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Bethany

May 2001

I think, my friend, that you've built a very high wall around yourself, of solitude and sarcastic retorts and disinterest (real or concocted) in what other people do/think/say. And I think the idea of losing that control, even control at such a high price, scares you a lot... But it's about allowing yourself the possibility to be genuinely happy... No matter how many smart remarks you're packing. And simultaneously, happy for living through action, instead of an endless succession of reactions.- my friend Marcel

Stop hiding! - my best friend, to the point as always.

The Price Of Fear

I'm scared of a lot of things. Mostly people. I'm not scared of the Jeffrey Dahmers of the world, or the random terrorist. I'm scared of my friends and family, those people who would seek to pry open my emotional shields and discover the person inside. I'm scared of letting go and caring about others. I'm terrified of letting them care about me. Most of my friends from high school frankly have no clue who the hell I am - they think they do, but I only let them see certain parts of me. The few that I have allowed past that fence still probably don't know as much about me as I know about them. I'm used to hiding. It's safe and comfortable alone in the dark. There's no one to hurt or betray you. There's no one for you to feel pain for. No empathy. No sympathy. Safe.

Sounds pretty bare and hopeless, doesn't it? It is. But that's the world I lived in throughout my adolescence, refusing to care about anyone, including myself. It hurt. I'm naturally a very affectionate, loving individual (trust me). It destroyed me. My friends and family tell me that I was a complete bitch for years. I believe them.

The thing is, no one has to live alone. No one should. As much as I value and enjoy my alone-time, which takes up at least a few hours a week, I also revel in being surrounded by my friends, or talking with someone into the wee hours of the morning (yes, mom, I get plenty of sleep!).

What changed me? Why can I now be a loving, affectionate person when a year or two ago I was a cold and heartless bitch? Well, first off, I always wanted to be close to my friends, but I just never found the courage in myself to knock down the emotional walls I'd built. It took a few very special people who came with sledgehammers and bulldozers to poke a hole in my defenses. For that, I shall love them forever. They gave me back to myself.

Now, I see other people I care about walking around emotionally distant and blind, terrified of letting someone in, letting someone care. If you think no one cares about you, no one loves you, no one bleeds for you, you are fucking dead wrong. There is ALWAYS someone who loves you. Realize that. And start letting yourself love. It's worth the price. Fear costs a lot more anyway.

Every time I... even at my worst, you always make me feel special. How do you do that? -Tara, BtVS

*****

Bethany-Faith Kimball is a freshman at UMass-Amherst. She can be contacted at k41632@yahoo.com or by showing up at a Pride Alliance Meeting.

~~~

Notes: A reminder to someone who knows who they are- things get better, I promise. And even though it's scary, love and caring is good for you. Just like broccoli.

To my favorite Libra, silver ink sounds nice... I thought we decided on Sept. 15th?


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