Perhaps just being me isn’t right for this world. I swear, it’s been nineteen years of optimism and pushing. I’ve tried, and have succeeded, in sticking true to myself. I did. And yet, I can’t seem to see past the idea that perhaps just being myself isn’t too right for this world. The air too smoggy, the people too cynical, I feel as if nothing is as I imagined.

I wanted to believe that there’s no way the cold hands and sneering mouths were real — that it was all a façade we all dressed ourselves in to avoid hurt. But we could, when we were sure of safety, turn around and confide in each other our mutual weaknesses. I used to believe this was the basis of true connection — how else can you truly trust someone unless you had seen their weakness, as they had seen yours? I thought that, in this trust, there’d be a revelation of truth. And this truth would be the complete showing of true self — the angelic good, the cold indifference and the tar-like evil. That’s what I thought we all have; I thought everyone was like me.

And yet, and yet, the sting of pain is all too familiar. Seeming as if every spark of optimistic childlike dependency on the goodness of others has been snuffed out with the roughest palms. Seeming as if every reality check brings me back to the low place — black waters, and the same emptiness: as if this is the truth I was purposefully ignoring all along.

Now I’m numb. Numb to whatever — the world, I suppose. Expectant of their disappointments and manipulations, I’m ignoring their words. Now, I’m a person I don’t recognise anymore, and I know it too. But I won’t stop it happening — I have to protect the light inside, somehow.

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