The Me I Could Be/The Me I Could Never Be

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t updated in so long. I really had no idea how much time had passed. Time keeps drifting through my fingers. I’m sorry that I’ve been a crappy blogging friend and haven’t been around.

I’m okay. I’ve remained cocooned in a bubble of self-isolation. My emotions seem to be a yo-yo, though.

The week before last, I visited my family. A week ago, I went back to work. For some reason, my anxiety was working overtime, and I kept thinking I was on the verge of a panic attack. I thought I could feel everyone hating me. Then I had this conversation that seemed to insinuate people there liked me. And for the rest of the week, I noticed other small signs that appeared to indicate that idea.

I went to therapy, and we talked about how I wasn’t content with the status quo in my part-time job situation. We were discussing this job I’m thinking of applying for. I doubt I would get it, but I was thinking of applying as practice. My therapist thought that would be good because I would put less pressure on myself with that goal.

Anyway, after the session, something clicked. I had this vision of the me I could be. Of what I used to be like before the big break, my competitive, success-driven self. My self that strives for competence and always achieves it. (Well, except for the pesky social anxiety, which was ten times worse in the past. I think even though I don’t take medication that strictly addresses social anxiety, it helps. Of course, I think all my problems are tied together and influence each other, but that’s a subject for another post.)

I felt this understanding that my perception of what people think of me is sharply different from reality. That if I feigned competence, people would believe it. (Because really, half the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.) That I could hold a higher position and do well at it.

But then something in me flipped. I knew that this vision of the me I could be was actually the me I could never be. Every time I imagined myself succeeding, I imagined myself failing spectacularly afterward. Making stupid and costly mistakes. Anytime a person wants to talk to me at work, my first thought is always I’m in trouble or didn’t do a good job. I feel like that result is inevitable. I also had urges to sabotage any success I may have. Like I can’t let myself succeed ever. Because I don’t deserve it. Because I’m always panicking, and I’m gonna choke.  I might as well prevent the future disappointment by sabotaging myself first.

Then I started thinking that if anyone who likes me really knew what I’m like inside, the terrible person I am, the messed-up person I am, they’d be revolted.

It’s just really no one’s ever liked me. For much of my life, I had no friends. I have only one now. The idea of people liking me doesn’t compute. I’m overly sensitive to it. My therapist and I once talked about my biggest trigger, rejection. Perceived rejection. I can see little things as rejection. In general, I’m just much too sensitive, like easily shattered glass.

After I realized that the me I could be was the me I could never be, all I wanted to do was cower in a corner. I can’t go through the big break again. I don’t think I could make it through another one. For the past three years, my life has revolved around laying low, my priority being to prevent any repeat of the big break. Three freakin’ years. I’m pathetic.

Even after all that time, my will is a crushed feather. I’m all uncertainty and indecision.

I’m too broken. Thus, the me I could never be.

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9 Comments

Filed under General Musing

9 responses to “The Me I Could Be/The Me I Could Never Be

  1. I can so relate to this Angel. Good to see you again! xx

  2. You are not pathetic at all. I still fear having another big break. I figure it is better to do what I can handle safely and not risk losing myself and devastating my family. I totally understand. It has been about 10 years since my big break, and I am only now coming out of hiding and taking risks I used to think was impossible. Give yourself more time to heal.

  3. Morbid Insanity

    I know how you feel.

    “Then I started thinking that if anyone who likes me really knew what I’m like inside, the terrible person I am, the messed-up person I am, they’d be revolted”

    Everyone hides something inside, believe me. Who really likes you would not be revolted, they’d try to understand and respect you.

    • But that’s the thing. Maybe I’m a cynic, but in my experience, people are often shallow. Sometimes I feel like people are superficial and of course shy away when they discover a deeper unpleasant truth. A part of me thinks superficial liking is better than having the whole world be revolted.

  4. skinnyhobbit

    I can so relate. Lots of social rejection growing up and at work has meant that I’m never sure if I can be myself.

    All the self-help books and the psych I finally did see (whom I don’t intend to see ever again, just a really bad fit) always advocate “Just because you believe your thoughts doesn’t mean they’re true.”

    But it works both ways. :( I would always go into New environments hopeful and thinking “People aren’t making fun of me. They’re not laughing behind my back. Don’t be silly!” to find that people WERE really talking badly about me explicitly… even people who seemed friendly to my face for months on end.

    And I wonder why I keep trying when I just don’t fit.

    • In the workplace, I’ve learned that people often are friendly to others then talk about them behind their back. Sometimes I wonder what they’re saying about me, but I try to tell myself it’s not a big deal since others are discussed, too. Still, the situation is frustrating to me because I don’t know how to tell when people are sincere. I tend to take things at face value and have faith in people until it’s extremely obvious that I shouldn’t. I guess that I have some weird optimist in me even though I’m mostly pessimistic about human nature.

      I’ve had professionals tell me the, “Just because you believe your thoughts doesn’t mean they’re true” thing, too. However, this to me suggests something else: If I believe something positive about myself, that doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s the same principle, and it can work both ways. When I bring this up, I’m usually told I’m being stubborn, but it seems like a legitimate concern to me.

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