I funny thought hit me today.
I have a basic need that requires people accept me and I didn’t realize it, fully, until I saw the number of followers that left my follow list on Twitter. Seems stupid, I know, but I was shocked that I felt saddened by it.
I mean, total strangers have me emotionally connected. I felt like my sense of humor and the way I present myself to people as kind and funny were endearing qualities. It’s kind of what I assumed made these people want to follow me, in the first place. It made me feel good that people can look past my mental health, look past my sexuality, look past all of the things I didn’t like about myself to simply be connected to me on a social media platform.
I hate that I beg for attention. I hate that I seek validation for others’ approval of who/what I am. I always feel like I’m on the cusp of overcoming some of the crap in my life. But when I see people have rejected me for whatever reason, my mind begins to ponder what the reality might be:
Did I say something offensive? I mean I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Were my jokes too over the top? I mean, my sense of humor can go too far at times.
Ugh…I’m fat, old and ugly….that’s got to be it.
Or maybe it’s something else?
I think I’m so sensitive about my sexuality, that I believe that is the real reason.
Going through all of this, reminds me of a time I was in about the 4th or 5th grade. At this time, students were recognized for being “Gifted & Talented” (Whatever the fuck that means, anyways…) and they are always trotted up in front of the class to demonstrate something they had been working on. I remember being irritated at the display (some might call it jealousy) of attention these other students received and I decided I deserved some attention too.
This time, as they presented the books each one of them made – written and created – I sat in the back of the class room and made my own. I took a folder as my book cover, and notebook paper as my pages, and I created my own book by cutting all of the material into the appropriate size and stapling it altogether for the binding. Then, I pulled out my pencil and my crayons and created my very own book about dinosaurs. Then, as the last G&T student finished their presentation, my hand shot in the air and I said, “I have one to show off.” And with a confused look on her face, the teacher called me to the front and I presented my book.
Of course, at the end of my presentation, the teacher took me into the hallway. Of course, I thought I was going to be praised for an outstanding job and initiative. You can imagine my shock when she said, “[My Real Name], you are very selfish. This wasn’t for you, this was for these students. What do you have to say for yourself?” Keeping in mind, my mouth has a way of running on its own, I replied with disdain as I talked back, “Well, what makes them so special? Why do they get special treatment?” Off to the principal’s office, I went… (I’m sure, I can’t really remember the consequences that day, but it was one of the rare times my parents didn’t ground me).
I think the point I’m trying to get at is this: I have a need to feel accepted. For some reason, I thrive off of other people’s respect for me. And when I don’t receive the respect I deserve, it hurts me for some reason. And I think this is the very thing that happens when I encounter people that offer me some sort of attention and then pull it away like it never happened. And I think, because I announce it so much online, that my sexuality is the bane for a lot of people.
And I don’t know how to not care what others think.