When I am around people I don’t know well, or even strangers, I often feel translucent. It is as if they do not see me, what I am wearing or what I look like. I feel like my tanned skin becomes like a glass window, through which anyone can see, and if they do stop to glance in, they do not see muscle and bone, but instead see my truths. It’s like a video tape of my life is constantly running, over and over, for everyone to see, and no matter how hard I try I cannot close the curtains.
Insecurity is a bitch, rearing its ugly head at the most inopportune moments. For me however, it does not just attack in the moment, but every moment; anywhere, anytime, not giving me a minute’s rest. Insecurity does not walk alone. It is best friends with that prevalent negative voice that replays in your head over and over, with one feeding off the other. I don’t want to feel like a stranger’s random glance is a dirty look, or a group of people laughing, are doing so at me. Rationally, I know both of those things likely are not occurring, but convincing my mind of that is a different story. I am tired of feeling the fear and anxiety that is brought on by these insecurities. I don’t want any spotlights shining on me putting me at the center of attention, I really just want to blend in, or at least feel like I do.
I wondered what the root of my insecurities were, for a long time. I blamed everything from the sexual abuse and the domestic violence to the insults and degradation. It must be something from my childhood that has caused these feelings so deep they feel innate.
It must be one of my illnesses then; maybe the Borderline Personality Disorder, or the Major Depressive Disorder, or the Complex PTSD. Could I throw blame at the dysthymia or lifelong suicidal thoughts? After all, feeling insecure is common in many disorders, so it must be one of the illnesses then, or perhaps the mixed cocktail of diagnosis.
I can’t recall the moment the light bulb finally turned on, but I can tell you the revelation that came with it. My insecurity around people may have started out with past traumas however, the one place I did not look, was inside. I self-project the negative feelings I have about myself onto everyone around me, bringing me right back to the part about feeling translucent. I feel like by glancing in my window you will instantly see how I feel about myself. If I feel ugly that day, why wouldn’t you think the same? Since I feel like a failure, how could you not see me that way? If I can barely like myself, how do I expect you to do so? Since I know what my scars are from, that random person I pass on the street must know too. I could go on and on, but I think the point is clear.
“Rational emotions” should be an oxymoron.
Sadly, sometimes when that proverbial light bulb turns on, it shows a glimpse of light in the darkness but does not lead us out. So now I have identified the problem, which is me, how I fix it, or is it even repairable. Will I always feel insecure around people that don’t know me? Will I forever avoid people, places and things like I often do now?
There are no pills for this, that I know, and the years of intermittent therapy have yet to help improve my insecurities. I have tried reading self-help books and doing the corresponding workbooks, to no avail. The answer lies in the same place I failed to look in the first place…myself. The day I stop feeling ugly or like a failure, or like a walking scar will be the same day I stop thinking you see me as I do. It will be a day where I feel self-assured and fearless. It will be a day when I feel finally feel free.
I imagine what a wonderful day it would be.