I see you. But not in a creepy way.
I met a girl the other day. She is so like me it’s uncanny. We didn’t know it at first, we were just two strangers sharing the niceties and being polite and friendly.
But she’s so like me I could cry. Not for me, but for her.
I told her I don’t drink anymore. I like saying it because I feel good about it. Proud. Happy. She told me she was trying to stop too. We started talking and it just snowballed from there.
I’ve never met someone who gets how I feel so completely.
I’ve never met someone who has the same anxiety about flushing the loo at night because of worry and fear it will wake someone else up. Someone who understands the things I can’t put into words, about the complexities of the emotions surrounding such a simple act.
I see you. But not in a creepy way, or a way that you're used to - men wanting a piece of you. All I want for you is to known that you’re seen. You’re not strange or bad or just an angry person who should feel guilty all the time for letting your emotions overpower you.
You have a lot to be angry about. No wonder you get in fights when you’re drunk. I slept with people and you trying to punch them isn’t so different. All you want when you get in those fights is for someone to protect you. No one protected you as a child so of course you’re still searching for it. And the anger you feel? Actually that starts as fear. Fear when you get catcalled by yet another drunken man. Fear of where it could lead to. That innate fear programmed into us to be absolutely hyper alert at all times to sense any possible threat around us. Fear makes your body respond. It’s completely subconscious and it’s not something that is easy to control even when you know it’s happening. Fear forces you into a loud angry response to protect yourself.
You just wanted someone to protect you, because no one ever did.
We learnt from such a young age that what we did and who we are is wrong. I don’t know how we ever unlearn that.
We were forced into total compliance from such a young age that we don’t know how to not follow orders anymore. How do we choose what to wear when we have free choice? That comes with time. It can absolutely feel overwhelming though. Take it slow.
Take it slow lovely. Take it slow. I won’t say don’t be so hard on yourself, because we both know that we don’t actually know what those words mean. We don’t know how to be kind to ourselves. I’m slowly slowly learning and I promise you will too. I’ll tell you everything I learn and maybe something can help you too.
I see you.
And what I see, I don’t hate or despise or look down on. I promise. Even though I know you don’t trust promises. I know you don’t trust anyone. I know. I don’t need you to trust me. Just hear me when I say I see you and it will sink in.
We never show ourselves to anyone completely do we? I didn’t. And then I started writing and I can’t stop. There is something so liberating about revealing myself to people in this way. We were taught that what we are inside is Bad and Wrong, but actually it turns out that all of that was lies too. Lies meant to control our behaviour so we would be good. Always perfect.
But actually no one cares. Not in a bad way, they just have their own feelings inside. And our hyper vigilance doesn’t need to be on alert for danger from them all the time. Most people aren’t waiting to see what we do wrong all the time. They aren‘t delving into our privacy and they aren’t trying to read our thoughts all the time. They are just getting on with their own lives.
There’s so much I want to share with you. I hope you can see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll share everything I can with you to help you on your own journey there. It will be different to mine but maybe some of the things I’ve learnt along the way will help you too.
I see you. But not in a creepy way.