Life with an inferiority complex

Life with an inferiority complex

Initially, I wanted to call this post “Life as an unattractive woman” but thinking about it, one cannot be truly “unattractive” as it is more than physical looks that determines one’s “attractiveness”. Things like personality, compatibility (the whole “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”) count, I suppose. And in that vein I realise that the reason I keep referring to myself as unattractive is due to the deep inferiority complex I have with regards to my physical looks. So this posts will be both about my feelings and life as an “unattractive woman”, and my deep inferiority complex.

It’s quite weird for me to have an inferiority complex, because as an Aries I supposedly ooze confidence (my friends might think I’m a taurus given how stubborn I have been over my “horoscopes are so real” theory;) ) and I am an epitome of an Aries. I guess most of my confidence comes from my belief in my ability and work ethic, one only has to mention physical looks to realise how low my self-esteem is with regards to my looks. And I got particularly triggered today whilst surfing the net and coming across a reddit article “What it’s really like to be an “Ugly Woman” . You can read it here:

I am an ugly woman. Objectively, I really am. Please don’t argue with me on this one, Reddit. I am not overweight, actually in better shape than most women my age, I dress well, I am great with makeup. But last weekend the world just had to remind me that despite all this, people will go out of their way to kick me.

I don’t often go clubbing, but Saturday night was a special occasion. A friend was celebrating her 21st, and it was also the weekend after a long week of brutal exams. It felt like a good time to blow off some steam. Because I don’t often go clubbing, I really tried this night to look nice. There was an outfit that I had bought a long time ago, but that I’d never worn because it was a little sexier than what I usually wear. A close friend had picked it out for me when we were shopping, and, in that “you go girl” kind of way had urged me to buy it. I did my makeup painstakingly, straightened my hair which always takes forever because my hair is huge, put on that too-sexy-for-me outfit. And when I looked in the mirror I was even surprised at myself. “Wow, is that me? I actually look…nice!”

I showed my friends. They all said I looked great. And they MEANT it too. Like, genuine happy encouragement. I could tell they were sincere and it made me feel so good, like for once I wasn’t just masquerading as an attractive girl with fancy makeup and clothes, but that I WAS the attractive girl. I hadn’t felt so attractive in ages, Reddit.

When we got to the club, we got a nasty surprise. We had been told that tonight there was no cover charge for girls, and so none of us had brought much cash on our person. Well, our info was wrong. They did indeed ask for a cover. Only one of us 6 girls had cash, and she only had enough to cover two people. When we got to the door and found this out, a group of guys behind us volunteered to help us out. They each forked over a couple of bucks to cover my friends, but not one of them offered to cover me. One by one my friends were let in and they waited on the other side of the door until everyone got through. The guys were doing everything to avoid eye contact with me. They were looking at the ground, the street, pretending to look through their wallets for cash to cover one more girl. It was so painfully obvious that I felt like just going home. Luckily, my friend with the extra cash covered me so I was allowed in.

Well, once we were inside I thought I could just forget about that incident. I had dressed up and come out, to have a good time and relax. So for a while I danced with my friends. It wasn’t long before other guys started dancing with us. We kind of paired off slowly, there was a guy whose two buddies had started dancing with other girls and he was left alone. At that point I too had lost track of my friends and was alone. He started dancing with me, but the whole time he seemed really distracted. Not once did he really look at my face, he was kinda looking around the club the whole time, like he was browsing the scene for another, more attractive girl he could bounce to. In less than 10 minutes, he had seen one. He peaced out without a word, and I saw him dancing a few minutes later with a very attractive brunette. The way he acted with her was just SO different than when he had danced with me. He was face to face with her, smiling, dancing enthusiastically.

That made my stomach drop. I went to the bar, found one of my friends who was sitting there with a guy. She introduced us, he bought everyone drinks. After a while I felt like a bit of a third wheel so I went back to the dance floor. Eventually my group of girls regathered together. Everyone had a guy, except for one of them who had a bf at home. So I danced with her, with our friends and their guys near us.

