Yesterday, for the first time, I said I was a good person.

Somewhere along the way, the joke became something I really believed about myself. Even as a child I used humor to diffuse the heavy clouds of emotions. And people would say I didn’t understand how they felt. I couldn’t tell them that I can feel the weight of feelings when I meet someone, the texture of their being as they talk, the rhythm of their song as they walk. Not their aura but a momentary Vulcan mind meld, the glimpse of their universe in their mouths, every individual carrying a piece of God within them. And it would be too much for me, and I needed to control the deluge, and so I built walls and gates.
Along the way, I went from too sensitive to guarded to indifferent to cold, unable anymore to relate, unwilling to use commonplace words for human existence. And somewhere along the way, I started believing I was unfeeling, dispassionate. And joked about it so often that everyone around me also started believing that. And treated me like that. As though I couldn’t feel their opinions, their contempt for my awkwardness, their theories that I do things serendipitously. And even though I started believing the same myself, I would shrivel inside bit by bit.
Yesterday I said out loud for the first time- I am a good person. I care. I am sincere. I have stood by each of you like a rock. I don’t need anything, but don’t treat me as though I can’t feel. I feel, I cry alone at night, hidden in my bed. I hurt when a friend makes a careless comment. I might seem brash and arrogant and strong, but there are times when I want to hold you, and be held. Just because I don’t hug and kiss you every time we meet, it doesn’t mean I don’t care.
©alka