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Inside My Heart is Breaking

Hello, blogging family. I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret:

I have self-esteem issues.

Rather, I should say that I still have self-esteem issues. A lot of my friends and family seem to have forgotten, but doubts about your self-worth have this nasty habit of staying with you long after you thought you’d quashed them, and rearing up every now and again just to fuck with you.

This is not to say that I’m unhappy. Most of the time, I am very happy with myself, my life, my friends, my hopes and dreams and goals and all that. That’s because a long time ago (not actually that long ago), I said a big fuck you to all the haters and all the crap they were throwing at me. That group of haters included myself. I was the ringleader. I took what the rest of them said and twisted it in a way that would get under my own skin the way only I knew how.

Finally I said, enough was enough. I plugged my ears and focused on myself, thought long and hard about how I thought and spoke and dressed and acted, and eventually I became a person I loved. For the past two and half years, I have been more consistently happy than ever before in my life.

But sometimes my subconscious still likes to fuck with me. Like when my roommates start calling me insincere and distant after I’ve given them a carefully crafted explanation of my feelings, specifically designed in an attempt to be as clear, honest, and gentle as possible. Or when I’m afraid to invite my grandparents to my birthday lunch because then it will be about their petty problems instead of a celebration that I exist. How about when my boyfriend talks derisively about my diet, behind my back, with his ex-fiancee?

It’s times like those when I remember how I used to feel, all the time: that I was a fuck-up, a mess, a totally unworthy, unintelligent, unattractive human being. And I think:

I never want to feel that way again.

So when these situations come up and those memories start weighing on me, I waffle between two extreme courses of action: succumbing to that total, crushing helplessness in the face of my own inadequacy, or saying “fuck you” to everyone I know and isolating myself from humanity as much as possible.

Alternately I’m inclined to weep and punch things. Sometimes I do both. Often I do neither. Usually what I end up doing is shutting up about it, pulling myself together, and silencing whatever lingering doubts I have by saying, “Caitlin, don’t be stupid. You’re fabulous and you know it. Your friends and loved ones have just been momentarily overcome by stupidity and have forgotten how well they know you. They seem to think that you’ve been replaced with a raging bitch, by aliens or something, I don’t know.”

I’ve gotta tell you, I’m finding it a little hard to breath while I’m writing this post. My heart is fluttering somewhere in my throat.

I don’t really need people to boost my self-esteem; that’s not what I’m talking about here. I still love myself the way I am today and that is not going to change, for the foreseeable future. I don’t really know what I want or need out of this declaration, in fact. I just really felt the urge to write it, to remind everyone that I’m not a block of stone. Seriously, I mean, I cry when I drive past homeless people with signs asking for work or families with their cars broken down on the side of the road, because there’s nothing I can do to help them. I cry when I watch videos of orchestra flash mobs.

When my roommates and I argue about something, I’m usually the one saying, “I don’t really care.” But what I mean is I care too much about you to get up in arms about this issue. The truth is that I care about a lot of things, and I have lots of feelings just like other humans. I’m not sensitive about things on a day-to-day basis, and that’s one of the ways I stay happy: by deciding what is and is not worth feeling hurt over. But I do get sensitive when my sensitivity is questioned. Or something.

I’m rambling now, so I’ll wrap this up. I guess the most hurtful thing is when your friends suddenly start to take issue with the way you’ve communicated for two years. Nothing makes you feel worthless like trying so hard not to be hurtful and end up fucking up anyway. And you know what doesn’t help? Having a boyfriend that seems interested and supportive to your face, but that is also making jokes and/or not defending you against jokes made behind your back. That’s not really fun either.

7 thoughts on “Inside My Heart is Breaking

  1. This is simply beautiful. I understand exactly how you feel, I’ve been dealing and still every once and a while deal with bouts of self-esteeem issues. I often say I don’t care, meaning not that I don’t care but exactly as you explained it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a rambling post, sometimes it’s necessary in order to help us sort everything out. Keep writing, you’re great at it!