There was a photographer going around the club, taking pictures of the people there. I assume it was for some promo for their website or something. He got to our group, and literally circled us several times, taking several pics from different angles. I was kind of psyched about this, so I did my best to look like I was having a good time, made sure he could snap me at my best. But after a while I realized he wasn’t circling us to get our best angles. He was trying to get a frame without ME. If I moved closer to the center of the group, for instance, he would tilt his camera a little the other way. I couldn’t believe it until finally, he actually came up to me and asked me to get out of the shot.

I felt so ugly right then. For all the effort I had put into looking and feeling good that night, it seemed like it just didn’t matter. So the night ends with me leaving the club. My friend with the bf at home who was dancing with me left with me so I wouldn’t be alone. The rest of my girl friends didn’t notice what had happened with the photographer, so when they asked me where I was going I just told them I was tired and wanted to go home. And since I wasn’t leaving alone, they let me.

So yeah, that’s my story from the weekend.

I guess I just felt that this story is so…relatable. I feel really ugly most of the time, and honestly the experience the writer has narrated seems like it could happen to me any moment (and become my worst nightmare too). (It’s late and I’m tired so my thoughts are a jumbled mess but I’m just going to write them down because it’s cathartic) Because of my inferiority complex, I have resigned myself to certain beliefs that I am too tired to convince myself otherwise:

  1. I no longer believe in love and relationships because I do not think it is possible for someone to even consider me girlfriend material. There will be nobody who sees me in a library and wants to go out with me. I won’t be the “love at first sight” kind of person/recipient. It’s kinda sad because I read those stories of footballers asking journalists out and I know something like that will not happen to me in a million years even outside the context of footballers/celebrities. Like, even regular people won’t care.
  2. But doesn’t personality play a role too? Nope, not for me. I’d like to think I’ve got kind of a go-getter personality, and this means I will always be seen by intimidating, too forceful, head-strong, manly by the male species. And I WILL generalise here because I have had enough people telling me men don’t like girls that independent and strong. I’m too tired to fight, especially I’ve got nothing to prove them wrong with. And few can ever truly understand this sentiment because I have a very explicit “I-can-handle-this attitude” that may come off as a little masculine, and however men protest that they find independent women sexy, a lot of them don’t want a woman that may cause a slight reversal of roles in the relationships. I’m not meek, and that’s a problem. It’s a complex problem because I don’t want to be meek either (anyone with even the littlest sense of ambition knows the undesirability of being meek especially in the male-dominated workplace + one cannot be meek in the corporate environment which can be quite cruel and demands one to be tough) but I’m still a girl, I want to be loved, I want to be appreciated. But instead I’m being perceived as bossy (so many times this word has been used on me), rowdy, not feminine etc. It’s like….my romantic ambition and career ambition cannot be reconciled.
  3. I used to desire getting married young but I scoff at that now. I don’t think I can even get married.
  4. And why on earth do I care so much about love again? Because validation cannot keep coming from oneself, or from people you know will definitely validate you. Like moms in general. Some apparently think I am not “unattractive” but that’s because I’ve got the bright-eyed-good-student kind of demeanor. But man, I don’t want to marry moms! What good is a bright-eyed-good-student kind of face?
  5. Not only do I not think that I will ever be noticed as a prospect, I am also struggling with ridiculous self-bashing when I face people. Besides the few times where I am in an environment I am completely secure in (like friends’ gatherings), I always think “I bet he/she thinks I’m real ugly” when I talk to someone I don’t know that well. It’s horrible. It’s like I feel that my unattractiveness is actually an eyesore and people can’t help but notice it. And it doesn’t help that when I was in retail, a kind-hearted uncle told me to get braces. I’m not going to fault him for his harsh comments; he knows I care about my career a lot and I guess he really wanted to help me. It’s confusing lah, somehow it’s inappropriate to put someone down like that but then again, he probably meant it as helpful criticism. Anyway, I’m on braces now (but it has worsened my inferiority complex because I feel that people can notice me sucking on my aligners which is not my fault, anyone would do that if they had such a big piece of plastic in their mouths)).
  6. I think my face is very broad, cheeks are very fat, nose is too small. But I don’t have time to travel to korea. I think I’m fat too but not that fat, and I’m working on it. At least I’ve for skinny arms. But I’m afraid to swim too much for fear of making my slender arms more muscled.
  7. I’ve now got all my convictions jumbled. I have a senior who has a Goddamn eating disorder and I found myself marvelling at how pretty she was, so skinny, and questioning why would anyone change that? Honestly, screw me and my messed up brain. She has a disorder. A DISORDER. And a disorder is not something good.
  8. I guess I’m lucky to be confident in my academic ability and passion/zeal/interests. But it makes the thought of failing/actually not doing well hurt a lot more. Because my confidence in the acad stuff comes a lot from the whole “you may be ugly but at least you ain’t stupid” belief so if I don’t do well, I feel that I’ve got nothing. I know I can be so annoying when getting results but my fear is compensatory. It’s because I know I have to do really well to compensate for my looks. It really seeps into so many aspects of my life. Recently I started learning chess but would berate myself for not seeing the danger of some moves because it made me feel stupid, made me look stupid. The same for Russian too, that’s why I work so bloody hard for Russian.
  9. I use Tinder way too much because it’s the only way I can seek validation from other people. But it’s bloody boring sometimes so obviously not sustainable.

