Science claims that the evolution of apes led to individuals we commonly call humans today. However, it’s fascinating how over the years humans have been compared to several more in the animal kingdom, snakes and rats to name a few. If you had to ask me though, I would align with chameleons, the reptile that changes its skin color to suit the demands of its environment.
I mean doesn’t it sound a lot like humans? Constantly changing colors (figuratively) to adapt to how others wish to see them. You are expected to be a different person at school, home, work, etc and the same distinctions also carry forward in your relationships with every person you encounter in life.
I wonder if most people even remember their true self in the process. At the end of the day how do you perceive yourself?
While most people would be blissfully unaware of the truth behind their unconscious actions, some people learn it the hard way. People like me!
It was no special day when I was introduced to a special friend in my life. One moment I was alone and then there was her, always together, never leaving, whispering things to me I often didn’t want to hear. My biggest mistake was to believe in what she said the first time, which led to a chain of actions for years to come.
“Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror?”
“Yes I have. It wouldn’t look the same if I cared about your opinion.” the class broke into claps and hoots. It probably wasn’t the best comeback I could come up with but it felt nice to give back to your bullies. However, as fate would have it, the momentary victory was short lived.
“You don’t really believe that do you? She is right. He is right. They all are. Today you silenced one, tomorrow there will be more. If only you were to look different and not so ugly”, my friend retorted.
“It matters less now. I can’t change it. All I will do is work hard in silence so that my success makes more noise than their opinions. Money, power, acknowledgement, I will have it all”, I replied.
“Even if you have everything, no one will love you. You have experienced that haven’t you? No money or beauty is going to change it because that’s what you deserve.”
“Go away, just go away”, I howled in desperation but she didn’t stop.
“One day they all will eventually abandon you but I will be there. I will always be there. You can’t get rid of me”.
This cycle seemed to never end. Sometimes I even lost awareness of where I was. One moment I was there until a conversation triggered her to claw her way out, the voice inside my head, my constant companion.
I begged her to go away but how can one just dispose away a part of themselves? I tried to talk about it but my parents overreacted and my friends wouldn’t understand. I could only hope now that one day I wouldn’t be such a self contradicting mess on the inside.
It was during a fortunately failed attempt at finding peaceful ways to leave the world when I found a website that counseled people to pen down their feelings. Battling mental illness for years now, I didn’t expect to find my rescue in a keyboard. It felt liberating to have words bleed my emotions. The voice wasn’t gone but it didn’t scratch anymore on old wounds. The first stage of grief is said to be denial and by not accepting myself for who I was, I found more excuses to overpower my flaws.
This was supposed to be our story, me and my voice, until I realized it was only mine. I was the protagonist all along. I was the voice and I could change the way I looked at myself. We don’t disagree about things so much now but for someone who has spent majority of her life in her head, inner monologues are not something I fear anymore.
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