There is a word for the fear of being seen as you are and the incessant thinking that you can’t be loved being yourself. They call it wronophobia. I don’t think they should have a word for that because it’s just a fancy way of creating yet other differences, making people more conscious of it. Who are we anyways? I don’t suppose any of us is one person, confined to a certain description of how we are. I used to call my friend a hypocrite back when I was this angry emo girl wanting nothing to do with anyone in the world. I later realized that it’s not that she was being fake, she just had a different approach to different people. However, in our obsession with people and companionship and being liked I sometimes think we lose sight of our own shadow striving to be all that would be ‘acceptable’ and avoiding our own selves, running around, always tired, always short of breath.
I’ve never liked myself too much. I always assume I’m boring and dry and have a repetitive reel going in my head and that no one would want to listen to my crap. I’ve looked around at the chirpy, sassy girls with their comebacks and their sense of humour and always felt as if I lacked something; That I was inadequate. Your immediate outward personality is what draws people to you, very few reach in and understand the person that you are. People come among people to have fun, to laugh. No one wants to spend time breaking down the boring barriers and come to the hyper talkative person that I believe is inside all of us. We’re made up of stories and each one of us is bursting to tell their own. If only, each one of us was willing to listen too.
Growing up, you learn to manipulate yourself, to adjust according to people. Everyone wants to be included and in the process of trying to be likeable we lose sight of ourselves and let the belief that we couldn’t be loved if we weren’t a certain way, simmer, gaining momentum, striving to compensate for being what we’re actually supposed to be. Ourselves. It is a restless thrust forward driven by the applause rather than the cause, trying to curb the insatiable thirst for outside acceptance and admiration, our lives proliferating into delusional ideals of perfection and ‘goals’ with no regard to the thought that each of our journeys is different, our stories unique and amazing in their own kind.
The fear of being unloved and unwanted is too great to overcome and so we try to cut off the parts of us that are flawed, crooked or inconvenient and unknowingly, initiate a detrimental war against our own selves, battling to oppress the core of what makes us different. In the world that we live in now, self-esteem is like an empty bucket with a leak we desperately keep on scooping worth into, always striving to be a certain way, addicts for the reassurance of someone or the other to counter the self-sabotaging thoughts. The innocent wish to be accepted thus evolves into a disabling fear even when we don’t fully realize it taking its toll on our lives, gripping into us with claws so deep we can’t free ourselves without bleeding.
I’ve since realized I’m not a perfect porcelain doll. I’m not someone with good comebacks or an amazing sense of humour. I’m complex and edged, full of scars and flaws and cracks but every edge of me is a part of my distinctiveness. They define me and complete me. They make me a whole person and I don’t have to strive for a certain ideal to be something to someone. The self confidence that I can be happy with my own self, peaceful with the voices in my own head gives me more satisfaction than anything I did to be liked did. Reclaiming authenticity is frightening. I feel like I’m meeting someone who had been trapped in a tower for too long and is now learning what the world is through new eyes. Despite all the stumbles of my metaphorical ‘sea legs’ though, I’m glad to meet myself.