Tired of carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders

Being self-centred for a change is such a breath of fresh air

In Summary

• The sun is shining bright on my Scarlet A

A woman lets go
A woman lets go

Scarlet A is a symbol of shame. There’s a book and a movie. The movie was very underwhelming. Anyway, I’ve wanted to talk about this for a very long time. However, it’s not easy for me to be vulnerable in unfamiliar places.

The threat, perceived on my end, of perception from these unknowns used to shake me. It triggered how unsafe it has felt my whole life to be seen. Because it seems that every time I, the individual, the self, the inner child, the unsocialised, was seen, I was the square peg in the round hole. 

Those voices telling you, kindly but mostly unkindly, to change this and shift that, and then tone this and why aren’t you like that? What’s wrong with you that you’re like this?

They never really say what 'this' or 'that' is, so you’re never sure which box to make yourself fit in, looking for a sense of safety. So, you begin box-hopping, hoping that one day, someone will say you’ve fit in the right box.

I used to have no foundation of self. I was a consequence of social norms and harsh truths. It was exhausting. I used to be so tired all the time. I have a folder on my desk of photos I used to take two years ago. At the time, I told myself that I wanted to document what my face looked like every day for a year. It’s some Instagram thing I saw and wanted to try. So, I started snapping morning selfies of myself (one word).

I was very attracted to the sun back then, more than usual. I had started doing the risky thing of sleeping in empty parks on random weekday afternoons. I would nap under the sun and no matter how hot it got; I would feel my body’s need to be under the sun stronger than the burn. I slept outside a lot. And I started taking pictures, too. 

The folder then was called “1 Year Selfie Challenge”, and I took selfies for about three months before I stopped. Apart from not looking at mirrors, I never used to take photos of myself (one word) that much.

I would go months before taking a selfie or allowing anyone to snap a picture because there was a reason I didn’t want to look at my self (two words). I had abandoned my self, lost my self somewhere in the noise outside.

I had heard so many voices for so long and I thought they were mine, but they don’t even sound like me. I didn’t want to see what the consequences looked like, so I played my classic avoidant game. I convinced myself (one word) it wasn’t important enough to matter. My self (two words) started to drown in an ocean of loud noises. It was so loud, addiction made so much sense. 

I was addicted to pain at first. I tried so many ways to harm myself on the outside so maybe someone could ask if anything hurt on the inside. My pain and trauma were in the slow and very painful killing of any sense of self I had. 

The prosecution always came prepared. I didn’t have representation, though and I wasn’t allowed to speak. My voice was an act of violence against the prosecution. Over time, I became very numb and then I was gone. How I zombie walked through life between 16 and 26, I will never understand. 

I was always either very alone or feeling extremely crowded. I didn’t know how to settle in mediocrity. Yet I was mediocre, so I was always unsettled. However, mediocre men for me seemed so safe. I seem to attract them like flies. It’s the predictability of both good and bad behaviour that makes them so easy to manipulate. Love. Whatever you want to call it. 

For a decade, I was dead inside. I was just a consequence of social norms and harsh truths. The punishment in hell was my self (two words) -awareness. I knew what was happening. I was looking at it happen. I wasn’t looking at myself, but my eyes were always open. I saw everything. Even when I buried it, I was right there at the funeral. 

I saw myself stuck in cycles of consequence. I was a hamster, and I seemed to have accepted the fate of it. I was so tired, though, but this was familiar, so I justified it by saying it was easier to navigate.

I became very addicted to pain. The best way to self-inflict emotional pain, in my opinion, is to people-please. Because the truth is, nobody gives a f**k about you. F**k you, life is hard for everybody. 

The realisation that nobody gives a f**k about me is what changed my life. It made it very easier to navigate perception. Because, everything is perception, and you get to choose what to look at. Inward and out. 

When I looked at the photos from my ‘1 year selfie challenge’, which I later changed to ‘When I was depressed’, all I saw reflected was everything that I had decided was wrong with me. I was walking with my Scarlett A, allowing the world to decide for me.

Everyone else is so exhausting, and that’s why being self-centred is such a breath of fresh air.

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