Assignment:

I want to open up to my peers and share what is going on inside of me, but to open up to any of them scares me in more ways than I can enumerate. First, it opens me up to ridicule, derision, and the unfavorable opinion of others, not that that is what I will receive from my peers in residential treatment, but it’s what I’ve received my whole life from others. During my middle school years I was the constant target of bullying and taunting and have carried those scars with me to the present day, making it extremely hard to trust that others won’t laugh at me. In addition, sharing also obligates me to reciprocate the action and I have so many variables and inconsistencies that it is too hard to contemplate or predict my behavior, making it a gamble on whether I can get out of my own shit and be capable of returning the favor. I’m not always in a position to listen to others or comfort them, and I am afraid that I won’t be able to give back what others give to me. Likewise, to share with my peers how I am doing opens the door to friendships, and, even though I want friendships, I do not make a good friend. I am too inconsistent, high maintenance, undependable, erratic, random, and hard to manage. What makes opening up so damn hard is that I just can’t keep up the commitment it implies and I don’t have the mental energy to try.
To open up and share with the community means being vulnerable; means being afraid that others will expect things of me that I can’t provide. I’m also self-conscience of the attention I’ll receive through feedback and the ever ensuing hug that seems mandatory when you share your soul. It makes the moment awkward and scary and uncomfortable. Everyone will look at me, perhaps sitting in silence, and I will wonder what they are thinking; am I stupid, am I fat, am I ugly, am I inarticulate, am I crazy? However, I can’t control what people think of me. By not being open I’m trying to control what others think of me, but I need to realize people are going to view me how they want to, negatively or not, and hopefully they are more likely to sympathize with me than judge me.

I don’t know if I will ever have the courage to open up completely, be real and be raw, and allow myself to feel the closeness that friends bring. I’m afraid what I have to say people won’t understand and will look at me harshly. They may think, “Here she goes again, always depressed, always this or that.” Just because I think negatively of myself doesn’t mean others will but that has been my history and there is no reason to believe it won’t be my present.