Last night I wrote a piece that’s still a work-in-progress about a topic I’ve never been able to write about without it becoming a raging torrent of anger, rage, and profanity. There are multiple reasons why this piece, which is about what I call ‘bad behavior’, came out the way it did and why it has given me a foundation to build on. But the main reasons it came out without the torrent of anger, rage, and gross amounts of profanity is that I have true self-confidence and self-esteem now.
When I started this journey six years ago to sort out my mental and emotional baggage, if you asked me then if I would come out the other side feeling self-confident and not thinking of myself as a worthless piece of shit, I would have told you that wasn’t possible. I would have said my self-confidence and self-esteem were lost along the way, ripped apart and destroyed many years ago and that I would never find either one again inside of me. And I would have said that back then because I used to think I was an asshole-magnet. I honestly thought that if I showed any confidence in myself, if I showed I actually cared about myself and didn’t think I was just piece of shit taking up space where I wasn’t wanted, that people would just come at me and mentally and emotionally kick the living crap out of me.
Now I know I’m not an asshole-magnet. Now I know I’m not a worthless piece of shit just taking up space where I shouldn’t. Now I know I can focus on what I want to do with my life and not give one single shit about what ‘someone’ might think about me. How do I know these things? Simple: so far no one has had the tits or the balls to come at me and tell me otherwise. But if that does happen, which I think is a matter of when and not if, I’ll be ready.
But I don’t let myself think about that last question in the above paragraph very much anymore. If that thought comes into my mind, I kick it right out as hard as I can.
Truly believing that I have self-confidence and good self-esteem has been liberating and healing. I’ve begun to feel like I’m healing from all the garbage and pain I’ve worked through. I’ve worked through the absolutely-wrong idea that my writing is nothing but me calling out bad behavior and not doing anything about it. I am doing something about it by writing because my writing is to show other people they can work though mental and emotional crap and come out the other side. Yes, I believe people can change for the better if they’re willing to do the work. And I’ve done the work, I’ve realized. Now it’s just time to put it all together in written form.
I’ve come to realize my self-confidence and my self-esteem weren’t taken from me, or destroyed but instead, I hid them away in silence. I hid them away to keep people from using them as a weapon against me. I hid them away to try and keep people from telling me I was an egocentric bitch know-it-all for showing any ability to do things or take on responsibility. Putting my self-confidence and self-esteem into silence was a coping mechanism I developed in order to keep going and fulfill my promises and responsibilities. But coping mechanisms eventually fail because they’re not meant for long-term use. And I don’t need to cope, or stay silent anymore, and I will not give in to any demand to stay silent.
Because as I’ve said before, I’m not sharing my story to get even with anyone or as an act of revenge. I’m doing it in order to help people who have been through things like I have and are trying to work through the wounds and heal them. Yes, this does involve talking about things that some people might not be comfortable with, or worse, things that might make people feel guilt and shame when they don’t want to. I’m not responsible for anyone else’s feelings, and I sure as hell am not responsible for pulling someone’s head out of their ass for them.
If you’re reading this and you feel like you have no real self-confidence or self-esteem, you do. Those two things might just be very deep inside yourself in a safe place because you didn’t want to be hurt or have them used against you. But you can take them out and put them in their proper place, and you can deal with people not liking that. You can be calm and respond by telling people to ask themselves why they think and feel the way they do. Or if they try to weaponize your emotional and mental strength against you, you can tell them to ‘fuck off’ and walk away. I used to be scared of either reaction because I’ve always been afraid of burning bridges. But if a bridge is burned simply because I believe in myself and my abilities and I’m doing nothing wrong with them, then that bridge wasn’t mean to survive.
I didn’t think healing was possible, but now I know it is. And now I’m truly ready to tell the story of how I reached that conclusion and belief in myself.