An Open Letter To The Root of My Confidence Issues

To the root of my confidence issues,

They said past is past. It’s very easy for most people to tell you to suck it up and move on. But again, it’s easy to say only. Shit, I shouldn’t even think of you either. After all, 10 years passed and a lot took place since then. You might’ve changed for good. Shall that be true, then there’s no need to write this after all. And yes, there is no need to write this.

But deep down, who I was 10 years ago is screaming to who I am today to do this. I’m better today. And maybe it’s because I chose to ignore the issue instead. But just because it’s done and you’re not in front of me anymore, that doesn’t cancel how much it affected me before. And I want to do this because I want my subconscious to be free of your actions. I want to let go of the feelings attached with what you did to me. I should’ve done that, but I only knew better now. And now’s my chance.

We were around 12-13. At some point, we met at a school activity. I didn’t think much about you then except for “Hey, he’s nice!” You always smiled. You tried to get to know me and the others even when we’re not in the same section. All I got from you was that you were this cool, friendly dude from the other class.

Second year followed. Now this time, every day, we were in the same class. And I got to talk to you more. I felt more at ease with myself. Most thought I was just weird and all, but you still talked to me the same. We had the same interests in TV shows, after all. This was during my Simpsons / South Park phase, where it was the only track in my mind. We then grew a bit close, like not super, but yay, friends!

The closer we got, the more I saw your good qualities. Cherry on top, you were pretty cute too… So as any high school story goes, I started liking you. I was always excited to talk to you, and even when you buzz me in Yahoo Messenger for just homework, I felt giddy. (We end up talking, either way. Also, YM? We’re that old?)

And everything changed when you knew I liked you.

Word gets easily around in high school. And then it got to you. The first two weeks between us were silent. Then afterwards, when someone teases you about us, you’d always react in the same way. Repulsed. And sometimes, those who tease you have the half-assed audacity to do it out loud in front of me. But it was never in my face even when I can hear it. They smile at me when I face them, but they sneer and jeer when I turn my back. However, I have to give you credit for 3 things:

  • Blatantly ignoring me even when I’m asking you something important in person
  • Saying “yuck” or other terms of disgust when they mention me to you, even when I can hear it
  • And the idea of me liking you as a concept for your own personal horror film

Honesty is the best policy. And, all throughout, you were honest about what you thought of me. You made it very clear that the feelings are not mutual. Bravo to you! Congrats!

Was it because of how I looked? I was 13, and I had a lot of insecurities. Back then, I wasn’t happy with my face, my weight, or my height. So imagine I already have insecurities… Then your disgust at me came along. I had a crush on you, and in return, you crushed me.

I kept asking myself questions then, wondering why I earned such a reaction. Am I that repulsive? Am I gonna find someone else who’ll like me? And am I really deserving of love? Even years after you knew, I asked myself those questions.

It was ingrained since then. I find myself liking guys who saw something in me, but I was afraid one thing: getting hurt over rejection. And then I found someone I really like but I got all nervous. In the process I ended up hurting both of us. (Shall that guy read this right now, I want to say I’m sorry. I apologize for letting this get in the way of our friendship. All I ask is we be friends, or at least on better terms.)

I was just afraid to get hurt all over again, all because of your response. And in the end I hurt myself over and over again. I’m writing this in my blog because this is how I deal with it.

(I don’t normally air that stuff here, but this will leave me a good feeling after all those years.)

Besides, there are a lot of ladies my age who may have experienced the same thing. And there are a lot of young girls out there liking guys but they’re not sure about them. Most importantly, there are young girls out there, right now, crying over their crushes who acted the same way you did to me.

So, what else do I have to say to you now that I just revealed to everyone what you did to me?

Thank you!

Yes, you read that right. Had I not thought about you today, the memory of you would still be buried under my subconscious. I’d still wonder where my fear of rejection is coming from. And the more I kept it in, the more it surfaces as I do things to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Acting out of fear of rejection has totally turned me into a nervous wreck. At least now I have an idea where it’s from!

