Nothing, Nothing, Nothing At All

My sister is perfect.

I’m so envious of her, so jealous. It’s not the angry, I hate you for being better than me kind of jealous–it’s the despairing kind of jealous, the kind that makes you feel like wilting down and turning into steam and drifting away to leave a little crumpled heap of clothes on the ground.

I should stop looking at all her Instagram pics–as well as other social media from people I know. It makes me depressed, how beautiful and happy everyone else that I have known is while I am this sad, awkward, pathetic, quiet, uninteresting, inadequate, lonely person.

Yes, yes, it’s just self-esteem issues. I hate myself. I always have. I never do things by halves, and I am never “neutral” about an issue–I am either an advocate of something until I die or I reject it with all my soul–love/hate–and it’s the same thing when it comes to myself, my looks, my personality. I can’t just “like” something. I can’t like myself.

On rare days I love myself with a searing sort of pain and I think, I’m not such a bad person. I am good inside. I can change. I am good. I am worth it.

But most days I don’t feel like that. Most days I will find something to hate and reject about myself and it just makes me angrier and angrier, like I am a little black vortex of hatred that is spiraling inward and packing itself into a smaller and denser center.

My sister is beautiful, smart, hard-working, athletic, artsy, creative, kind, cool, funny, interesting, independent, popular, loved. The people–girls–around me are so beautiful, with the makeup and the 4.0 GPA’s and the mass of friends. I am so jealous when I compare myself to them and I have to remind myself that I am nothing, I have nothing, I have accomplished nothing, I am maybe even worth nothing, nothing at all.

My brother and sister both became national merit finalists. I have a B in physics. I haven’t had any volunteer hours done. I haven’t taken part in extracurricular activities. I have no talents, no skills. I have a pitiful B in physics. I’m only taking two AP classes this year while others are taking five. I don’t have the highest GPA. I don’t get the best test grades. I don’t write well enough to be talented.

My classmates have big groups of friends. They have confidence. I have virtually no one now, although I guess I don’t want to burden anyone near me too much anyway–it would be unfair to them. I have no self-esteem whatsoever and my voice squeaks and cracks like a dying mouse’s when I speak, and I can’t look people in the eye; I don’t dare. I can’t even open my mouth to speak to other people without steeling myself, bracing myself, as if I were ready to get punched.

I look at all these beautiful people and I see them being so happy and so loved. They have problems of their own, I know they do, I wouldn’t erase that fact, but they have all that support and all that happiness, and I want so badly to be like them. I push myself to get good grades because I feel like that is the only way I could ever be loved, the only way to be a decent person. Tell me: You are not a good person if you can’t receive a NMS. You are not a good person if you didn’t make a good grade on that test. You are not a good person if you couldn’t even summon the courage to speak to the person sitting right next to you. You are not a good person if you are not physically beautiful. You are not a good person if you don’t have social media. You are not a good person if you don’t have many friends. You are a horrible person if you don’t know what to say. You are disgusting for turning away from one of the only people who was nice to you often–he made you uncomfortable but what does it matter when you’re probably the one overreacting?

God, I hate myself so often. I thought I would be happy here. I wanted to come here because I thought, this is my country, my home, this is where I will finally be happy–but I’m not and it’s not because this place is disappointing, but because I am so disappointed in myself. I didn’t think about hating myself as often last year or even the year before–I thought I was getting better. I thought I had made some progress. But I didn’t and now I’m relapsing and I can’t tell anyone because I’m so fucking stupid for feeling like this, anyway.

All I can do is work harder. I have to push myself. The only way to be happy is to be a good person, and to be a good person, you have to be beautiful and confident and outspoken and extroverted and cool and funny, and you have to know how to do your makeup right, and dress well, and make super amazing grades, and demonstrate your plethora of talents to the world.

I look at everyone who is better than me and I try so hard to climb, to be like them, to improve myself so I can stand on their level and be just as beautiful, because I admire them so much. I try so hard but it doesn’t work and I am always reaching, reaching, across a distance that my eyes span with a telescope, and it makes me spasm and twitch because I love them with all my heart, I love their grace and beauty and elegance, but I can never be like them, because compared to them, I am a shameful and shabby little mess of insecurities. There is nothing good about me. Not even looks, no skills, no friends, no talents, no grades, not even a pure and benevolent heart. I am not a kind person; I can be so cruel, sometimes, and I hate myself even more when I am, hate myself the most for my personality, so incompatible and ugly and mean. I hate myself so much. I am the reason this world is such a terrible and bitter place.

I’m just feeling this way so often now–at least several times a day, four times a week. I have good days and moments in between–barks of laughter, and wide wide smiles, and good test scores, and brief but positive interactions with classmates and teachers and even strangers–I know that I fly when I’m high–but nothing compares to my lows when I’m low. I can’t remember what it’s like to be happy or carefree when I’m low, like right now. I can’t recall that feeling. I can’t remember what I was feeling before I hit this point, before I suddenly realized how worthless I am. I’m scared a little, because I can’t remember what living is like when you’re not constantly thinking of closing yourself up and dying.

I can’t remember what it feels like to not believe that you are nothing, nothing, nothing at all.

I’ll be fine in the end though. I’ll be fine. I am fine. I have these bad days, see? And then the pendulum swings up, up, up out of the pit–a comparison. I have bad days and I want to die, seriously consider it, but don’t worry, because I’ve thought about it in the past, too, and I’m still here without even a deliberately-made scratch on my body. I am not stable, not yet, not in that burning place in my chest. Still burning. Still aching. But I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. Wait until tomorrow; I’ll be better then, see?

2 thoughts on “Nothing, Nothing, Nothing At All”

  1. I wrote a long reply last night, which you can view in your email. I think it’s still relevant.

    But the quick summary of what I was trying to say is that I think you just need approval from your peers that you belong. You just need confirmation from them saying that “Yes, everything you’re doing is fine, you’re perfectly okay the way you are, you belong in this community.”

    I suggest just starting to talk more and starting to be around people more. Even if you don’t like them that much, you just have to join their groups and join their conversations, then you’ll start to smile more often and find out that you are wanted.

  2. You will be fine, definitely. Oh my, you are so much like me, I feel like a hypocrit telling you to calm down about it, when just two days ago I was in agony over the Witcher’s scientific impact factor being so much higher than mine. But the thing is: we judge ourselves so much harsher than others do. I used to make a fuss about every little imperfection as well when I was your age, until I found out that people were describing me as “Miss Perfect” and some of them actually felt more intimidated than impressed. People like others to have some flaws, you know? Makes them feel more comfortable with their own. I now deliberately try to go easy on myself, but still… I know what you feel like, always aiming high, nearly crushing yourself in the process. I just hope you enjoy the exhaustion as much as I do.

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