Within the heart,
Beneath the surface we keep certain thoughts hidden.
We fear to appear vulnerable,
And so we burry our fears deep down,
Praying no one sees just how inadequate we really are.
I asked you once to look in the mirror and to honestly tell me what you see,
Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about my insecurities.
Not to ask for pity,
That’s the last thing I need.
My hope is that in being transparent,
Perhaps I can learn to conquer what is holding me back.
When I was a little girl,
I suffered from nightmares.
I remember waking up almost every night until I was about nine,
Terrified and trembling,
My pajamas damp with sweat.
The dreams were vivid,
They were so real,
And they haunted me even during my waking hours.
I would race down the hallway from my bedroom to my parents room,
Running as fast as could,
Truly believing if I was quick enough I could outrace the demons of my nightmares.
Into my parents bedroom I would leap and snuggle between them in their bed.
I would shake and pray between squinted eyes that I would live to see the morning.
I really believed something was trying to kill me.
I was afraid to go in the shed in the backyard,
The attic and basement,
Even under my bed or in my closet,
I was convinced that the terror I experienced while I slept was partially real.
To this day I hate being home alone,
I guess the dreams never went away completely.
When my mother was ill,
There were many nights she wouldn’t come home.
She would be so distraught or exhausted or confused,
She would sleep at friends houses.
My dad knew where she was,
But when we asked him where mommy was,
“I don’t know” was his only answer.
I would wait up for her some nights,
Praying for her to come back.
Some nights she would,
Usually very late,
Hours after I was supposed to be tucked into bed.
I would crawl to the top of the staircase and listen,
They never knew I could hear their arguments.
I felt like my whole world was falling apart.
Yelling triggers something in me,
I shut down emotionally.
When someone yells at me I just stop listening,
A defense mechanism of sorts.
I was just a little girl,
But I became very afraid of being abandoned,
That when people I loved left,
Even just for a while,
They may never come back.
I still don’t like being dropped off places.
When i finally hit puberty,
Just how different I was from my sisters became clear.
They all had chestnut brown hair,
Mine was a dirty blonde.
They were all thin, petite with athletic figures,
I was chubby, with a belly and a round face.
All I could see was how my clothes didn’t fit right,
How my breasts were bigger and my stomach rounder,
How my skin was uneven,
My lips were chapped from nervous licking.
All I could see was how in family pictures I stood out,
I was different,
And I hated it.
I couldn’t see whatever “beauty” people claimed to see.
I felt anything but beautiful.
I felt fat, and ugly,
I felt confused by all the other events of my life.
I longed for acceptance wherever I could get it.
In my search for a friend,
For someone to love me,
I gave parts of me away I can never get back.
I still struggle with feeling unattractive,
Repulsive even on my bad days.
I question why anyone would want me.
And I doubt anyone really does.
I feel like I am lacking,
And that almost every feature the mirror shows me I could improve.
I am very dissatisfied with myself,
And I think that accounts for a huge portion of my unhappiness with others.
I fear attachment to people,
Because they may one day realize how flawed I truly am,
And leave me.
I have difficulty letting people in,
To let others see me gives them the power to hurt me,
And I am already so damaged.
The scars are plentiful and they multiply each day,
As much as I pretend that words don’t hurt me,
I am not made of stone.
I hide behind my plastic smile,
But inside I am silently screaming.
I don’t want to hurt anymore.
I don’t want to be sad,
Or lonely or unhappy.
I don’t want the pang of anguish that overwhelms me when I am disappointed.
Intimacy comes at a price,
Is it one I am willing to pay?
Not so long ago I was dead inside,
And have since been reawakened by my Savior.
So when I think of the alternative to these feelings,
However unpleasant and difficult to bear,
Yes, feeling something is worth the price.
Being alive means pain with ecstasy,
Sadness with joy,
Tears with laughter,
And turmoil with peace.
Life numb and censored without genuine emotions is a lie,
And why would anyone want to live a lie?
I know I don’t.
I’m so imperfect.
I’m so flawed.
I’m so unworthy.
But I’m here,
Day after day I will wake up and continue to fight,
Until my reality is the one that I so deeply long for.