Today I was on Facebook. I looked at photos of one my cousins. She smiles the same way I do… And in each photo she looks cool. When I smile that way I look…weird.
Actually, in every photo I then looked at of myself on Facebook I looked odd. And I’ve never seen it until this morning. It’s in my eyes…
Once in college a “friend” told me, “You need to stop pretending life is happy. Just admit life sucks!” I was deeply hurt. She had no idea how strong I constantly had (and have) to be for myself.
I’m a unique person. Seriously. I don’t fit into most archetypes. Or possibly almost any… And…that’s the problem.
Yesterday I said that I wasn’t (and am not) cute. And that’s true… But I was raised by parents who continually reinforced the idea that I should be cute. Uber Scandinavian. Calm. Sooo calm. They taught me how to smile in a way that looks…weird on me.
People do hate me. They do… And I think part of why that is is because I’m constantly lying. I’m a total fake. A fraud. The thing is…it isn’t my fault. And ironically I’m a very honest person. To a fault, possibly.
But I’m not myself. I wasn’t allowed to be. Ever. Somehow I was lied to. By my parents and then by peers who follow a social order my parents and possibly my birth parents were and are brilliant enough to understand well. To use. If my father was born in the late 1800’s I was inculcated into a family because he (or my mom) wanted me to have a “normal life.” If my parents are my own it was because they’re not 100% good people and wanted to control me… Maybe both. Regardless, I’m fake because I was force fed lies. And I’m still a phony because people love to lie to me. It’s ripped brutally at my mental health since childhood.
Yes…I lie about myself because people have always lied to me and then doubled-down on their lies. Over and over and over. And because I’m so unique no one (living) has noticed any of it. I just seem…crazy, or stupid, or evil in some way people can’t figure out. “Why don’t you just admit life sucks?” because why do I always smile like I do? Why do I always seem so…weird.
I think the truth is that I’m not who you think I am. I’m extremely difficult. I’m kind but extraordinarily strong-willed. I’m good not innocent. And the smiles that look genuinely cute and attractive on my cousin make me look insane.
The lies people shove down my throat violently and have since birth make me feel crazy though too…not just look crazy. …Contradictory nonsense… I see someone looking sad and go to comfort them in empathy and then they rip my head off or tell me coldly they’re “fine.” Sometimes when I was little they’d confide in me…but as I’ve aged people have become resentful. Hateful. And it’s not just the changing world around us…
I’m sure people wonder why a pretty woman smiles the way I do. They can place the smile in their head. They get that part… A pretty women might smile that way. It brings up images of my cousin (or someone like her), so to speak. But…I’m not really like that and as people can sense my true nature underneath the smile freaks them out. Why do I look so angry?! Right? The thing is…I’m not angry. That’s just my real personality. *laugh* I’m not a jerk and I’m not masculine. Or stupid… Or not straight. *eye-roll* I’m…extremely difficult. Not disobedient either. Difficult… Not surly…. Genuinely, deeply challenging. Far from stupid… Too far.
“We’ve got to get her saved.” said my father about me when I was 2 years old or so. I was supposedly scaring them with how wild I seemed. At 2. …Saved being becoming “born-again.”
The thing is…if my father was born in the late 1800’s he was profoundly wild. Brilliant. Epically difficult. Handsome, kind, generous…but not an “easy person.” And…if that’s true…how my father who raised me missed how much I was like him baffles me. Was it just the nature vs. nurture argument back then? Was it just how people though nurture meant more than nature? We didn’t know nearly as much about genetics in the 1970’s and 80’s. We didn’t recognize how despite our free wills (or seeming free wills to some) we are quite predetermined in a way as well. “You’re so much like me!” the father who raised me would say over and over and over and over again. But…I’m not.
“You could kill someone. So could I.” the father who raised me told me once in deep seriousness and sincerity when I was a young teenager. I was disturbed by it. I knew I probably could…but I certainly had absolutely no desire to. At all. It was a wellspring within me I subconsciously knew I could tap into should it be necessary but why would I?! Good God. How odd… He troubled me. Why did he feel like killing people? Or what exactly was he trying to tell me?! Highly disturbing…
…Was I just raised by controlling parents who are wildly different than me or was I misshapen by, at least sometimes, well intentioned people? Did they bind my soul and contort my face? Did they blind me? Did they semi accidentally brainwash me into a contrived stupidity that’s beyond baffling for most to discern? I’m unsettling.