Updated: Nov 14
Back when I was sixteen, I met this strange boy. He loved spray painting t- shirts, making music and he understood all my dry jokes. He encouraged me to write more and would praise all my cheesy romance poems. We’d stay on the phone for hours just talking about everything, he lived 3-4 hours from me so we never officially met but he was my first best friend. I’d never had that before growing up as an awkward gangly girl in a place where I never felt I fit in, was extremely isolating, and this boy, far away, felt like acceptance. I then grew up, moved to a new city, much closer to him and I was so excited to be with my best friend in the entire world. Three years into visiting him and having all sorts of adventures in the new city, we stopped being friends. I found out that all along he had feelings for me. It was a long haul of unrequited love for him, a blissful sacred friendship to me. I was completely heartbroken. It felt like a piece of identity had been taken from me and a rug had been pulled out under me. Who I thought I knew was a lie and I felt betrayed. It was excruciating having to delete all those memories and live life without him, because the person I thought I knew never existed. All the memories were tainted with the knowledge that he was never really my friend, and I was a conquest waiting to happen for him.
This is not the last time something of this nature happened. It was such a common occurrence that I started to believe men and women could not be friends. I grew wary of any male attention and I am only now trying to, with extreme caution, have a male friend. The lesson that was drilled into me from these experiences was clear, to any man I am an object, and their method of attracting me is false friendship. Before we proceed, I am no Beyonce or Tanerelle but I do know that I am an attractive person by most standards and men are socialized to want to “win” attractive women or date them or have them hanging around as trinkets. This isn’t a piece where I’m rolling in compliments for my genetics like “oh yeah im so gorgeous, everybody wants me hahaha”, no. It’s more of, I never truly know if people like me for myself or for how I look so I'm always stuck being afraid or lacking trust in my relationships.
Now let's talk about actual romantic relationships, oh yeah, a real doozy. Most people assume it’s easier to date and find love for attractive people, the reality is that it’s ten times harder and more draining and can often take very long to settle and feel comfortable in a relationship. Do they like me for my personality and heart or for what they can physically see? Is he introducing me to his friends as a partner who he cares for or is this another show boating episode? I need to vet them for 6 months to see if their attraction or interest goes beyond my looks. Is he telling me how to dress because there will be friends there and I need to look perfect or is there truly something wrong with how I dress?
Here’s the thing, everybody lies to you. About their intent, true feelings and what kind of attraction they have towards you, and often they don’t really care about who you are on the inside as long as they can exploit and get what they want from you. Then you automatically have to build walls and armour to protect yourself even from people you might call friends. When you get to a new workplace or environment you’re automatically the subject of a pissing contest before you even say your full name.
In closing, (though this article could be longer filled with more stories I don’t want to open these wounds any wider) you will probably for a long time not even know if people love you for real, if they support you truly, or if you're just a nice shiny trinket. To be discarded for a newer shinier one at a time of convenience, and that fear of history repeating itself will sit like a stone on your chest, making you afraid, defensive and not readily willing to get into relationships.
The feeling that you haven't truly earned what you have, that you're just a pretty face, It will be at the end of every accomplishment, accolade, promotion and gift. The look that some people, especially people who feel they have more power than you, will give you as you feel the selective treatment, that distinctly, “I will want something in return for this”.
About the author:
I am a person of the world with a window that allows me many lives. Music and good food are why I'm still here. Apples are my arch enemy.