I am always sensitive to the people around me, constantly being distracted, when perhaps conversing with one person, or even when I am alone, by thoughts of another, brought on by sight mostly. In the classroom, in the cafeteria, while walking to and from class, when I feel the presence of someone I may or may not know near me (out of the corner of my eye), my thoughts quickly turn to that person. I become that person and try to see me through their eyes. What do they think about me? And so I try to act what I think they see me as and if I don’t feel they see me as “good,” I will talk loudly so they can hear. I don a quick masquerade to raise, or even lower me in their eyes, to put forth an image of falseness.
To those whom I wish to open myself to, I do. To those I do not, I do not. But it all depends on how they see me. I am like a looking glass, clearing long enough sometimes to allow brief glimpses of the real me, someone I don’t even know, but remaining cloudy, murky, most of the time. This is so I can play my little game of mockery, of flitting to an fro from extremes, not allowing anyone to put a handle on me, to point to one description and say that is me. By becoming for a moment the person they see me as, I give them a false impression of who I am and so the game goes on. It is a form of protection. The lie is that I am manipulating, mocking, them, when in actuality I am allowing them to manipulate me, to constantly live a life of masquerade, a lie.
It is a complex. To feel wherever I walk seemingly thousands of eyes watching my every move like buzzards waiting for the kill so that when one false move is made they will pounce upon me in my weakness. Perhaps this is a very dim view of my fellow peers, but as a mirror, I wonder if I am not reflecting what many other people, even you, feel. Can you feel them like live coals burning into your back? It is the old fear of the unknown. Not knowing what if anything a person is thinking of me. So I try to figure it out and in panic put on a masquerade of indifference, of ignorance, of not giving a damn, when in actuality my very life depends on it. Every fiber of my being cries out for the acceptance of others, to be seen as I really am: a man who has been hurt and who wants to break the barriers of his own hurt, to see and help the hurting of others.
This is a result of being mocked as a child, of being broken down unmercifully, until all that remained was my pride which is like unto a monster now, self-conceit to build myself up, to admire myself because I feel no one else does. That is the dilemma, the never ending circle. For nothing turns off the acceptance of other people more than being obnoxious, indifferent or self-conceited. These monsters which cloud the vision of myself to others must be slain and the glass must clear to reveal a weak, bleeding heart that will only thrive and be hurt in the world outside. This must be done soon or like all mirrors in time this one will soon crack and shatter into a thousand little pieces from which no one, not even God, can piece back together.
Or perhaps it is this brokenness which leads to healing. Is it a lack of faith in the creative power of the Almighty to say that He cannot mend the pieces of a shattered life? There must be release from the Complex of a Thousand Eyes and, Lord, if that means to be shattered where nothing within is hidden and my true self is revealed, weak and unprotected, then so be it. Lord, I am willing.
My God, I hope I am willing.
Journal Entry – March 2, 1987, 4:30pm