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Saturday, 29 August 2009

fear of success

From "Perfect Skin", by Nick Earls:
I'd become too good at desperately wanting people to take an interest in me, so I was hopelessy unprepared when they did.
From age 9, being highly sexual and a willing co-experimenter made me popular in some circles, to some degree. But when every encounter is couched in such secrecy, because we're all too young, or because we're living in a tiny community where everybody knows everybody, or because he's embarrassed to be seen with me because I'm not cool... the first person who made me feel like he wanted to be with me for ME, not my boobs or my reputation - well, I was cautious but thrilled. Now I could get to know someone, without the constant pressure to "make out", without having to be ever-vigilant about the inevitable subtle attempts to DO IT. A week later, he raped me. I was 14.

23 years and 110 kgs later, my guard is still up. I am fighting for my life. I am 169 kgs, a smoker, diabetic. I have still never had a boyfriend, although I have had casual shag-buddies. I have been asked out on numerous occasions, only to blow the whole thing on a rising tide of panic and fear, convinced (and not without precedent) that the aim is humiliation and scorn.

I am losing weight for health, for mobility, for self-esteem. I am terrified of success, because I still react to kindness as some sort of indication of interest and my bullshitometer is set to either Paranoid Cynicism or Pollyanna Naivete.

I refuse to be the butt of any more jokes. Fat and lonely, yes. Desperate, no. Cynicism is my armour, but paranoia is my only defence against those who pretend to be interested..

Can't I just be happy?