I desperately want people to like me. There. I said it. The thought of someone being displeased with me in any way drops a sick feeling in my gut. What’s one way to shake that cold feeling of dread? Work harder. Be more agreeable, more likable. Fit in. Be accepted and never, ever let them see the real you. After all, if they know what you’re really like, the acceptance will disappear. Right? That’s what I told myself, anyways. I’ve battled people pleasing all my
You know the feeling. A cold, clenched stomach. Darkness. A pounding heart. All you want to do is hide. You beg the eyes fixed on you to disappear but they won’t. They gape and you wonder what they must think, how they must see you. You feel worthless. Exposed. I’m talking about shame. Is there a more miserable feeling? Growing up with a seizure disorder left me with plenty of fodder for times to reflect on this feeling. Most of the time I felt normal.
I opened the mailbox and rifled through the collection of papers waiting to be opened. Bills, bills, junk mail, bills…I stopped when one brightly colored advertisement caught my eye. Clutched in my fingers was the smiling face of Dolly Parton. I scanned the ad, admiring the bright, glossy sheen. Dolly Parton was coming to my hometown? Why hadn’t I heard about this? Miss Islands-in-the-Stream-I-Will-Always-Love-You was coming to my city next week? Why wasn’t this being blasted from every television and radio station in town? I’m