Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Words more painful than a whip

[This is a re-post from something I put on my old multiply page in November '08, brought to mind again by some posts on Mr McLachlan's brilliant Riven Skies blog.]

"Please hear what I do not say! Do not let me fool you. Do not let the face that I wear deceive you, because I wear masks, masks I fear to take off. And none of them is me. Pretending 'as if' is an art that has become second nature to me. But do not let that deceive you, I only pretend to be accessible, to be cheerful, 'as if' I did not need anyone. But do not believe me!

On the outside I may appear confident, but that is my mask. Beneath I am as I really am: Bewildered, afraid, and alone. But I hide that. I do not want anybody to see that. The mere thought of my weakness makes me panic, and I get afraid to even meet people at all. That is why I desperately invent masks I can hide behind: a carefree facade that helps to disguise me from the knowing gaze that would expose me. And yet that gaze would save me. And I know that. If it was from someone who would accept and love me.

That is the only thing that could give me the security I cannot give myself: That I really am worth something. But I do not say that. I do not dare. I am afraid of it. I am afraid that your gaze will not be accompanied by acceptance and love. I am afraid you will think ill of me and laugh about me. And your laughter would kill me. I am afraid that deep down I am nothing, not worth anything, and that you would reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate game: a confident facade on the outside and a shivering child on the inside. I talk in an easy manner, superficial blather. I tell you everything that is nothing, and nothing of that, which is real, which is screaming inside of me; because of that do not be deceived by all that I talk about out of habit. Please listen closely and try to hear what I do not say, what I want to say, but cannot.

I despise this game of hide and seek. It is a superficial, false game. I want to be real and spontaneous, just myself, but you have to help me. You have to reach out your hand, especially if it is the last thing I seem to want. Only you can call me back to life.

Every time you are friendly and good to me and encourage me, every time you make me believe that you truly are concerned about me, my heart grows wings, very small wings, fragile wings, but wings! Your intuition and the power of your understanding give me life. I want you to know that. I want you to know how important you are to me, how much you can make me the person I really am, if only you want. Please, I wish you would want to.

You alone can tear down the wall behind which I shiver. You alone can take off my mask. You alone can free me of this world of shadows, of fear and insecurity, of my loneliness. Do not overlook me. Please, do not pass me over. It will not be easy for you. The ancient conviction of being worthless creates thick walls. The closer you come the blinder I strike back. I resist that which I scream for.

But I have been told that love is stronger than any wall, and I place my hope in that."

(Tobias Brocher, About the Difficulty to Love - Benchmarks for Humanity, 1975; translation by me)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've 'borrowed' your pic for a post about child abuse on 'Leaving the Grey Room'. I hope you don't mind - it just seemed so relevant to a report which says that in recent child abuse investigations they haven't been listening enough to the kids.

Thank you.

If you would like to email me I'll be very happy to try to discuss those other issues with you.

Take care.