“Stop being so insecure,” those words bounced around in my head for sometime, I found myself somewhat bewildered by them. Me, insecure? Ha. I think not.
As I sit and reflect on my overarching mistrust of both women and men.. well not all men, and certainly not all women. You know, just some, like there’s a type you just get those “I can’t trust you” vibes from. Where you instantly put up your guard and question everything about them or maybe when you decide to take the stairs instead of ride an elevator alone with that man. Know what I mean?
I can’t help but to wonder what experience(s) shattered my mistrust of others? Because I wasn’t always this way.
Believe it or not, there was a time I really thought that everyone was nice, had good intentions, and wouldn’t dare hurt me or my feelings. Yes, clouds were really cotton candy that somehow didn’t melt away when rain fell, bad things only happened to people who did bad things, and when the cancer struck we all chalked it up to bad genes and the crap they put in our food nowadays, because she was so darn sweet she’d make candy jealous, she didn’t deserve cancer.
Life has a funny way of teaching you lessons, the first jolt of reality stings and makes you rub your eyes in attempt to rid the “sleepy seeds” that for so long had been clouding your vision.
Now you question damn near everything and everyone.
You know, I really thought those girls in 7th grade liked my purse and more importantly liked me, but after my lunch money showed up missing three days in a row, I figured they weren’t just, “trying on my bag”.
Oh, and I really did believe the marks that clung to the side of his neck were from football practice. Yet, once those uneven traces of something began to resemble the remains of lips that were not mine, I realized that there wasn’t even football practice on Saturday.
Goodness, how could I forget when those secrets I told her in confidence somehow ended up being tweeted for all 782 of her followers to see. She must of just forgot that those signed and sealed secrets were triggers to my depression.
And certainly he didn’t mean to force his hand up my leopard print Calvin Klein pencil skirt as he walked past me in the crowded party. Disgusted and frozen from shock I couldn’t even fix my lips to spat out a rebuttal.
Experiences, change our perception. Good, bad or in between, our interactions with the world and those around us, changes how we move. I now fear being alone with men I don’t know, I cling tight to my purse in certain places, I write my secrets down instead of telling others, and I learned to stop trusting anyone of the opposite sex that called my partner a friend. See, I created barriers to avoid hurt, and we all do; some more than others, but we do.
Well Devin, where’s the turning point in this post? Where’s the upbeat paragraph where you tell us it all gets better?
I hate to disappoint my dear readers, but this is where I am at. I’ve tried, so many times, to be more trusting and not so damn insecure, but time after time I find myself in the same place.
I often compare myself to a hermit crab, while I am growing as a person and moving in life (whether that’s advancing in the workplace, competing in a pageant, moving to a larger home, traveling out of the country or otherwise), I constantly have to find a bigger shell that will fit me and the insecurities I carry with me; allowing me to retreat when necessary. I carry the weight of this shell daily and it is a reminder that there is something to hide; something to protect from the world around me.
Because, you see, without my shell, I am defenseless. I am open. I am vulnerable.
Insecure, an adjective that was somewhat branded on me by others and once the burn healed, I claimed for myself. Taking it and proudly sharing that, yes I am broken and a product of the world around me, but I am in control of my own fate, still I persist. Insecure by no means is a nice word, it’s usually thrown at you in frustration, but remember this:
Your walk is your own. Your experiences, traumas and beliefs are valid. You can take as long as you need to heal. You are entitled to protect yourself.
So, don’t be ashamed of your “shell”, decorate it and wear it with pride. You are still here, despite what has happened, despite who hurt you, despite the disease or sickness. You’re here and there’s only one, you.
So, are you carrying a shell too?