Hello guys, I noticed that as of late I’ve been writing my thoughts on different issues that I’m confident about, so I’m just gonna switch it up a little today, I’m going to write on something that I’m not sure about. I’ve always been insecure about this topic; that is because I’ve always preferred to internalize stuff I’m afraid of because I’m forever afraid of being viewed as a weakling.
The topic is friendship and it is one of the areas in my life where I never show bravery, I have a visceral fear of people that keeps me from making friends, I can name on my fingers the number of people I feel comfortable around, not to talk of the people I’m friendly with. In fact the only true long term friends I’ve ever had have been my music, pen and paper, I’m not even friends with myself to start with, I used to feel something akin to cold dread at the thought that I might just pass through life being a loner but now it only causes a mild ache in my thoughts, not much but just enough for me to notice it. I guess this is because I tend to drown out the voices in my head through various media. Oh don’t get me wrong, I make friends wherever I am at that moment but I never keep in touch when I leave, it has just always been the convenient thing for me, I’ll tell you how it started.
When I was a child, I had a very shy demeanour, I played like other children when I became quite comfortable but it took a considerable while before I could, I enrolled into a boarding house for my secondary school education and there I got bullied a lot because I was too gentle (most people preferred the term sluggish), it was so bad it happened with my seniors, mates and even juniors, I felt terribly lonely and that’s when my love for music and writing started, whenever I felt overwhelmed by all of it I would sing songs I learnt from the doughnut repairs club and the Mexican soap operas that we watched at home. My favourite still is:
In his arms 3x
God holds me close in his arms.
And he won’t let go
Oh no no,
Because his love is so strong,
When I lay my head down on his chest,
Oh, how I love to stay….
One day it got pretty bad, I was so mad at one of my seniors that I rained curses on her head in my little book, it didn’t give me the comfort I craved but I wanted God to see how aggrieved I was and fight my battles. One day, some of my ‘friends’ came to visit, I wasn’t in the room so they decided to go through my stuff and found my book, these friends then took it and went to report to a senior and of course, all hell broke loose, after that my ‘friends’ avoided me like a plague. I was pulled out of the boarding house after as I couldn’t keep my grades up and my health began to fail, most people had the same boarding house experience and came out unscathed and some even better for it… I wasn’t part of the lucky ones. I was sick in the head but this is Naija, who psych problem epp? Thereafter, the situation at home didn’t help much as I was growing into a teenager who wanted something her parents were against, I tried keeping a diary at home, I stopped after one of my sisters took it to my dad who got angry at my ‘unchristian’ thoughts and told me I needed to accept Jesus into my life (which is not bad advice if it was in the right context, unfortunately, this wasn’t the right context).
I started to feel insecure about my looks, my thin stature, my dresses e.t.c. I think I cried throughout my teenage years, and when I stopped, I learnt to start wearing a devil may care attitude and a blazing temper, shoring up my walls, trying my damndest to make myself impervious to the pain, for the most part I succeeded, on the downside though I couldn’t let people in, because letting people in eventually leads to them seeing my weakness and insecurity.
Whenever I got to new places, I made sure my mask of bored disdain or outright aggressiveness was in place, I drive out the aching loneliness in my chest with loud music, social media and novels, I started finding comfort in my fantasies, where my faceless hero would save me and let me out of my tower (oshey Rapunzel). I could do inane chat, conversation about the weather, tell funny stories about my mother’s superstitions, my dad’s consternation at my behaviour or talk about what was wrong with the world, all the while telling you nothing about who I am, what I believe in, what I’m feeling (the only place I’ve ever been truly naked in are what I write), I perfected the art of telling people everything without telling anyone anything. I thought it wasn’t that obvious until a course mate said he could swear on his life that I haven’t got friends outside of our school colleagues, I tried to argue it off but that familiar chill started to spread all over my heart as I felt the beginnings of a headache (I get headaches when I’m very scared). I’ve known this guy for over five years now and he’s someone who makes it his business to point out my insecurities, quite publicly I might add, as a topic for ridicule (still not sure if it’s a deliberate attempt or it just comes naturally from him) and try as I might, I still haven’t learnt the art of not being on the defensive, there’s that secondary school girl inside that wants people to understand that underneath all the anger is a world of pain. One might ask why I would talk to someone like that, truth is he may be damaging to me but at least he’s constant, he has never pretended to be what he’s not and that constancy, as twisted as it sounds, is reassuring. One can’t really complain about these issues without looking like an ingrate, thankfully I have parents who have sacrificed much for my education and well being, there are millions of children in Somalia who lack water to drink, looking at it from that perspective, I think my fear of people pales in comparison to the global warming and ISIS. My name is Gloria and this is what is beneath my beautiful.