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Dearest Insecurities

Lynn, Marriotts Ridge HS, Class of 2020

Breaking up can be so difficult. Especially when you are breaking up with an internal force that can easily overcome all that you are.

Dearest Insecurities,

Not even for a moment did I ever consider the possibility of being one of your victims. Never in my wildest dream did I believe I would get to know you like this. I knew about you and about the damage you’ve done to my friends. About the scars you’ve left on their budding teenage spirits. About the comfort words and the apologies you pulled from my tongue and handed out to your victims. To my friends whom all have suffered under your grip. Your tight, tight, unrelenting grip. But for some reason, I was free from yours. At least for a while. You hit me a little later. A little harder. You gave me a little more time to enjoy myself and celebrate who I was. But when you decided that I was ripe, you surprised me from behind and devoured the little joy that remained from childhood.

Dearest Insecurities,

You were slow. Cautious even. It wasn’t a quick strike, but rather a slow, tortuous game to gradually gain dominance. Nevertheless, you snuck up on me. How unfair. But no matter how slowly you infected me, your effect was strong. The moments of low confidence I had were a horrible, dark, chasm of self loathing. Just where did you come from? It was a question that I asked myself. God, how delusional I was when it came to you. I already knew the answer but I just pretended like I didn’t. If we had to pinpoint your origins, you and me both know you started with my mother. But what was it about her? Was it the image of her weighing herself over and over again? Was it the image of her starving herself to be “healthy”? Tell me, did her self loathing gradually influence me to eventually do the same? I guess, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. But it wasn’t just that. It wasn’t just her self hate that infected me. It was also her words.

“How can you be my daughter when you’re this ugly?”

“Dirty father, dirty children.”

“You’re just like your dad, go live with him!”

“How can your stepfather love you, when I can’t?”

“You look like a slut in that dress.”

“How can you live with your face like this, you look like the Joker.”

“Why are you smiling at yourself in the mirror, do you think you’re pretty?”

“God, I didn’t realize how fat you’ve gotten.”

You are the result of all these suffocating words that have been seared into my memory.

Dearest Insecurities,

Do you remember October 1st, 2015? It was the day you had finally reached your peak. The day you had finally gotten to me. I had Trichiasis, when your eyelashes grow inwards and rub against your cornea causing a lot of irritation, pain, and damage to the eye. To correct this, I underwent surgery to redirect my eyelashes outwards. Little did I know, this would be the trigger to my emotional spiral down your abyss. I spent two months with sunglasses hiding the stitches under my eyes. Hiding my shame. My friends said that the sunglasses weren’t necessary. It didn’t scare them. But I saw the subtle disgust in the way their eyes averted every time I took it off. I’m sure you enjoyed those two months. “But it was okay,” I thought, “Only two months of this and I’ll go back to looking normal.” I was so stupid. My body just happened to be susceptible to scarring. And here I am still, writing to you with two scars under my eyes.

Dearest Insecurities,

Not even for a moment did I ever consider the possibility of being one of your victims. Never in my wildest dream did I believe I would get to know you like this. But I was foolish. I was met with grimaces in the mirror and with demeaning comments from my mother. You really got me. You don’t realized how much you shook me. How much you’ve affected me. Changed me. But no one noticed. Rather, no one cared. They might seem like they care, but deep inside, really, did they? For a long time, I saw myself as insignificant, flawed. Let me repeat, flawed. But, was I really? Tell, me insecurities, was I really? Was I really as ugly, fat, dumb, flawed as I thought I was? It took me a while, but I realized. The answer to that question was no. I had crawled out of your deep, dark, abyss.

Dear Insecurity,

Let me just tell you. I am over you. Done. I’m sick of you and your pain. I’m sick of thinking I’m not enough. Because I am. Everyone is enough. All of your victims are enough and one day they will realize that too. Have your fun while you can, because we will all begin to climb up. I’m not saying I won’t fall in another one of your chasms. That’s unrealistic. But, I am saying that each time I fall, I’m going to climb right back up. I didn’t write this to talk about how you’ve hurt me. This is a challenge. Prepare yourself.

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