Eyes on Me

One of the most complicated things I’ve had to work with over the last six years is the feeling that I’ve been under watch by other people just waiting for me to step out of line or do something they don’t want me to do. The origin of this dates back to my twenties when I lived at home while my mom was sick and dying of cancer and my parents took a considerable amount of flack from people because they let me live at home rent-free and pursue my writing. I felt like people were just waiting for me to do something that would have them running to my parents telling them I was going to abandon them. I felt like I couldn’t do ‘normal’ things like go out and have some kind of social life. Looking back I know my parents would have slammed that shit down pretty hard but back then I didn’t want them to have to do any more than what they were doing already so I sacrificed my own life to keep that from happening. The problem was that made me feel like I was constantly being watched when in reality, no one really gave a shit about me doing something unless it kept me from being at someone’s beck-and-call twenty-four-seven.

If that sounds harsh or cold or stupid to anyone reading that, so be it. Back then it was very real to me and it’s taken me a long time to work through this crap because I feel like I’ve been lying in wait for someone to mouth at me for writing or doing anything else. That hasn’t happened and I honestly don’t think it will because I think my response would be, “Really? That’s the best you can do? The same old shit I’ve been dealing with all my life?” A tiny part of me is itching for an opportunity to go off like that but in reality that would be a waste of time. Yet the reason it still gnawed me after all this time was simple: I was afraid of and didn’t want to deal with accompanying bullshit of having negative attention on me.

Back then I didn’t want any attention on me because I was afraid of any negative response. I was afraid to be told I was a martyr, selfish, stupid, or some other bullshit. This in turn led me to feel like I wasn’t worthy of handling any attention on myself or my work. I know when I put my writing and other creative endeavors out into the world that I am seeking attention. But now I realize I’m seeking attention on my own terms for myself. And I can handle whatever I get in return, from silence, to flat-out dumb-ass bullshit, or the good stuff, too.

I don’t put out my words like this or anything else to be seen as a genius, or a martyr, or to feed an ego because I don’t have one of those. I put my words out into the world to connect with people. And narrow-minded selfish assholes will never understand this so I’m not going to think about them anymore. I can’t control how anyone thinks or feels, nor can I pull someone’s head out of their ass for them.

It’s the connection I’m after here. Writing and other creative endeavors are pretty lonely to pursue unless you work in a collaborative medium. I don’t work in a collaborative medium so it’s just me and my laptop here. But I don’t believe like a few narrow-minded assholes in this world do that the only connections people can make are in person. That’s not true at all. I believe connections can be made in an infinite number of ways.

I’ve known some of my online friends for over two decades, most of whom I’ve never met in person. But through our online interactions, I have felt more care and support and friendship in those words online than I have from people I’ve had physically in my life. Words have power and meaning, and they can also transcend any medium to reach people. I’m not anti-social and I actually like interacting with people in person. But I also believe I can connect with people online or through people reading my writing.

So yes I’m seeking attention here but on my terms. I’m defining my interactions here and in real life by how I socialize with people. I’m not going to live my life in fear that someone isn’t going to like what I say or do, or that someone may feel like they have the right to dictate my life and my choices. I’m a grown-ass adult as the younger generation says though in reality I’m just a slightly-pissed off and somewhat tired middle-aged bitch. I’m not perfect but neither is anyone else even if they say otherwise.

Yes, this is me seeking attention. If someone has a problem with it, they’re free to find their tits or balls and come talk to me about it. Just as I’m free to respond in any way I choose to. But I know most narrow-minded assholes don’t have the tits or the balls to come at a me because I’m just going to tell them I’ve heard all their shit before and I’m still here. And no, I don’t need to say living is the best revenge or being happy is the best revenge either.

I want to thank everyone who has been supportive and encouraging to me, and everyone who has ever been kind and supportive of me. I cherish every single bit of those good things and I hope I’ve been good to you in return.

Author: Michele

Writer by day, Uber driver by night. Single mom to two fur-kids (a dog and a cat).

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