This was the first life lesson that was embedded in my soul. Treat others how you want to be treated. It was a simple statement. It made sense. I was dedicated to having my existence always follow this fundamental idea. The problem was that I also believed that by treating others the way I wanted to be treated, they would always treat me well. I was very wrong.
I was an introverted child with a mind opposite of other kids but still very eager to be given attention. My earliest memory is at 3 years old, sitting in front of a birthday cake with a single candle in the middle. There are pictures of the event an in those pictures I am alone. In all the pictures the candle is still lit. I never focus on the candle or the cake. I don't even look at the person taking the picture. My mind is elsewhere. Aren't 3 year olds suppose to be wild an try to dig their hands through the cake? Aren't they suppose to be intrigued by the glowing light on the candle. Not me. I stood in my perfect white dress next to my large cake and did nothing. But in one picture I held a knife by myself and was preparing to cut the cake from the bottom left corner. It was a perfect cut.
The only pictures you'll find of me being genuinely happy at age 3 were a series of photos of me outside of our home wearing a black and white coat. I loved that coat. I wore it everywhere. It was just a coat and yet it wasn't just a coat. It was love, even though it was an inanimate object. Perhaps it was because the design felt relatable. I felt like two different beings, running parallel to one another, connected and yet their own separate color. I was sad when my mom gave the coat away and obsessively stared at the pictures up until high school.
Treating others the way I wanted to be treated led to one thing, abandonment. Physical abandonment, emotional abandonment, and sometimes both. Treating others the way I wanted to be treated led to feeling invisible. I could be right in front of someone and it was like I wasn't there. They'd turn their attention elsewhere, anywhere, except towards me. For a long time I believed I was the problem, sometimes I still think I may be the problem. I've never been disrespectful, I don't carry a bad attitude or bad mannerism. I follow orders and I give space. It's because I'm not chaotic enough and I'm too intelligent. I'm also a woman and african. That has to have something to do with it. Right? Because when I dumb down myself, when I play the naive shy girl who is a people pleaser, everyone flocks my way. I'm accepted. So its not really about treating others the way I want to be treated, it's about changing myself into what others find agreeable.
An yet....I still end up invisible, still insignificant, and eventually still abandoned. I'm not any more important, I'm just more tolerable. Why? Why can't I fit in? Why is my only long term partner my shadow? Why does everyone leave me?
My father use to say "you listen, I talk". My mother use to say everything I said was an excuse. My aunt use to say my purpose was to take care of my husband and his household. My catholic teachers use to say I was to be seen, not heard. My girl friends use to say guys don't like an intelligent woman. My guy friends use to say that a girl should be open to sex before marriage, but not be a slut. An online article said black women are the least desired among men of all races. Psychologists say women with high IQs are the most lonely and have trouble finding a partner. I'm fed all this information and while I try to follow the rules and do as much as I can to not be a negative statistic or stereotype, I am slowly self destructing.
Once I saw a movie where a girl was given a lobotomy. Afterwards she seemed free. No one saw her as a problem anymore. I thought to myself, if I had a lobotomy would it make my life better? Would it help me fit in? I have a high pain threshold, I can handle it. I've handled loads of pain. I handled rape. I handled molestation. I handled physical abuse. I handled cheating. I handled abandonment. I handled sexism. I handled racism. I handled surgeries. I handled S & M. I have never cared for pain, never found pleasure in it. But I always handled it. So I can handle a lobotomy. I'm willing to give up and handle what ever comes next............
Then something happened. An invisible force ran through my body and the dark thoughts were gone. Its like I was reset to someone new. This other person got to work, cleaning up my environment, cleaning up my thoughts, doing things for myself without a care in the world about all the bad surrounding me. This other me is my protector. Its still me and yet its not me. Its like the real me is sitting in the back seat while this new person takes the wheel. And yet its not Dissociative Identity Disorder because its still completely me, same name, same characteristics, same personality, just another side.
This is why I let my logic lead rather than my emotions.
What is the point in this rambling? To share my story of woe? To gain sympathy? To just talk? Its a collection of reasons. I want to share me with others, the me who I always kept hidden. I want to stop hiding because I'm tired of hiding and falling into the trend of hiding. I want to stop hiding because I want to treat others how I want to be treated.