This story is a collaboration between In Real Life and Spritzer titled #TINGEpression No. 46. It was submitted as a confession to Tingespression and has been lightly edited for grammar and formatting. If you have your own personal confession to share, submit it on Tingepression now!
This is my story.
Hi. I just want to express my feelings here, since I’ve always felt that my feelings were ‘invalid’ for people to listen to.
I have been a listener for as long as I can remember. I have never told a story of my own. I figured that if everyone wants to tell their story, then who is going to listen? I decided it’s going to be me.
Ever since then, if people want to tell their story, they can just tell me.
I once tried to tell my story but no one was listening, even though they told me to tell them what I feel or if I had anything to tell them about.
That day, my friends and I were playing ‘Truth or Dare’ and when it came to my turn, I picked ‘Dare’. My friends dared me to tell them about my feelings. When I said nothing, one of them said, “She hardly tells us things, it is hard for her to express her feelings.”
Hearing that, I felt a wave of sadness and pity wash over me. I realized that I’d never expressed anything related to my emotions before, except for when I’m happy or hungry.
With nothing to say, I just told them how I felt — about being happy. Guess what, no one was listening. All of them were playing with their phones and I felt left out.
Ever since that day, I never wanted to tell my story or share my emotions, because I know no one is willing to listen. Since then, I keep things to myself. I know it is unhealthy but no one cares.
I feel like people talk about me behind my back at work.
My mental health is currently not okay. It got worse since I started my internship. To be honest, I have a problem with trust issues due to my mental health.
I have anxiety where I tend to feel insecure when people are having fun without me. I feel so isolated due to it, sometimes.
Whenever I hear people whispering among themselves, and then they suddenly laugh, I feel like they are talking about me. It’s as if they know how stupid I look at my workplace.
I am not good at socializing due to my isolated personality. Usually, I will stay at my assigned desk in the office until I feel the need to go to the toilet or when it’s lunch time.
When I am leaving the room, I have this fear that people suddenly keep quiet as I pass and resume their talking until I leave the scene. It’s as if they are gossiping about me.
Not expressing my feelings and anxiety was making my mental health worse day by day.
One day, I decided to get myself checked and get a professional diagnosis.
I know what you are thinking. “You mean you self-diagnosed yourself having anxiety?”
It is hard to deny, but yes — I have the symptoms, and I realized that I have had anxiety since I was a teenager.
In school, I was the quiet kid where everyone thought I was mute.
They were mean, but I showed no emotion towards them.
I have this pair of eyes that makes you look fierce. People say eyes are the mirror of your emotion and yet, no one could decode my eyes. They thought I was sombong because of my face.
Back then I thought it was just a phase. A normal, awkward teenage phase. But it’s not. My feelings were never seen as ‘valid’ because of my parents. They have never once asked me the reasons for the things I did.
One time, my brother fell off the stairs at our hometown house. My mother and grandmother scolded me for not taking care of my brother, instead of asking how it happened. It was never my fault and yet, it didn’t matter.
No one consoled me or gave me words of comfort. Instead I grew resentful keeping my words to myself. For whatever I did in my 24 years of life, no one asked me how I was doing, the reasons behind my decisions, my favourite things in this life, or whatever emotions I wanted to express.
I had never received that kind of gesture. I’ve seen it shown to others before, but I’d never felt it for myself.
I know it sounds stupid, but it is what it is.
I know I got side-tracked, but I just want to say thank you for reading my story.
I have tears in my eyes right now because remembering these thoughts made me realise just how much of a loser I am.
I don’t know what people will think once I submit my story here. But all I want to say is, please check in with the people you may have taken for granted.
They may look fine just listening to your story, but they may secretly have wanted to share something about themselves as well. It doesn’t hurt you to return the favour and take the time to listen. It may even bond you more with that person.
Just because you have a lot to say, doesn’t mean you have the right to take over the whole conversation. Please give some space for the one who listens to open up as well.
I hope my story will open people’s eyes about giving listeners the opportunity to talk. I am sure it will make them happy to have someone to listen to their feelings as well.
That’s all from me — Hx
If you have your own personal confession to share, submit it on Tingepression now!
For more stories like this, read: After Malaysia’s Borders Were Closed, Here’s What 5 Pilots Are Doing To Survive and How We Started A Batik Brand That Empowers Malaysian Local Artisans, Refugees and People with Disabilities.
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