First, if you don't like walls of text you probably won't like most of my blogs. *Chuckles*
So, I was very torn on which topic out of two I would write as my first blog here on Elliquiy. The other topic was 'The Atmosphere of Elliquiy' something I will likely re-visit at a later time. I decided to begin with insecurity and trust for a number of reasons, but one of them is if I get this out there those who actually decide to read my blogs will see why the atmosphere here on Elliquiy is important enough for me to want to blog on it.
There are many people out there who will be able to relate to the rather lengthy blog entry I'm going to be making in a moment. I request only that if you read my blogs you read them with an open mind. ^^
Insecurity has many forms. I suffer from most of them.
Applying at Elliquiy was a big deal for me; applying anywhere is a big deal for me. I get these little butterflies in my stomach as I write out answers to applications. Thoughts run through my mind, 'What if they don't like me?', 'What if they're mean?'. People have told me in real life before that being nervous about just those things is 'silly'. I greatly resent that. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and levels of confidence. I do not think it silly to be insecure or afraid of rejection.
How many times in the four and a half days worth of time that I have been actively on online here at E since joining have I started to post something, but closed the window instead? I can't count the numbers. It can be anything from a simple addition to a forum game such as the four-letter word game to as complex as a response to some post looking for opinions about something in their life.
There's just this overhanging nervousness that prevents me from sharing everything I think. It goes beyond the thought-to-mouth filter that keeps a person from saying things they will regret as generally it's not things I would be likely to regret, but what if...?
Still, I've been able to overcome a lot of that here because people are so supportive here, and I know there are others out there that have the same sorts of issues (part of why I'm writing this). People whose fingers freeze when their mouses pass over the 'Post' button. And for good reason. In other times and places, and especially in real life I have experienced things people just shouldn't. Most of us have at some point been the butt of a joke or the target of a rumor. It's a horrible feeling. The feeling that people are whispering about you as you pass them in the hallways at school, or that when your 'friends' are laughing it's not to laugh with you, but at you instead. The yearning for social acceptance drives people so hard. I know it has driven me before, and I still struggle to break from it.
In my application I was asked what character I have played who I would most like to be and why by Dawg. The characters I listed were a very close choice. While I did elaborate there on how one had such conviction and I envied it so deeply I didn't elaborate to the fullest extent. People who can do what they do and not fear the reactions of others, those people are my heroes. In a small way so are people who do what they do despite fearing the reactions of others. And I am thankful to say I'm learning to overcome my insecurities.
There was a time not long ago that if I was late to class (and sometimes, admittedly, this is till th case) I would not enter the classroom. I don't remember how many chapters of my psychology book I read on the bench outside of the classroom door while my teacher taught the students inside because I had run late. Thank God that was a psychology class and the teacher understood the anxiety and insecurities I felt.
Therapy had my counselors telling me I should have gone in anyway. This I knew, the question was always 'How?' How do you walk into a room when merely putting your hand on the doorknob nearly gives you a panic attack? How do you ignore the students who do turn their heads to follow your progress across the room just as you feared they would? I couldn't do it. There was a mental barrier. My hand rested on the cold metal handle to the classroom door and I peaked in from the glass in the frame without being seen, a ghost in the hallway of a school full of people who didn't have any issue entering a classroom seven minutes later than the start of class.
Time has shown some progress, though moving into a smaller school, a Technical School, has been a huge help. The teachers know me by name and I'm not one student in a multitiude of faces they see come and go every quarter.
Last week was a big deal. In a combined class that had more than the meager four other students of my regular courses we were asked to group with our respective majors for a project. The project was to design and market 'Your Brand' paperclips. We did this, we came up with 'Frogs Paperclips'. Leave it to Software Applications and Programming majors to go the route of the zaney. Funny thing was, of everyone in the room I was the least quiet so I was asked to do the actual presentation. Through the entire hour prior to our presentation I felt my hands run cold and sweat and clam up.
Even during it the signs of nerves were there. My voice rattled, my hands shook, my throat went dry... And... I sang for them. Not full-out singing, not karaoke or anything, but a little marketing scheme for Frogs Paperclips that used the music from the 'Slinky' song to our own rhyme.
God, what a time. I was so afraid, the paper was moving, and I even screwed up at the end, but by then everyone was laughing and clapping to hard to hear my weak, timid voice or the mistake in the words. It had a real impact on me.
I suppose what I learned was that every once in a while it is okay to trust your peers, no matter how ridiculous you feel. (My hands shake even now as I recall doing that two weeks ago.)
