It’s not easy being Me

October 18, 2010

I talked to a friend yesterday. She was telling me about my being an inspiration for her. She sees me as a wonderful being, it seemed, so free, so creative. I listened to her and thought that she was so wrong. It felt so wrong that she should think so well of me when I know how messed up I am, when I know how many days I spend unable to move, unable to function, because of my fears, of my pain. It was so not right that she should think me so present and creative when I know that most of the time I sit in a corner with my hypochondria smashing me to the ground, when I know that I spend weeks at the time doing nothing but imagining another type of cancer I surely have and will die from, and being terrified into absolute immobility. But it felt right to correct her. It felt right to let her know that I am not great at all, not special at all, no different from anyone else. It felt right, it felt noble almost to be straight, frank, truthful, open. To not pretend that I am someone I’m not. It felt so very good, in fact, that I thought I should look closer into why it feels so good exactly, and I saw that by numbering all my faults and afflictions I am not being open, frank and truthful. I am being deceitful and closed up. I am being a lier. I realized that I didn’t tell my friend about all my problems to be honest with her. I told her about it so that she would not think me special, so that she would not think me different, so that I could be just like everybody else, so that I could be normal, ordinary. So that I could fit in. I formed my trauma into a mask that I hide behind. And so it is very easy for me to tell the world about my trauma, but to talk about what is behind the mask … that is much harder. To say openly, honestly, truthfully, that I am an amazing being. To say clearly that I know who I am, that I know who I was before I was born, and I know who I will be once I die. To acknowledge that I know why I am here, that I know the meaning and purpose of my existence here, and that my life here, therefore, is a great adventure that no fear can limit. To admit that I can see many things clearly, that I am not tangling my life into an intolerable mess, that, even though there is trauma, I am not run by the trauma, my life is not run by the trauma. To admit all that – that is not an easy thing. To own it, publicly, out in the world – that is very difficult. It is much easier to put on the mask of fears, problems, pain. And yet – I can speak of my trauma easily, because I know it’s just a mask, I know it’s not me. But then, as long as the mask is up I can only move so much, extend so far … before I run the risk of the mask being too small to cover up my true face.

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