I’m not good at much. No, really—I don’t have many outstanding talents. But one thing I excel at is being who you want me to be.
You? Yes, you. If we met under some crazy circumstances and you recognized me as that girl whose article you once read, I would become your dream girl whether I become your best friend or the future love of your life. I am the life of the party, unless you prefer a more introverted, mysterious girl—because in that case I can be that, too. I can be whatever or whomever you want, and that is who I want to be.
When you have no core sense of self, it’s easy to be anyone. There are very few facts about me I can truly hold onto with certainty. I am 20 years old. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I can be funny in questionable ways. I want to be liked, and even more than that I want to be loved. I am mentally ill. You see? I don’t really have much to work with. But unfortunately, my desire to be liked and loved has tied quite well with the little “mentally ill” trait. This is why I do what I do.
I don’t know exactly what put me into this situation, but I’m guessing it has something to do with some form of emotional trauma at a young age. However, I am no longer as young and have lived all of these years not knowing who the hell I really am. I often say that I am numerous likeable characteristics picked up from other attractive people I’ve come in contact with, with some random movie character traits all pasted and stapled together. On the outside I’m rough around the edges in an endearing way, and I exhibit these falsehoods with such perfection that people are pulled to me like magnets. But only for a night or two. Because what is half-assed put-together always comes apart.
I have borderline personality disorder and a handy knack for being able to read people. These two combined make for a pretty deadly combination. Not so much deadly for others, but it has been close to deadly for me a couple times. I know what to do and who to be to make sure you think I’m great and someone you want to keep around. All of my relationships have started this way, and there is no manipulative evil intention behind my actions. I want to give you what you want (insert description of dream girl here), and all I want is to simply be loved for who I’m not.
So where is the harm in all of this? Well, I am very good at pretending, but only for so long. Eventually, the girl that I hate—the true me that lives inside—eventually makes her appearance, and damn is she pissed that I’ve kept her tied up and quiet for so long. The false persona I’ve spent time building falls apart once I get too comfortable, and the little girl that I truly am begins to scream. It starts off with jealousy, abandonment issues, and insecurity. Those that fell in love with me realize I’m not who they thought I was at all, but instead I have the emotional maturity of an adolescent girl all contained in a reasonably attractive and much older flesh container. I crave affection and validation, and when I don’t get it, I throw a temper tantrum or begin crying like I lost my parents in the grocery store.
People with my “talents” also excel at finding significant others that dwell at the higher end of the douchebag spectrum. When you truly believe you are worth less than dirt, you will settle for people who treat you as such. There have been numerous situations in my short life where I’ve had some abusive dude cheat on me, hit me, and control me because I would let him do anything as long as it ensured he didn’t leave me. As much as I sincerely wish it wasn’t true, I don’t think I matter unless someone loves me. I crave validation from Narcissistic Nick and Misogynistic Mike because I deep down know I will never get it. Because for some sick reason I know I don’t deserve it.
My life is a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies. I don’t think I deserve love, so I will subconsciously make sure it’s impossible to obtain. But despite my long road of self-destruction, I’m also on a journey of self-discovery. I want to know who I am rather that what I think others want me to be. I want to live life doing what I love and not feel like it needs to end the second someone leaves me. It’s a fact of life that people are going to leave. It’s inevitable. The real challenge is being able to stand strong despite this and despite the challenges of mental illness.
Wanting to be loved doesn’t make you a bad person. We love fully, with every burning part of ourselves. And that’s nothing to punish ourselves for.