I learned in third grade that if classmates don’t see me, they are less apt to pick on me. Even better, if I have a quick and clever comeback at my disposal, they’ll avoid me.
I learned in college if I stood against a wall holding a full red solo cup, date rapists would zero in on the crop top blond with perky tits shaking her shit to “Bump and Grind.” They’d offer her a cup of roofy with a splash of flat beer. The girl wearing Doc Martins, overalls and a scowl (me) wasn’t on his radar. It took years to learn the nice boys avoided overall girls too.
I was born highly sensitive. In order to fully function in society, I’ve learned to grow a thin skin and it shows signs of scarring. To the core, I’m still fragile for everyday success, but I make it work.
I was taught to fear things when I was young. Important fears like fire, parking lots and drowning, alongside perceived fears I put on myself like embarrassment and air travel. I weigh all these fears the same and they are all dream shattering. Fear paralyses motivation, creativity and joy. If I don’t step out into the spotlight, I can’t fail. This affliction is not unique, lots of people feel this way. For whatever reason we rarely discuss it beyond inspirational memes or lobby kitten posters. Doing so requires highly sensitive people to leave their comfort zone, and that’s just crazy talk.
It’s refreshing to say precisely what is on my mind, without interruption, judgement or rejection. This only happens when I write it down. I hold my tongue a lot in everyday conversation (we all do I suppose). I don’t want to sound arrogant, pathetic, moronic, or boring. I have trouble articulating succinct ideas in person because I have a hesitant delivery, which invites interruption or a misunderstood interpretation. A pseudonym is a gift. It allows people like me to express without fear. To create without boundaries and to speak without yelling. Communicating my complete thoughts without revealing my true identity… true freedom.
So what happens when a Pseudonym, Wallflower and Highly Sensitive Person walk into a bar? They talk, flirt and find joy because they are strange bedfellows. Cheers.