They say that there is no accident. Everything happens for a reason. That includes what I just narrated up there. Meeting you had to take place because you were a huge lesson in my life. What did I learn from you? A couple of things. First, what someone thinks of me is not about me. It’s always about them. Then, I learned that someone’s true colors show over time. And what at least matters is my own character. Last, but not the least: I learned that what someone thought of me does not equal what I truly am. Only I can define who I am. It is only me who can have the last say on my self worth.

So the three questions I asked myself as a teenager, I’m gonna look back at again:

Am I that repulsive?

I take a good look in the mirror today, and I realized you’re not inside it to judge me. The only person between me and that mirror is me. And over time, I took care of myself. I worked out, improved my grooming, and found styles that suited my hair and my body. It was then I knew the answer to that question, and I stopped asking it myself since.

Am I gonna find someone who likes me?

Well I met others after those ten years. And in the end, I did find guys who liked me. Some of them I liked back, some of them are just okay. I found likable guys who like someone else, or went the other way.

I also met someone I admired when I was a teenager. He still stayed as a friend after he knew I liked him. And until today we still catch up. I wondered, was being afraid of rejection really that important? Should I really let that get in the way of friendships and potential relationships?

But I just know that I am getting a guy who’ll appreciate me for who I am inside and out… And I’ll like him all the same.

Am I really deserving of love?

Sometimes, people we like or look up to are the ones who hurt us the most. We have this good impression of them. But when we find out they have a low opinion of us or disappoint us, it lowers our spirits. It makes us think of what was missing in us that changed their mind about us. I doubted myself for a long time after that year.

Then after a good reflection of things right now, I realized it’s only because I chose to let you do so. Back then, I only let how you thought of me (and how others did too) define me. You might have disappointed me with the way you treated me back then. But that’s because I expected high from you, since I had a high opinion of you. And that was my greatest mistake. I let someone’s disgust of me define things. One of those things was whether I truly deserved love.

After looking at it with a clear mind, I now know the answer to this question. Yes, I am someone who’s really deserving of love, like everyone else. I know I have improved, inside and out, since those ten years passed. And love goes beyond whether my crush likes me as much as I do.

Upon taking a good look at my life, I realized I had the love I knew I deserved all along. My parents stuck by my side no matter what. I have a brother who’s just happy to see me after I work from 9 to 6. My relatives and other people I call my family are the most supportive ones I know. There are three girls in this world I call sisters even if I am not related to them by blood. Over time, I gained good friends in person and online who saw the good in me too. And I know that somewhere out there, I’d find a guy who truly understands me on the inside and the outside.

It is then upon looking at the list of people who make me feel loved that I saw clearly now. Those who love me outweigh those who shunned me. And I am thankful for each and every one of them.

But there is one person whose love truly matters to me. It’s me. They said that one must be the person they want to be with. And truth be told, I am the person I’d love. I like each and every detail of me, good or bad. I love my quirks, my goals, my dreams, and my talents. But most importantly, I know who I am deep down and I love it.

This is all I wanted to say. After this, worrying about meeting someone who would act like you would hurt less. And all the bad feelings I had about this, I do not regret them at all. I’m actually thankful it happened. Had it not took place, I won’t be the strong person I am today. Your action is the root of my insecurity with rejection. But my acceptance of my insecurity is the reason for my confidence. As the memory of you lowers my spirit, my inner strength lifts it up.

I hope you’re reading this. And if you are, I want you to know that I forgive you. But I also want you to know that you made the biggest mistake of your life. And that mistake is treating someone amazing like dirt you want to take off because I didn’t fit your definition of beautiful back then. Appearances change easily but attitude is a lot of work to change. And when you see me, your shallow opinion of me will definitely change :). You will feel regret over what you did those years ago, in the same way I felt anxious over rejection all throughout these years.

Thank you for entering my thoughts once again. Thinking of what you did and how it affected my actions without me knowing has given me time to think about my own insecurities that rooted from this. I understand my self worth at last too. Deep down, I know I am a kind and thoughtful person who is grateful for everything I had and I have.

I’m letting go of my bad memory of you. My fear of rejection that stemmed from your repulsion is something I have now acknowledged. Let it be known that I feel really good after letting all my feelings about you after ten years.

And after ten years, I am finally free.

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