  2. 🙁 I feel like that a lot of the time too. It sounds like you need a new boyfriend, though, because your partner is meant to be the one person you can go to with these yo-yo-ing feelings. He should be your biggest cheerleader – the one who can remind you of the positives when all you can focus on is negatives. I hope you’re feeling better today <3

    1. I normally can talk to him about this stuff, but he happens to be in Egypt right now, so with the time zones and the limited communication methods I haven’t really been able to. I’m not even really mad at him. He said something stupid and has apologized for it. I think I just need time for the dust to settle on all these arguments me and my roommates had, because that’s really where a lot of these feelings are coming from. So hopefully that happens. <3

  3. Reblogged this on Whimsically Yours and commented:
    I love this blog post, especially because sometimes I feel the same way. There is nothing wrong in my opinion with a good rant as long as you are able to captivate your audience and honestly tell your story.

    While my self esteem issues have, for the most part, gone away, I often say things like “I don’t care”. Meaning not that I actually do not care but rather that I love you too much to let such a silly argument like this tear us apart. This is why for the longest time I used to never debate/bring up politics, religion or any other controversial topics around my friends. That was until I relized that by me not talking about these things I was hiding who I truly am. I was not giving myself the space I needed to express myself, which is why often I would come home or call my dad and try and talk for hours with him about these things. That was fine and all until he and I both realized that while it is great that we have this connection it should be a connection that I have with my friends as well.
    So when I entered college I started things off the riht way, by introducing myself and by not being afriad to debate controversial things and be myself (my dad and I still have our regular intellectual debates though). In fact that is how I met someof my closest friends at Wellesley, sitting at a lunch table during orientation and debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Arab and Israeli international students…it was great.

    So my best advice to you, if you are ever feeling low, like whenever you try to not be harmful you end up being even more harmful: DO NOT TRY. As Yoda once said, “Do or do not, there is no try”. If you do not want to harm others let them see the real you, do not be afraid to enter into debates because your true friends, no matter the outcome, will always stand by your side. I know it might sounds like I’m advocating for dumping those friends who do not allow you to truly be yourself (I kinda am), even if you have known them for most of your life, but just hear me out first:
    When I transferred to a public school my senior year I was the new girl, but you would think that even though I now went to school a city away that the people I had known for more than six years would actually call to check up on me. Well let me just say that that year tauht me who my true friends really were. Out of the dozens of friends i thought I had I was left wiht only a handful, those are now my best friends. And even though we are now miles apart a various colleges across the US we still check up on each other and hang out with eachother when we get home for break as if nothing has changed.
    You see, at my private school I had gotten complacent: after middle school I changed yet out of fear of being “without a clique” I stayed with my old friends. Now I am not saying they are nto good people or that we do not still hang out, it is just that they were not the people I needed around me, the people who would allow me to be myself.

    And so, before it ets too late, and your heart starts to break or breaks even more, take a good look in the mirror and realize who you are and want to be. An dif the people in your life don’t accept that person then while you don’t necessarily have to shut yourself off from them, you should maybe look at a change of environments and maybe some new people to hang around with, people who love you for you.

  4. Always remember, there is another side of the ocean or whatever stands between us and our sense of self worth. Storms sometimes put off course and we lose our sense of direction. However, you are a bright young woman and you have made many good corrections so far, always keep that in mind. Other people, even those we love, are only passengers on our journeys, not our navigators. Keep looking forward.

  5. I totally understand how you feel. I feel the same way often times. Perhaps with not that same reasoning behind it, but yes. I feel worthless as a result of peoples actions and despite all appearances I’m not as bad ass as my own friends assume me to be. So don’t feel like you’re alone. Known that there are many people in this world who understand how you feel, are on your side, and assume you to be amazing rather than assuming that you suck. <3

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