I believe one of the worst “compliments” is when someone says, “What do you have to be insecure about?” As if this phrase is supposed to immediately wash some sort of relief or comfort over you and make you realize that you truly have nothing to feel insecure about. If anything, at least to me, this comment tends to have the reverse effect and I am suddenly more insecure about my feelings of insecurities. Insecure about being insecure: the ultimate irony.
I can’t truly recall a moment in my life where I have felt totally and completely secure about myself, whether it be my physical appearance, my talents, my thoughts, pretty much anything. The thing I truly wish people would realize is that I do not choose to be this way, and if possible I would have diminished these feelings long ago. I understand there are many people in the world who use insecurities as a way to receive some sort of attention they must be lacking, but I know there are others like myself who try desperately to keep their self doubt swept under the rug. The only problem with that is you can sweep all the dirt in the world under the rug, but all it takes is one shift of that rug and some of that dirt will find its way out.
I will admit there have been brief moments where I have felt sure about myself in certain aspects, but as I previously stated, the dirt of inner thoughts somehow crept out from the spots I was hiding them under. No one is born insecure. There are things we experience throughout our lives that mold our way of thinking and while some can easily conquer these hardships, others fight long and hard to tackle the demons clinging onto their back that are constantly reminding them of the failures they had endured. I truly wish I had the power to turn all of my mistakes into strengths; however there are certain things I am still trying to learn from, that I have trouble letting go at times.
One of the toughest battles for me is being able to trust when it comes to love. Actually, I am not quite sure that in itself is even true. I have found that I am the type of person who trusts fully immediately when it comes to new people and experiences, and this I believe has been one of my biggest strengths as well as my weaknesses. I know trusting people so easily has made me strong in the sense that I am willing to open my arms to new opportunities and relationships, whether it comes to romance or friendship. Once I have met someone I get along with and genuinely enjoy spending time with, I will welcome them into my circle of closeness and camaraderie. I have been told numerous times throughout my life from people who have become my lasting friends that they are so grateful for my acceptance of them and how they truly value the trust I place in them because it allows them to be able to put their trust in me. It is something I pride myself on strongly. Being someone others can count on is an amazing feeling, and being someone others feel they can run to is even better.
When it comes to romantic affairs, my immediate trust has had its fair share of ups and downs. There have been times when my willingness to believe so much in someone has uplifted me in numerous ways, just as there have been times where it has turned around and bit me in the ass and stabbed me in the back. Of course, this can also be said when it comes to friendships. Like many others, I have been betrayed by those I truly considered a dear friend of mine, but it is something I had to learn to be able to accept. Why is it, then, that it is much easier for me to accept getting fucked over by a friend, than it has ever been when it comes to an intimate love? That question does not even need to be answered, because I know that friendship and romance wash two indefinitely different feelings over one’s soul, but I wish I could master the trait of coping with both letdowns.
In most cases, I do not despise the fact that I am open to trusting others with my heart when I become intimate with them. I have been lied to and deceived in many different ways, shapes, and forms, but I have never allowed it to stop me from opening up my heart to another guy. Usually those who have experienced the pain of heartbreak shut themselves out completely because the mere thought of being vulnerable tears at what’s left of their heart strings. Just as unhealthy as that is, is it any more healthy to be like me and instead of lacking trust and allowing it to build gradually, you trust immediately and then suddenly out of the blue you are insecure about the trust you placed in that person? Therein lies my biggest problem. I will trust the person I love with all of my heart and soul, but the second a moment of disbelief infests my mind and body, it is a struggle for me to regain the trust I placed in them so surely in the beginning.
Most people have an issue with trust when it comes to one particular area. To some, once they have been cheated on they tend to believe that no matter who it is they fall in love with, they too will eventually be unfaithful to them like the others have. Others may have experienced physical or mental abuse and the second they are touched too tightly or one minor comment is made, they either flinch at the thoughts of being struck again or their ego is shattered. Or maybe they were lied to one too many times, or possibly led on and left in the dust like a piece of a trash. Whatever the case, these things can tend to haunt people and while most people are able to get over these fears of it happening again, I am one of the people who has these fears linger in the back of their mind, only to make their presence known at the most inappropriate of times.
