Perhaps it is true that our greatest fear is to appear foolish. When I think about telling the truth, my stomach clenches into a knot. If you knew what really happened, how I really feel, you would realise how stupid I am. And if I no longer believe I am smart and sensible and self-aware, then who am I?
If I examine what happened, explain the choices I made, I’ll discover someone ridiculous. Only a dumb person would do what I did. And maybe I haven’t changed.
I don’t sit in judgment of other people — I judge myself. I know how defective I am without needing anyone else to tell me. If I reveal what I really feel, who I truly am, then you will agree with my assessment. I won’t be able to hide.
You call me shallow, a slut, a whore; someone who puts their physical pleasure ahead of decency and compassion. You would be right of course, that’s what I did. Sometimes I feel I deserve your judgment.
I don’t know where this lack of self-esteem comes from. I can go for hours, sometimes days, believing I’m a good person and then it all comes crashing down. Do I deserve to be happy if it makes someone else unhappy? Am I here to be of service to those who need me or should I follow my bliss no matter what the cost?
Am I deluded in believing my intentions are honourable? Do you look and me and laugh at how foolish I am?
So I don’t really tell you my secrets. I skirt around them trying to make what is dark and foetid seem beautiful and important. The thought of slicing open my chest so you can see my poisoned heart makes me ill.
So I hold on to my nightmares as tightly as I hold on to the hope that you will never discover that I am simply and overwhelmingly foolish.