Some time when I was a child, I asked my mother if she loved her nails more than she loved me. She had this kit full of nail tools — clippers, files made of metal and emery, toe separators, fake nails separated in little boxes, even a small hand-held, battery-operated dremel with different attachments used to grind, sand, and polish — that she would carry with her around the house. When I asked her this question, she picked me up in her arms, and vehemently denied it. I didn’t believe her though, not in my heart. She had always paid more attention to her nails than to me.
My dad was no better. One time I googled his name to find his work number, and came across an audio/visual site where he had written a small paragraph as a review on a projector he had. I was crushed. It was more effort than he had ever put into my life, sitting in a couple of short sentences in front of me. It would have been okay if he had been so uninterested in everything, but he wasn’t. He loved his car, he loved his home theatre, he loved his karaoke, but me he had no interest in.
So, before I had become a teenager, I started to look for some kind of approval from other people. At that point, it was Andrew and Alex. They were my best friends in grade 3 and 4, but I changed schools in grade 5. Even after this, I tried to hang out with them but they seemed to be more interested in school, and we lost touch.
Pretty soon, I realized that I wasn’t anyone’s “best friend”. I cried and I cried and I cried. I felt like I needed this to define myself. I needed be a priority to someone because I certainly wasn’t a priority to my parents. Without being someone’s best friend, I was worthless.
As an adult, you may feel insecure about certain aspects of your life. You lack self-confidence in areas where you feel vulnerable — intimate relationships, social situations, or work. Within your vulnerable areas, you feel inferior to other people. You are hypersensitive to criticism or rejection.
I still feel this way now. The problem is that the need isn’t being met. Everyone puts other people first, and the one foundation I believed I had in my life has crumbled. I’m never important enough.
Two things keep me from killing myself.
The thought that one day, I may mean something to someone. Or the thought that one day, I’ll be able to stop defining myself through others, and simply be content with who I am.
Either way, something’s gotta give.