Don't Believe The Hype: You Don't Grow Out Of Insecurity or Acne
Insecurity, much like acne, I assumed I would grow out of. Somehow, at 34, I still get pimples and I still have crippling insecurity. I feel lied to. Adulthood is not as fun as advertised.It's weird to be older and insecure, isn't it? Shouldn't we be confident and comfortable by now? I feel like the past few years have given me even more layers of it since moving away and coming back. I'm a bit damaged from recent experiences and my trust is shaky. I end up talking myself down constantly, telling myself it is not the same situation. I don't need to panic, everything is different and better now. Somehow it still looms over me alongside its best friends: depression and anxiety.I worry about being fired all the time. I used to be a very confident worker who was promoted, praised, trusted. When I was terminated in the manner I was a year ago, it all erased from memory. Now a real fear lingers over me, whispering in my ear it can happen again. I always believed hard work paid off and I worked hard. It didn't matter. It came without warning or merit or reason. While I know many terminations are not in the fashion mine was, I now realize I am still recovering from the shock and embarrassment of several months of absolute torture and uncertainty. I assume every criticism, every move I make is being watched and judged. I think if I speak up, I will be shot down only to have my ideas taken from me. I will be cast aside because why wouldn't I be? I'm expendable. I'm just a body at a desk, waiting for instruction, not allowed to have a mind of my own.The past few years, I never felt anyone knew me entirely. I felt judged, bullied, disliked. Hidden. I have always had the desire to be popular and have everyone enjoy me. I panic when I think someone doesn't and it consumes me. My bullied past rises up in my throat and chokes me as I overthink if anyone likes me or even knows me. I had a thought at one point if I gave a quiz on the basics of Rachel, would anyone even pass? How did I let this build up to a point where I couldn't even get a B on the same quiz.It has morphed itself into my relationships with even my closest of friends. I have been insecure about living in New Jersey and how annoying it is to come out there (even though it really is not). I try to be as accommodating as possible, staying late in the city or volunteering to take the train in instead of making people come out. I have hot guilt run up my spine when I hear friends have had trouble with the bus. Not one person has complained about visiting us but I have invented it in my head as I do most things and now it plagues me and is spoiling my love of where I live.Negativity has been my partner in crime the past few years and even prior to that. It registered recently how much I let it escape from my mouth. I have attempted to put myself in check before releasing its venom but I don't always stop it in time. I complain, I whine, I bitch and moan about this and that. I have always been a bit of a brat but I don't like what it has done to me. I used to be happier, brighter, more positive. I catch myself and swallow the bitter pill, asking if I really am upset or if I just want the release. It is normal and warranted to complain about the MTA, the weather, traffic. My complaints are much less deserved. I am concerned my friends see it in me and are backing away. I torment myself by dissecting their responses and looks even though there is nothing to them besides a normal reaction. I worry I have lost too much of myself to think clearly. I use it to cover the doubts I have about myself. It is a security blanket.I have been feeding off of gossip lately, too. I hear myself asking questions, sharing secrets, what is happening to me? Why am I trashing other people who have done nothing to deserve it? Well, maybe some of them have, let's be honest. It is like craving a cigarette; this itching feeling that I want to share something I probably shouldn't but god, it feels good when I do. What the fuck is that????? Is that another bandage I put over myself to hide what I truly feel? To mask my jealousy and anger that has taken up residence in my heart?Insecurity is hurting me. It is as if I have traveled back in time to that bullied 5th grader, trying so hard to belong, when all she needed to do was remember she was listening to Green Day before any of the rest of them were and was actually pretty fucking cool. I see myself as this negative, broken woman who is completely lost and flailing and no one wants to give her the time of day. Isn't that a bitch? Insecurity is the fucking devil. If only it was about a pimple on my nose and not my entire being that I was worried about.Do I need to be coddled? Do I need someone to brush my hair and tell me I am beautiful and worthy and special? I mean, that would help, but I also have a husband that does that and I am still unable to believe it for myself.We don't grow out of this, do we? There will be another new job someday that I panic before I walk into and worry if people will like me, if I will be fired, if I am being too much of a gossip or a negative Nancy (sorry to Nancys everywhere). I can be talking to someone I have known 10 years and walk away stressing they hate me. That I said something wrong. That I was too negative or bossy or gossipy. It sits in my brain for days and interrupts my sleep. This black coil of a snake, tightening slowly. I don't know how I got like this. I don't know how to fix it.It is another creature that lives with me that I need to evict. I can not let it control me as it has been. I see it in my hesitation to return to acting, to share my writing, to take pictures of myself, to be myself. I am starting over with me. I can't erase what happened and the rotten parts of the past that linger. I see them there and I hate them. I am insecure. I am scared. I am lost. Despite that, I am healing. I know I am in there somewhere. It is just taking time to climb back out.