Life with an inferiority complex is really hard, because the problem exists with me, and nothing anyone says can change that. It’s not that I don’t want to listen to you, it’s that the demons don’t go away just because someone says something nice. But I am not suicidal or anorexic, don’t worry. I just have an inferiority complex. I know some might find this post ironic (Oh, men don’t like women so insecure in their looks) but man, I can’t help being human, cut me some slack, let me be human. Maybe it will all go away when I meet someone (which is not remotely possible) but it will make me too dependent on the person to validate myself. I think it will go away with time. Then I can look back and laugh at how silly I’ve been.

 

Untitled

Untitled

It has been a long time since I last blogged. So much has happened since then— universities, trips, mental crises—that have left me exhausted and gasping for air. I have decided to write today as I am unable to get past a deep irrational fear of mine, and it has been weighing down on my life. A website said that it gets worse if I don’t write out my feelings, so I am doing so. This post is about death. If you don’t want to read it, please don’t. I know I should make this post private but somehow I think knowing that there is an “invisible audience” out there can make this attempt at catharsis a bit more effective. But it doesn’t mean you should read it. I don’t want my problems to become your problems.


 

I have a fear of death. There, I’ve said it. Initially, I was scared of my own death, the feeling of nothingness, of not existing. My fear came as a surprise to me as I have always thought that I was beyond that; I had rationalised early on that since I didn’t enjoy life much, I would hardly miss it when I go.

But, I realised my fear of death runs much deeper than that. It is not my own death which I fear, but the death of my loved ones. My mother. My father. This is how I spend my Sunday nights: I lie down on the sofa on my mother’s lap while scrolling Instagram or whatever, while she caresses my hair and uses WeChat or talks to my father. Contentment. Bliss. When it gets late, I reach forward for a hug, while she counts the kisses she gives to me. I get so much love from my family, that it hurts me to think that one day this would be gone. I’ve been increasingly accustomed to thinking life as a bubble—precariously fragile—but knowledge that what I consider bliss would one day cease to exist. A day in the distant future, but one day. I care less for my own death, because I know I won’t even be conscious to mourn or worry, but I know there will come a day I will no longer get to enjoy what I enjoy. Family dinners. Jokes. Hugs. Kisses. Love. It hurts me so much as as I write this, I am sobbing uncontrollably. But I must write on, as writing is therapeutic.

