I am afraid
I’m afraid that I am crazy. I am afraid that I am unlovable and incapable of loving–whatever that means. I am afraid of that word and not knowing what it means. I am afraid of rejection. I am afraid that my former professor will say “What is wrong with this poor, confused, crazy child?” That she will shake her head and say “This girl is asking for too much.” That she will doubt my abilities to succeed.
I am afraid to go back to work. I am afraid of being weak and sensitive. I am afraid of the students whispering or saying loudly that I had a breakdown. That I went crazy. That they will take an opportunity to seize, pounce, determine not to do any work, for any reason. I am afraid that I am not missed, that my presence will be boo’ed. I am afraid that the fact that only one student reached out to me means that I have severely misjudged my relationship with the students–even though Ant was on suicide watch and I never contacted him.
I am afraid my leave won’t be approved. That I won’t get short-term disability. I am afraid to quit but more afraid not to. I just can’t be miserable anymore right now.
I am afraid I won’t be able to write a scholarly writing sample’; that it will get rejected. I am afraid that I won’t get accepted into either program. I want to believe my fears are irrational, not based on reality, but I am afraid that they are not.
I’m afraid I will never be able to lose the amount of weight I want to lose, and I am afraid of how much effort it might take to lose it. I am afraid of losing the weight and regaining it and going through the self-loathing process all over again. I am mostly okay with me right now. I would like to keep thinking I am beautiful. I am afraid that I’m not. I’m afraid that I am a mark. That men see me as easy, not cute/beautiful/sexy enough to work for, want, or be proud of. I’m afraid I look like the type of woman who won’t leave because no one will truly want her. I am afraid to be confident in myself so I am transparent about the fact that I’m not.
I am afraid my hair will never “fully” lock, that I will keep rocking the lil pump dreds, looking foolish, like someone who wants to be “blacker” than she is. I am afraid of the uncertainty of what will come. But not so afraid that I will give up, not yet.
I am afraid to answer respond to my cousin’s text because I fear she will ask me for money that I don’t have, or to help her with an assignment that I am not available to help her with.
I am afraid of this new closeness to another cousin because I fear that it may not be genuine; that to her I might be entertainment, a way out the house, a free meal here, a few cigarettes there. I’m afraid she pities me. I am afraid to believe that even though we are different, she may like or appreciate me as a person, because how could she? I’m so crazy and depressed and uptight and not fun and I don’t talk about the things that people are supposed to talk about, and I don’t do anything exciting these days, and all I can talk about is my varying levels of irritation with the last few niggas I’ve fucked with, and I hesitate and stammer and pause when I speak because I’m afraid of not making sense, afraid of not being understood, afraid of sounding crazy.
I am afraid to talk to my mother because last night and this morning, she spoke in her baby voice. The one where she is guilty and sad and I am supposed to comfort her because she is a martyr and I am the person she died for.
I am afraid of being like this forever, kept captive to fears I can barely feel because I work so hard to suppress them; because they are always here and I wear them like a second skin.