Someone I'm Not
British Columbia, Canada
What if, what if - what if?
Thoughts that encumbered and stole my liberty to process other thoughts. The rising anxiety boils over and burns internally to offer only the worst outcomes. It eats away at my sanity, and any leeway for relief - the feeble solutions to my situation - are reviled and berated into oblivion.
A monster that chokes me, swallowing me up in its folds of darkness, a monster strewn out of confusion, guilt, and fear, dances with me - a fight that grows in intensity with each thought.
“Is this true?”
I open my mouth, but nothing comes out; the tangle of writhing shadows pins me in a chokehold. I knew giving my mother an answer she could accept would be nothing more than a lie that incites my depreciation for myself.
A regrettable Instagram post - a post revealed to the public in that moment of pure euphoria and proclamation of commitment to finding a person who made me want to live, who showed me the joy in simply being true to myself.
That post, dug out and shared among peers, led to a single tag to my siblings, shattering my utopia - one I should not have dared to enter.
My siblings, who would always support my choices no matter how stupid they were, turned away from me - who I was, so clearly demonstrated in the photo. They whispered with the poison of vipers and planted seeds of rage in my parents. They took away any chance to save my honor by coming out on my violation.
I understood their actions even as I had hopeful wishing for a different ending.
But how could I not think just like them; the closed mindset we learned under the indoctrination from our parents will last for as long as my siblings did not have to experience it for themselves.
Incarcerated by my teachings, even I wasn’t so sure what I sought out anymore.
Did I have to confess?
I feared the cold stare of disapproval depraved from the usual bright comfort and amusement received. But if I lied here - then I would be lying to myself.
How could I live as someone I’m not?
I made this decision for love, and now this stress, anxiety, guilt, and fear that eats away at me can be justified as my punishment - for not being who my parents would have me to be - for being someone I did not choose to be.
The anxiety that suffocates me while I wade the dark waters on my own still paints my world black and white, the stress of wishing I was born as a straight person in a society of heteronormativity bias.
I steeled my nerves, refusing to show any fear or uncertainty. I set up my defenses - a mask of indifferentism, locking away my raging emotions. I looked into my mother’s eyes, sensing the turmoil and barely restrained anger from her.
I licked my lips, double-checking my mother’s reaction, and she nodded to get me to finish my answer. Her stance was unfaltering, perhaps even more threatening from my hesitation that had already given away the answer.
A sense of dread, but as quick as it came, it passed, evoking an emptiness that enveloped me. The black tendrils of uncertainty recoiled at the steel bars, the jail cell my parents spent years infixing in my mind. There was a sense of unfeeling - a loss of emotion - gone was the guilt and fear. There was nothing more. She would never accept me for who I am.
I lied unflinchingly:
“It isn’t. That was just a joke between my best friend and me.”
What if that was a mistake - to lie to myself?
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