I suppose this fear was triggered a month ago on my birthday. I was in Beijing and I met up with a wonderful woman, a former professor of English Literature who’s a friend of my mother. She was going through a period of immense pain; her mother constantly tells her how much she fears death, to the extent that she was spending way too much time counselling her mother, whilst trying to ignore her own grief. It was heartbreaking; her expression cracked in the most painful way and she started crying. It brought out a lot of fear in me, and this was worsened when I found out that my estranged grandmother is sick. Apparently, she has Alzheimer’s, a sudden development a mere couple of weeks ago. It reminded me of the transience of life, and since then, I have (unhealthily) viewed life as almost a film, a bubble, that is so contrived, and would break in a very “matrix” style once I put my finger on it. It doesn’t help that my parents like to talk about grandkids; I think I am just over-sensitive given my already fragile mental state.

I’ve talked to my parents about it; they reckon that because I am now faced with a vast amount of time with nothing to do, my mind is too free and is constantly wandering in directions which make me unhappy. I feel that these few months with nothing to do have given me mild depression and anxiety. It sucks. Hopefully, it would get better when I go back to university, where I actually have a goal to strive towards, and really enjoy the moment, and not think about eventual loss and grief.

I have to be strong. Nobody can help me, besides myself. My father has a theory—that life is full of pain and grief and stress and is basically shit—and thus we should at least try to enjoy life a bit to make it a bit better. In a way this is a good theory to have as since life sucks, one shouldn’t think about “missing life” when we’re gone. I also had a theory, that life is theme park and the hurdles in our lives are roller coasters and we have to make sure we enjoy our lives in the theme park as we are in for the experience and that’s the point of theme parks but since theme parks get boring we would one day come to a point that we would be glad to leave. Most importantly, one shouldn’t always think about death as it’s a complete waste of time to think about leaving the theme park when you’re in it. They are similar theories, except my dad’s is more cynical.

I feel a bit more positive now. Life is painful, but we owe it to ourselves to take a deep breath to keep living, through stress, pain, sadness and all the bad times. I’m packing my schedule full to put myself constantly on the move, so at least I can be a bit excited about life. Tomorrow, I’m doing a massage with my TCM therapist, followed by driving lessons and maybe night study with my sisters. It’s going to a brilliant day.

 

 

Love and other things: I need a man who…

Love and other things: I need a man who…

Recently, my TCM therapist asked me if I had a boyfriend. I scoffed at her question, but this really put me in a state of cogitation: of my seemingly-distant JC life, of my various “crushes”, of who I hope to be with.

It seems like another life: writing confession letters, feeling the flutter of my heart as I walk past a crush, wasting time on aimless texting for that 2 seconds of attention. As I reminisce, I realise I do not really know what I was thinking at the time. My desire must have been driven by stress, my mind’s feeble attempt at finding a refuge. I can’t remember our friendship, or if we even had a friendship in the first place, or any interaction. It’s all gone, and I really can’t remember at all.I don’t think people will believe when when I write this, but it’s true. Gone, nothing. No feelings, no empty void, no memory. That’s the worst part. Thank God I did alright for IB, or I would have felt regretful that I spent so much time on something that I can’t even remember. I’m so different now.  I feel more grounded, more calm, more directed. I have a lot more clarity in my life. I know better what it is that I want, what kind of person I’m looking for. When I feel myself on verge on fancying someone, I stop and reflect: what attribute of his attracts me? His maturity? His levelness? It’s important to be introspective and learn about your preferences. Then, you can make wise decisions on the type of person who would get along well with you, whom you don’t mind falling in love with.

I wasn’t planning to put this post up (in fact I stopped writing a few days ago) but a conversation with Matthew spurred me to continue with my endeavours (i.e blogging). So here’s a fun, reflective post:

I want a man who’s loud, rambunctious.

