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This weekend I realized something about myself that I’ve never really put to words. The problem is I can’t figure out why I’m like that, and how to change.

I am always worried about what other people think. Some of you might say “well we all are”. But I take it to an extreme. If I’m driving with the windows down I think about the music I’m playing, and what other people will assume from it. When I’m out shopping I find myself watching for others’ reactions when I come close, instead of just getting what I need and moving on. And I’ve never been able to do things that might shine me in a less-than-favorable light, like karaoke, or dancing in public (even at a club), or even wearing clothes that might “define” me. I feel ashamed even voicing this. Why should I give a damn what other people think? I can let my tattoos show and I’m ok with it. But I over-analyze what I’m wearing when I go get those tattoos. I’m hyper-conscious about what other people think, and I am deathly afraid of making a fool of myself.

In the end I think that’s what it is – giving other people a reason to laugh at me, not with me. I’ll crack jokes all day every day, but I don’t want someone laughing at me. I do have a deep seated issue with that. I remember my mom making me wear things to school that would cause kids to make fun of me. The worst issues I ever had was when she forced us to move. The kids were horrible to me. I had severe, cystic acne. I spoke funny. I looked different. Everything about me was different. Thinking about what I actually went through makes me want to cry. I don’t think I’ve ever allowed myself to move past that because I’ve ignored that it happened. That also explains why I can’t handle bullies now – I never moved past what I went through then.

I kid you not they had a song about my acne. I wonder if this is also part of the reason I don’t want children – god for fucking bid they ever go through what I went through. My mom wouldn’t let me shave my legs despite the fact that I looked like a woolly mammoth. I’m one of those odd natural blondes that actually has mixed hair color around my body. My legs happen to have dark dark brown hair. Being a young girl in a new city that already had features that made me weird, the last thing I needed was my mother forbidding me getting rid of that hair.  But in reality, it’s the song that still haunts me. All I wanted to do was fit in. I had been discarded by my father and his entire side of the family. My mother removed me from everything I’d ever known and moved me to some god forsaken back country state to a city that wasn’t even on the fucking map.

I still desperately want to belong somewhere, and yet I can fit in anywhere. I learned, the hard way, how to be a chameleon. So much so that I still feel like I haven’t met all of me yet. I still adjust what I say and/or do sometimes to fit what I think other people want. Yes, sometimes that can be a good thing, but only sometimes. Most of the time I don’t want to be what every one else wants, or thinks, or expects. I wish I could just let go. Let go of the past, let go of my fear, just let go.

And I don’t know how to do that. I feel like I am drawn to people who can do that, but then I either push them away or find a way to back away because I’m afraid of being made a fool. What brought all this on? A very short date this weekend, where he was unabashedly and unapologetic-ally himself, and I realized I am the problem. I am the sad, scared child who feels alone because I got handed the short stick as a kid. I still live every day like I’m that kid. Like I can’t stand up for myself. Like it’s ok to let people push me around because I get scared when faced with confrontation. Holy shit I’m pushing 30 and I can’t stand up for myself.

I feel like a walking contradiction. Some things are ok, others aren’t. Why can’t I just be OK with me?

This topic must be explored more, but at the moment I have to go to bed so I can be coherent at my job tomorrow. Maybe this is the start of a cleansing that’s been a long time coming.