Important Things To Remember When You Start To Lose Yourself

Amy Clarke /
Amy Clarke /

I’m both better and worse than I could have ever imagined. Worse because of all of the things I’ve done — things I said I’d never do. Worse because of all of the ways I’ve been played, manipulated, and tossed aside. Worse because I care when they couldn’t care less. Worse because they found someone else and I’m alone. Worse because I don’t sleep at night. Worse because I’m 22 and still weak for my family’s love and validation.

But I’m better because I’ve weathered all this and yet I still serve some happiest-person-in-the-world realness. Better because people only know I’m sad when I tell them. Better because I’m pretty much a fashion icon. Better because I’ve had an impact on people. Better because my college will notice when I’m gone. Better because I’m still alive.

These small bruises on my knuckles serve as a reminder that I’m not perfect — I’m far from it. I like to play the powerful person, but the truth is that none of my exes, or the people that have left, care about me. It’s truly humiliating when you reach out and get nothing in return.

It’s hard not to take it to heart. It makes my reflection in the mirror just a bit uglier, and my character a tinge more pathetic. But these small additions, when brought together, create a monumental load of self-loathing and doubt. Even I can’t keep from drowning in it. Sometimes I think I want to drown, because deep down I think that maybe they’re all right about me; maybe I deserve it.

Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. I’ll never really know. I guess that’s the point. There is no right or wrong. There’s no universally correct answer as to whether my disastrous history with men is my fault (for being a clingy, jealous, selfish brat) or their fault (for being large, gaping assholes).

Regardless, I can always say that I gave it my all. I give and love with no shame. Sure, I’m fucked up. But who isn’t? Some people hide their skeletons in the closet, and others turn them into a Vogue piece for the world to see. I punch walls, I cry, I seek validation from men, I say whatever I want, and I’m stubborn. And while I may curse people out, and tell them about themselves, I’ll always apologize if I’m wrong. People can ignore my apologies, if they want, since it happens frequently enough, but it’s all I can do. I’m still learning, and I make up my rules as I go along. I don’t have this shit mapped out. I can’t even read maps anyway.

And there are people who have seen who I am and walked away from it. But I guess part of me wonders if they really knew who I was. I’m talking Spike (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer): “I see what you are with perfect clarity,” and “I love you not because I want you to love me back.” I don’t think they knew me. If they did they’d see that I hurt people because it’s all I know. I don’t know how to just be a happy person. I’ve never had a guy weather my storm and still stick around so they could make it to the scared, lonely boy inside of it all.

The journey of pain and hurt will continue -– no matter who I have by my side (or if I’m alone). And most of my battles will have to be fought on my own. To the guys that left me and the family that hurt me, all I can say is that I’m going to make it in this world and you’ll regret making me 2-dimensional and simple, nothing more than my problems. There’s more to me than a feminine, loud, radical person and you’ll see. For now, there’s nothing I can do to help you. What I can do is say, “Thank you.” Thank you for hurting me and pushing me, making me into the warrior I am today. The world gives hard lives to those that have the capacity to survive it. So excuse me while I prove the world right, and prove y’all wrong.

More From Thought Catalog