Someone to match my huge laughter, my incessant jokes

someone who accepts my enthusiasm

who reflects my zeal for life

who laughs and sings with me

someone glamorous maybe

well-dressed, knowledgeable, passionate

someone who isn’t reserved

But still enjoys time with just two of us together

someone who takes me, and takes us seriously

someone who doesn’t mind spending mornings lazying about

sipping coffees, nibbling muffins, just reading

someone whom I can be at total ease with without talking

yet someone who keeps the conversation alive

someone who likes going out and having a little fun

only with me though, obviously!

someone who sees me as a best friend

a best friend

someone who likes classical music, yet also loud, dancey music

someone who doesn’t like texting

texting stresses me out

someone smart who prevents me from engaging in superficial discourse

when I am perfectly able to make meaningful ones

someone who brings out my best self

someone mild-mannered but no milquetoast.

someone more dominant than I am

Maybe

A leo is who I want 😉

 

Teardrops

Teardrops

My first heartbreak took place at a secluded corner next to a loading bay.

It was not because of a boy. Nothing I have felt ever since could match up to the pure anger, desolation and raw pain that ravaged my soul on that fateful day. Not even when I was jilted by a boy I fancied, or when I received the horrid letter that went “…unsuccessful…”.

It was truth that tore me into tiny little pieces, one that still brings tears to my eyes.

They say you are your own greatest enemy. I can attest to that.

The most painful thing on earth isn’t childbirth or even death. It is the knowledge of oneself. It is the aftermath of decoloring one’s rose-tinted glasses. It is to be confronted with your greatest insecurities and beliefs, and have them proven correct right in front of your bullish face. It is then that you know that you have hit rock bottom.

ωω

I spent the last hour sipping English Breakfast Tea at Coffee Bean while attempting to converse with my friend on phone. Tea calms me, and eases my nerves. I rotate the thin stalk of rose between my fingers, while observing, in dismay, that it has turned yellow due to my attempt at perfuming it. This is my second and final shot. It has to be perfect.

ωω

In a girlish voice, she told me her name: Melody. I told her that her voice sounds absolutely melodious. She was from Choir after all. So was I. We made small talk as we waited next to the eerily empty loading bay, collector to collector. Talking eases nerves too, just like tea. In our hands, we clutch blue books: the programme. We fretted whether he would emerge. The alternative was too terrible to even think.

ωω

My hands are shaking. He is even more perfect in real life. Perfectly chiselled nose, long eye-lashes, a full mouth. He smells heavenly, the scent my love potion would take on if I had one. He smiles, showing perfect teeth. Perfect.

ωω

I ask for Melody’s help for taking a picture. As he leaves, I go to my camera roll. Yet, all I see is a blur. F***. Frantically, I call him back. The picture is shaky, I say. He’s in a rush, and I shake even more. I wonder if he noticed. I must look like a fool, an 18 year old acting like her 15-year-old self. Anyhow, he obliges. He’s in a rush. Melody takes another one for me.

ωω

Fortunately, my parents wanted to go for a spin in my mom’s car while waiting so I could still get a ride back home. How was it, they ask. My voice wobbles, and the brilliantly-lighted Singapore skyline swims in front of me. I shove my phone in front of their faces. Hunched, fat, four-eyed. Ugly.

ωω

Hunched, fat, four-eyed. Ugly.

ωω

Hunched, fat, four-eyed. Ugly.

ωω

(I can write that a million times and still have energy to write more)

ωω

A shrill cry pierces the air. Not a wail, but a sound of anger. Pain. The sound of my heart breaking into a billion pieces, irreparably damaged. Anger, rage then pain. Then rage again. I was so angry, angry at how I look, angry at my fats, angry at my myopia, so angry. Above all, I was so angry at myself for even thinking that I was at least average.

I was angry at being confronted by the truth, of having all my suspicions confirmed, of knowing how I has mislead myself to think that I was passably-constructed.

ωω

I have nothing. I have nothing in terms of looks. There is no quality there.

