Nice, Not Nice: A Tale of Paranoia
“You’re too nice. People take advantage of you,” is what I’ve heard from my family and friends for as long as I can remember, and even though there is (at least one) someone inside of me who’s not nice at all, for the most part I AM overly nice to people. We get it from my father, who dedicated his life to helping those in need, up until his dying day, and now we carry on his legacy by giving of ourselves to others. I’ve always been the one who offered my spare room to someone displaced, gave people a ride when their car was in the shop, fed the hungry, lent money to the poor, and offered my couch and lent an ear to friends who drank too much and thought too hard. I was the phone call the recently-dumped or fired made. I was the one everyone trusted with their secrets. (I’m an excellent secret-keeper; I forget what everyone tells me!) But when the chips were down, I always lost. My generosity was taken for granted and I was used and abused on many different levels, by people I never could have dreamed would wish to harm me. I’m not sure if it was because my mental illness made me more vulnerable or if I’m just a fool. As the years went by, I got hurt again and again by people whom I thought cared about me, but who in the end simply needed something from me-money, sex, a place to live. (I dated a lot of musicians lol) So after college, a new K came out and took over, one who was more hardened and who was surrounded by a protective outer shell. At one point in my life, this protective shield was so thick and tough that I was incapable of feeling complete trust and love for another person. I had become inhuman. I went out and intentionally sought my victims, men whom I’d tease and torture in an attempt to somehow make things even, fair and square. To make up for the abuse I’d suffered at the hands of men, I broke other men’s hearts. I would go out with a guy and toy with him until I had him in the palm of my hand, and then I’d destroy him, taking great pleasure in doing so. That K was a vindictive bitch. She felt it was her job to punish mankind for the way I’d been treated all those years, those young days when I’d given of myself so openly and freely. So for years, I lived that way, hard and cold and uncaring, simply using men for sex and whatever else I desired at the moment. I was working hard to reinforce the walls which surrounded and protected my heart. Then, in a moment of weakness, I fucked up and fell in love. With an asshole. He devastated me…and so I had to start over. I became a different K once more. I built the walls back up, brick by brick, year after year, until at long last I’d succeeded in creating a fortress around my inner core, which no one could damage. I wasn’t the same person I’d been-I was a new, improved (so I thought) version of K, with better defense mechanisms. I began to date, quite a bit actually, but there was never any danger of my having my heart broken again, as I had no heart. I felt nothing. This new K wasn’t cruel and cold like the last one had been, this K was an empty shell of a woman. There was no love for others for there could be no trust. I looked for the worst in everyone, and I always found a flaw, of course, and so I was never even close to feeling intimacy with a man. I didn’t trust anyone, male or female. I thought everyone was out to use me for my body or my money or my car, something, anything-they couldn’t possibly want to be with me for me, for while I was very kind and generous to my close friends (who were a carefully screened few), I was incapable of trusting anyone, and so therefore I could never have a fulfilling relationship. (not to mention the fact that I was mentally and emotionally unstable) I expect the worst, always. I’m very often right, and the worst comes to pass. When I’m wrong, and something good happens, well then I’m just thrilled to find something positive in this life. This “alonely” life. It’s ironic because I was never alone back then; there was always some guy eager to be my companion, and many of them thought that they could melt my cold heart and win my trust, but it never came to be. I was incapable of trust. I just knew that everyone was out to get me, out to harm me, even to kill me, figuratively speaking. My paranoia grew and grew as I grew older and presumably wiser. I didn’t even trust my own family. No one, not even my very best friend was worthy of my trust, at least that’s what I thought and felt at that time. All people, not just men, but everyone in the world was selfish and greedy and looking out for only their own best interests. Everyone was a threat to me. Everyone wanted to hurt me. I had to take a good deal of medication by this point in time, medication which made me able to socialize, to be brave enough to go out in public, where the untrustworthy masses lurked, waiting to harm me.
They’re all out to get me. All of them. All of you. I know this now, though it took me years to figure it out. Everyone wants something from me. There are no selfless deeds and so we are all looking out for ourselves. I lived a shallow existence then, despite my popularity and never-ending cycle of boyfriends and best friends and what have you. I just couldn’t trust. I couldn’t let myself be lured into their heart. I resisted every attempt at intimacy. I was just too paranoid. Paranoid that I was going to get hurt again, or robbed or raped or harmed in some way….as these things had all happened to me at various points in time. It would take decades for me to get to a place and a person who instilled trust in me. Even though I’d known him since childhood, it still took him 4 years of dating me to gain any of my trust, and to be honest, he still doesn’t have all of it. More than anyone else has ever had, that’s for sure. But even though I am now able to trust someone (my husband), I can trust no others. Not my own family even. No one. I love now but I cannot (completely) trust. Paranoia has me in its grasp and is not letting me go. I see the people following me. I hear the clicking sounds which tell me my phone has been tapped. I know there are hidden cameras and microphones all around me. They are watching. I’m too paranoid to ask who they are, I just know they are out there, watching me, waiting to strike. You’re all potential heartaches, and so I trust none of you.