It is so mentally and physically draining carrying these worries around like luggage in an airport. Have I been cheated on? Yes. Did it hurt? You’re fucking right it did. Do I still worry I will someday be cheated on? Absolutely. There are times where I am overcome with jealousy at the thought of my boyfriend even looking at a pretty girl because I wonder, “Does he wish he had her instead? I wasn’t enough for the others who have deceived me and became intimate with someone else before they had broken it off with me. What if he does it too?” I know that not all cases of cheating are because of physical attraction. More than not, it is usually a lack of emotional connection that drives a person to cheat so the fact that I am so insecure about my looks or if I do not offer enough on the table drives me absolutely in-fucking-sane. Do I truly believe my boyfriend would cheat on me? Most of the time, no, this thought never crosses my mind. But the insecurity of the past where I also believed this sometimes makes me think that it is possible and I don’t 100% know.
Have I ever been physically or mentally abused? Sadly, yes. Physically, I have never been hit by a lover but that does not mean I was never in a physically abusive relationship. Putting your hands on a person out of anger in any way, whether it be pinning them down, pushing them around, or grabbing them too tightly is abuse no matter how you try to justify it. It is done to place fear in that person and make them believe that they are powerless and of course it makes them believe the abuser has the capability of seriously harming them. Have I ever been physical with a boyfriend? Honesty is one of my best character traits, so I will openly admit that yes I have, although it has never been to intimidate the person. I stand five feet, two inches tall and weigh 120 pounds soaking wet. The majority of guys I have been with have stood at least eight inches taller than me and double my weight. To call me intimidating in any way is a complete joke, as least in my book. The most I have ever become physical with a person is when I have felt threatened and my immediate reaction is to defend myself. Mostly this is either done by pushing or kicking (when I have been pinned down or against something) because if I ever tried to slap or punch someone, being the graceful, petite woman I am, I would more than likely end up missing and hurting myself instead. I know that my boyfriend would never lay a finger on me. For how strong he is, he has the warmest heart I have ever encountered. Do I worry that MAYBE, just MAYBE he could ever lose control? Slightly, of course.
Emotionally, the abuse I have experienced dates back long before the thought of being in love even entered my mind and I still thought boys had cooties. So unfortunately, any slight comment, no matter joking or serious, about my appearance, personality, or what I lack in terms of what I can offer, makes me weep and feel more insecure than ever. I do not choose to be this way. As far back as I can remember, I was told I was a worthless piece of shit and once that thought has been preconditioned into your mind, especially at such a young age, you question any and all things about yourself. I know that I am not an unattractive person in the eyes of others. I, however, do not see this in any way. Growing up, any time a person would comment on my beauty, my mother would tend to respond, “Don’t tell her that, she doesn’t need to hear it.” I know she did this because she did not want me to build a large ego of myself, and I know that she didn’t intend for me to take it so personally, but it has had ultimately the worst effect on me to this day. I have body dysmorphic disorder, meaning when I look at myself in the mirror I literally do not see what other people do. I exaggerate my flaws and my self image is completely mutilated.
Personally, I believe this transfers over into my nonphysical characteristics as well. I typically question my actions around or toward others, and I sometimes believe that I lack in many areas others assure me I am bountiful in. Allow me to state this does not mean that I am “fake” and pretend to be something I’m not. I am who I am and that does not change no matter if I’m around six year olds, or sixty year olds. My problem lies in the fact that I question if I am ENOUGH or if people truly do like me for who I am. It is one of the most gut wrenching insecurities to ever experience and I empathize with those who also suffer these feelings, nor do I wish it upon even my worst enemy. When it comes to love, this has made it EXTREMEMLY difficult for the guy to stick around because they tend to believe I am just an insecure girl fishing for compliments when truthfully, I am thoroughly embarrassed I feel this way about myself. So when my boyfriend makes jokes, ACTUAL JOKES, about anything pertaining to these certain areas, I begin to question if he really feels that way even though deep down I KNOW he doesn’t and he loves everything about me.
Yes, I know, most people would say, “Well if you haven’t overcome these insecurities, then you aren’t ready to commit yourself to another person.” But why does it NEED to be that way? Why is it that I can’t invest myself into another person and give them the chance to prove me wrong? Why is it that I shouldn’t allow a person to help me realize that I truly am a beautiful person, both inside and out? This doesn’t mean that I rely on him to make me diminish my insecurities. Instead, I believe people have the potential to make you realize the insecurities you feel are unnecessary without being the sole reason you don’t feel that way. How are we supposed to overcome these fears when it comes to trusting those we put our hearts and souls into if we never allow ourselves to realize that not everyone out there is out to hurt us?
I’m not sure I will ever completely conquer these feelings of inadequacy, but each day I try harder than the day before to kill these negative feelings of insecurity and mistrust. I do this with my own strength and with the strength of the support from my partner as well as my friends. I truly hope one day I will at least be able to look myself in the mirror and see half of what people see, and feel sure with myself when it comes to the things I have to offer someone. All it takes is some faith and trust.