And with that... Trust.
Trust is a very delicate subject. Trust is required in life. Required. No one I know can say they honestly trust nothing.
You trust your lover not to hurt you. You trust your friends to support your decisions. You trust your family to love you. You trust strangers not to attack you for the money you use to pay them when buying a soda in a gas station. You trust drivers not to hit you. You trust the sun to rise, the rain to fall, the tides of sea to keep changing... I could go on and on but what this boils down to is: there is trust in all life.
That said, the amount of trust and faith you put in things varies for obvious reasons. For someone with the anxiety issues I have, the amount of trust I put into most given situations effects me in a greater way than most people. That is to say, a few well-phrased words in the wrong way can hurt me very deeply, sometimes even from a stranger. Sensitivity, a blessing and a curse on so many levels but a topic for another day.
The writings I have posted here for people to see are little pieces of my soul I've bled onto paper (well, into text boxes) to put on display. I trust the people in this community to be respectful and not to say 'That poem sucked,' or 'Your style of role play makes me sick' and it's very important that I can. This blog is even more a sign of a trust because I'm not hiding behind pretty prose or poetry, nor am I in the guise of a character. I am giving you a facet of me to take and read and consider and leave behind as you will.
The foundations of trust begin from the very first meeting. Some people jump to conclusions just from appearances. My family, though they will not admit it, is racist. It rather bothers me. My mother often says things like 'Be careful, those Mexicans are looking at you.' The sad part is I'm not even joking. She sees them and based on 1) gender and 2) race she starts worrying. (Shame on her, and my father too).
Now.. you can't blame someone for worrying about their youngest daughter, but reason is very important. In the world we live in you should be able to trust a person not to do anything wrong in plain daylight. It's sad that this is not always the case, and its said that 'in plain daylight' is a small thought to the statement. Most people will do more by cover of night than in the day. For this reason if I notice a car has been following me from a certain distance away from my destination I am one to keep driving and see if it follows.
Onto another portion of trust (containing much about trust in relation to abuse), and one that I really think should be emphasized, is the importance of not violating it. Whether you are being trusted to be polite or being trusted in far more important aspects of someone's life, you should respect that. Many people have suffered abuse (including myself, though I won't go into that here, if you're also a person who has suffered abuse you may PM me and we can talk). Getting past that is so hard... so very hard. There are days that normal people even suffer anxiety from the idea of being in a relationship. We give these days many names; one of the most popular is 'Cold Feet' in regards to the metaphorical tying of the knot. Just imagine, if you do not know the feeling already, trying to be friends with someone with a foundation of betrayal in your past.
They might turn on you, they might tell stories behind your back, they might even abuse you. Can you be their friend? Especially if it's someone who is clearly stronger or smarter or more popular than you are, can you trust them not to do those things? It's so hard, so very hard, believe me. There are days the world is a dark horrible place and all you want for company are the blankets, pillows, and sheets of your bed.
No one can live like that forever. This is why trust is so precious. You may think you know a person from talking to them, but everyone has secrets. Some have darker secrets than others. If someone extends their trust to you, treasure that most wonderful gift, nurture it, return it. It is the only reaction to take.
Going back to how hard it can be though, escalate what I've talked about. If the trust has been well-founded and the friend has not turned on you but the lingering doubts of the past remain in your mind how do you move to the next step? How do you open yourself to someone you think you know but fear you might not and say 'I would like to be in a relationship with you.'?
A lot of that has to do with you. Trust is powerful and should not be poorly placed. Caution is your friend. Still, not giving others a chance leads to a lonely and difficult existence. To move on from anxieties and to become stronger you must try, but... Choose your battles wisely.
Battles, yes, battles. To put faith into someone who is as capable of you as changing is a battle. Some people do this with great ease, some with great effort. I, personally, am on the great effort end of the spectrum. In real life I have all of three really close friends outside of family (and I'm not very close to family when it comes to friendship). One of those three is my Master (taboo word to some of you, but fact is fact and the title serves a purpose because it demonstrates an act of trust).
And... damn, I had more to say (not that I needed to add much more to this wall of text)... So before my insecurities get the best of me and I back out of this I'll conclude it by saying:
Those who suffer insecurities and are afraid to trust, find good friends or find places you can step forward and do it without being so exposed you'll be overwhelmed.
Those of you who do not suffer from the above, cherish the trust and faith that others put in you. It is a very valuable and sometimes very taxing gift.
Anyone who reads the whole thing (*Applauds*), I welcome any thoughts, feedback, or introspection of your own you wish to add. ^^