Escape | Teen Ink


February 14, 2010
By Penelope GOLD, Hillsborough, New Jersey
Penelope GOLD, Hillsborough, New Jersey
13 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
There comes a time when you have to stop thinking of yourself as the main character in your own story, but as the suppporting character in someone else's story.

When it comes to friends I don't know whether to feel relief or frustration.

They talk about me like I'm some sort of problem that needs to be solved, a grimy spot on their shiny life that needs to be scrubbed away. They say I'm depressed, distant and down, but that's not true. Did it ever occur to them that I'm just thoughtful? I just see things in life that no one else seems to see. Can I help it that they refuse to understand the way I see things? What if life isn't all about smiling and being completely contented when there is nothing wholesome to it, nothing that completely satisfies? I don't want them to try and fix me, I want them to leave me the way I am. I want everyone to just leave me alone.

But what if that's not really what I want? That's what I start to consider when my guilt begins to eat away at my confidence. I hate seeing people agonize over me when there are much worthier things to bite nails over. But do I really? What if all I really want is attention? What if I subconsciously act a certain way because I know that will get people to talk about me, to notice me? What if I do it on purpose, but I'm really just in denial? I used to know my own mind, but now I don't. Now I don't even know how to feel about my friends. Shouldn't that come naturally, without having to think about it at all? Isn't that what having friends is all about?

One said that I was needy. I can't get the words out of my head. Needy. Maybe that's the best word to use. I keep reliving that moment, keep hearing her voice, so sarcastic and yet so real, biting into me like sucking in an icy breath that stills my heart. I keep seeing her face, but I can't remember her expression. Was she joking? The question condenses into tears that stream down my cheeks. I try to turn it into a joke, reversing it in that inexcusable human tendency, and using it on her. "You're so needy, Molly!" And she smiles when I say it then looks away, as if she knows exactly what I'm doing and why I am doing it. She knows exactly why I want to laugh it off and make it pretend like it never happened.

Because it's true.

Sometimes I feel so needy it almost kills me to think about it. I need to know that people respect me, so manipulate the conversation so that they have to say it. I need to know that people will miss me when I'm gone, so I drop half-baked compliments that they have to return. I abuse social acceptability to the extreme, and yet no one seems to notice. No one except her, the one who, in her added years, knows all.

And I reread this and think, "Never once has this occurred to me before, so why am I writing it down, why am I making it so final and permanent? None of this is true, and I know it, but I write it anyway? Why? Is it the attention-starved monster ravaging away, planning to show this to people so that they can feel sorry for me?"

And my answer is that I don't know. I don't know whether my life is real or some carefully constructed fantasy I have created within myself. All of this could be imagined, thought-up to give myself a purpose and a drama that can fill the holes monotony creates; all of this could be as solid and real and true as a mountain standing, or a bell ringing. I will never know, I will never know if I am exaggerating every non-existent detail or if I'm interpreting everything correctly.

But, in the end, writing is real, because it so accurately captures every internal struggle, a snapshot of the turmoil writhing inside of me, keeping every confusion preserved and somehow ordered. My eyes hurt less to see the neat rows of black letters on crisp, clean paper, and I can actually fool myself into thinking that my feelings are simple and easily explained. Yes, writing is the one true panacea of life, sitting on a standard that no person can ever meet.

I can't believe that they actually consider sending me to guidance, getting me a shrink, having someone listen to all the contradictions inside of me, and then lying and saying that they know what's wrong. How can anyone know what's wrong if I don't? Do they mean to say they know me better than I know myself? It is such an absurd possibility I chuckle to think of it, to consider such childish naiveté. I'd like to see them read this, to see them realize that I really am on my own, no matter how much they try to persuade me otherwise.

But really I can't. It would hurt them too much. They'd get all the wrong ideas and think all the wrong things about me.

No matter how much they try to contradict it, I like it on my own. That much I do know. I like being alone in my ignorance, trying to piece myself together and coming up with two different options for every aspect of life. What are my feelings towards this person? Both hatred and love, so really, nothing; they cancel each other out.

So in the end there is no emotion, there is no feeling. There is only reactions, only following a script that every human being is expected to know, and those who don't are worse off. There is only ambiguity that takes too much effort and too much pain to muddle through, so I choose to ignore and go with what people expect.

So really, it isn't me who is changing, it's people's expectations of me. Maybe it's the fact that I've finally realized that they're expectations are changing. Either way, I just don't care. I watch the little letters falling into careful formation and I know that in this escape, because there is so much feeling, there is none at all. In this way an invisible line has been crossed and because I am feeling so much at once, I am feeling nothing. Numbness, that is the true way to live, desensitized to every hurt. Knowing that there is no way to ever sort things out and make people happy, so you stop trying to do so and just write another escape.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Feb. 18 2010 at 10:32 am
~Wolf-Woman~ PLATINUM, Carthage, Missouri
24 articles 10 photos 31 comments
I also tend to use writing as an escape, yet lately it hasnt been letting me escape. I havent been able to anything. I just dont know anymore. I have no clue who I am or what my future will be like. It kind of scares me. Lately I've just given up and stopped caring. I've become more or less numb like you have. I feel nothong. I just wanted to let you know that you arent alone in this hurting and struggle with your friends and the world. :)