Sunday, 21 April 2019

Welcome To Me

At the start of the year, I meant to write a series of ‘About Me’ posts, but I had issues with my computer and wasn’t able to.  Then I bought a new computer, but since then I just haven’t been able to make myself do it.

The whole reason I wanted to do these posts was as a form of self-affirmation and starting the year proud to be the me I am.

But every time I sit down to start, I feel completely cast in the shadow of my social anxiety – it’s not quite self-loathing, because I happen to like myself, but my utter unshakeable conviction that everybody else despises me.



I dunno how other people view themselves, but I often feel that I am kind of shattered into different aspects of my personality that just don’t mesh together.

At my heart and centre, this is me:


This confident being who is totally sly and irreverent and finds everything amusing.

But like most cartoon characters, I have a little angel and devil pulling me off course.  Except not so much good and evil as love and hate.


One is my loving side who is totally sweet and empathetic and is compassionate to everything.


And the other is my hateful side who is totally cynical and antagonistic and is critical of everything.

Most of my friends are familiar with these two aspects of my personality – someone who is completely distracted by how cute and fluffy squirrels are and also complains about every movie and book that crosses my path.

But just to complicate matters, I have this other layer.


I think it has actually formed from both my compassion and my criticism colliding into a shield who is totally strict and ethical and needs to correct everything.  This tends to be the part of me my colleagues know best.  On the one hand, it makes me a really efficient employee and useful, reliable person to keep around, but on the other hand, it makes me seem mean and unbending and kind of scary.

But on top of that, my very outer layer is this awful repressed-by-society gunk layer.


So people who don’t know me at all only see this repressed surface layer who is intensely shy and insecure, working always to hide the real me away because I spent so many years unable to be myself, because school and society forgot to educate me on a) who I was and b) that it was okay to be that person, and now I’m so entrenched in this tar that it stops me from being able to be myself or do the things I want to do and people really think I am this pointless and the tar only gets thicker.

People who don’t know me at all label me as ‘quiet’, which is the outer tar layer.

People who know me a little label me as ‘serious’ and ‘sensible’, which is the middle shield layer.

People who know me better label me as ‘hates everything’ or ‘overly sensitive’, which are my hate-devil and love-angel sides.

I might be the only one who knows the inner Me me, who might have been the outer me if I hadn’t been so confused and isolated during my formative years.  Or maybe I was always destined to have these different personality traits who completely contradict each other.  The other day The Housemate called me ‘an introvert who wants to be an extrovert’.

When I look back at my childhood, I can remember different instances of being the Inner Me, and the Love-Angel, and the Hate-Devil, and the Shield Layer and sadly the Tar Layer.  But by the time I was a teenager, I think the Tar Layer had got a lot thicker, and maybe the Inner Me had got smaller, or just was more sound-proofed off.  I can remember sometimes just wanting to rip it all away and reveal the real me, but then when it came to it, not knowing who that was.  I deliberately perpetuated a ‘Scary’ persona as a teen because it was the only thing that made me stand out and it has stayed with me through to my adulthood now, albeit smartened up a bit, as the no-nonsense don’t-mess-with persona I use at work.  Am I really that strict?  I don’t know.  Because on the one hand, I really do care and I can’t stand it when things aren’t done properly, and on the other hand, I could not care in the least because I am just here to have a good time.

I am all five of these beings.  They are all aspects of my personality.  They all bring positives and negatives to my life.  (They are also all usually represented by different characters in my stories.)

Inner Me is where my sense of humour comes from and my ability to relax so it’s what makes life fun, but the irreverence means I can be rude and really not care, which gets me into trouble.

Love-Angel is kind and loving to animals and fills my life with joy, but all that compassion means I feel pain nearly all of the time when I look at the cruelty of the world.

Hate-Angel is passionate and exhilarating, which helps me vent negative emotions and pushes me to improve, but also undermines my confidence in my own work as well as leaving me incapable of enjoying other people’s.

Shield Layer is reliable and useful, making me someone of value in the workplace and able to stand up for my friends against injustice, but is also cold and severe so unlikely to make new friends and makes it almost painful to compromise.

Tar Layer is absolutely crippling, making me incapable to doing simple tasks like getting my hair cut, it suffocates me and makes me constantly miserable.  If it has an upside, I guess it protects me from strangers, but unfortunately it protects me from everything else too, including things I want.

But good or bad, this is me.  Welcome.

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