by M Beth
A short prose detailing the feelings of a girl that is lost in her own world.
| She felt alone. Even in her own living room, surrounded by her amazing friends that cared for her so much, she felt invisible. It was almost as if her presence went unnoticed; she didn’t think that they saw her. It was strange that she felt this way, because sometimes she enjoyed not being seen. Every once in a while, she would try to see how small of an impact she could make on the world. She would close herself off and make herself as small as possible; if someone noticed her hiding, it meant they cared that she was gone. It meant that maybe, just maybe, there was someone out there who cared whether she lived or died. Sure, she was aware of her friends and family that loved her, but she wasn’t sure they loved her the way that she loved them. It was hard, when she loved so deeply, to fathom that anyone could care about her that much. So, at the end of the day, no matter how many times she heard the words “I love you,” she felt unloved, invisible, unseen.
In the back of her mind, she knew it would hurt her loved ones to hear her say that she felt this way. She could anticipate the look in their eyes as they sunk into themselves, feeling like a failure. She couldn’t do that to them; she couldn’t tell them that what they were doing didn’t seem to be enough. She loved them for everything they did for her. She loved them for putting effort into her, into a relationship with her, but she still felt alone. She desperately wanted what they were doing to be enough. She wanted to be comfortable in her own skin, not to feel like she was letting everyone down by reacting in the wrong way to their love. She was almost certain that her loneliness was her own fault, and wasn’t that the whole problem? Her emotions kept her so locked up in her own head, afraid to tell another soul that she was hurting, so she kept it all in. Kept herself marginally closed off to the ones she loved the most, perpetuating her own alienation.
It was hard to shake: the feeling that she was the only one who knew what love for another person truly was. Maybe it was because she thought no one loved her. More accurately, she thought that her love for others was so incredibly different from their love for her. Her love for others must be so much deeper if they were able to live their lives without constantly thinking about her. She wished it wasn’t, but her mind was constantly consumed by thoughts of everyone she loved. If it wasn’t someone in her family, it was her best friend with whom she was hopelessly, desperately, in love. If not him, her loving roommate, soulmate, who kept her sane in her darkest times. If not her, another one of the dozens of people that she felt immense love for. She struggled to even name them all in one sitting, only because her love for every single one of them was all-consuming. She could only truly focus on one of them at a time, all of her heart and mind working overtime to appreciate every beautiful thing about them and hurting for every pain they felt. She felt everything they did, sometimes more than they even did. She wept for every pain they felt; she cried tears of joy at every triumph. How could they not do the same for her?
The reason she felt so alone was not because they had done anything to make her feel that way, but because they hadn’t done enough to make her feel otherwise. Sure, they were caring for her, but they weren’t feeling for her. It was difficult for her to wrap her head around the idea that other people didn’t feel as much as she did. Sometimes, it made her feel like an alien, a foreigner, lost amongst her peers. That was why she felt so lonely. She couldn’t find another person like her, and that was hard to handle. Maybe if she could see that love isn’t the same for everyone, she would be okay. If she could see that her family loved her differently than her best friend, or her roommate, she could be okay. Love is complicated; love is messy. Love is subjective; who could ever really understand it? That may have been the hardest part: accepting that she didn’t understand love the way she thought that she did. What is love, anyway?