I will continue my relationship with that person the next time I will see him. I can’t decide by myself and a look between us will be enough to understand his feeling about it. I will take the time to think over what I have just written and find the answer to the questions that he made me ask myself and I will definitely start taking into consideration having friends again. I will also start developing that image that I will want to project in the future and get out of my hiding. But I will keep everything to my self in relationship with my current group and “friends”. For some things the time has passed and I won’t regret it. They wouldn’t have been able to understand or help me anyway so I didn’t actually lose as much despite it appearing it his way.
And I will start writing here again. Even if my writing is no good and not prove worth of the time of others it will be worth my time. It does help me and I remember why I started blogging in the first place. I am content with how things turned out and I will make the best out of them.