I will never be the woman a man desires. I will never turn a head. I will never get a job that is somewhat dependent on my looks. I will never be the protagonist of a love-at-first-sight story. I will never be the one. If it’s someone, if it’s someone who gets noticed at a simple retail job, if it’s someone who gets to be the recipient of a crush, if it’s someone who gets to date someone good-looking, it is not me.

It is not as if I never knew that as truth. I knew it, but I just didn’t have the courage to confront it, to come to terms with it, to admit it, officially, to myself. Can’t a girl hold out a little hope? Can’t a girl dream? Can’t a girl try ignore reality for a second?

To hell with those stories of someone for everyone. I don’t just want someone. I want someone I want. But what choice do we hideously-fashioned girls have? Sure, we can desire, we can dream, hope, fantasize even, but we will never be desired back.

I won’t ever be the one.

ωω

In the car, I rage and grieve, over all my unfulfilled dreams, over my disillusionment, over my inadequacy. I still find it difficult to describe these emotions in greater detail. It is too painful for me to write.

My parents remind me that I had better not let this incident affect my IB grades.

ωω

I scoff at that. Grades. Grades? That’s all I have. The only thing that I am decently ok at. (Forgive my colloquiality at this point as this post is morphing into a rant). Since I do not have the looks to achieve any fulfilment whatsoever, I better be good at something else. Like becoming intellectual. Knowledgeable. Something academic. If I don’t have some brains or achievement, then I truly have nothing.

Nobody is going to admire me, or like me, or give me opportunities for my looks. The only way of getting any darned bit of respect is becoming respectable through hard work and my work.

ωω

Soon after, I cut my calories. I did well. But it’s not f******** enough, is it? Still, time and again, I am reminded by my inadequacy, of how I will never be the one, of how it’s still not enough. It doesn’t matter that I enjoy reading the New York Times and the New Yorker. It doesn’t matter that I know how and why South America is split into portuguese-speaking and spanish-speaking regions. It doesn’t matter that I can speak a third language fairly well and carry out daily activities in France while on holiday. It doesn’t matter that I’ve got a witty tongue, or that I can code, or that I can read morse, or that I can play the piano, or that I read a lot, or that I know about patronymic naming or that I can name the capitals of the US states, or that I’ve got a good sense of direction.

I still lose out to people every day. I am still inadequate, not good enough to be liked, not good enough to even inch towards self-actualization.

ωω

I hate my life.

An ESTJ Blog

An ESTJ Blog

Hello readers!

I have started a new ESTJ blog titled “Life of an ESTJ girl”. It can be found at: lifeofanestjgirl.wordpress.com. I created this blog in part to support other ESTJ girls who find themselves unable to fit into the “desirable girl” archetype due to the dominance of our personality, which is something that has traditionally been considered masculine. It also serves as a way to chronicle my journey to self-discovery, as I am not very introspective, and I hope that through understanding muself better, I can strengthen my Fe.

Anyway do check out this blog if interested! There will be other MBTI stuff too!
Sophia xoxoxo

I should have listened

I should have listened

I knew.

I already knew it was stupid to like someone who was more desirable than I am. I knew. I should have listened to my rationality. It’s so stupid that I didn’t listen. God. That’s the whole point of rationality. It protects you. It tells you what the best course of action is. I should have used my rationality to my advantage.

I should have listened to my father when he told me the only kind of men who would like me back are older ones. Their priorities match mine. They have the type of politeness that I value/find important. Their topics of interest match mine. They are past the age of “discovery” and it’s a phase of my life that I plan to skip anyway. To hell with drinking/partying/experimenting. Being wild. Never was that kind of person, neither was I ever interested in becoming one. I need someone who is already past that. I need someone who is steady, courageous, can do stuff. Someone Jared Kushner-esque.

I should have listened to those people who told me it is futile. But boy am I stubborn, turning the clock back won’t change anything anyhow.

I knew it all along that it was a bad choice. How I wish to yell at myself: I knew, I knew, I knew!