snapshots of an idle mind

October 24, 2005

other shoes…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sassinak @ 2:20 pm

do you ever have moments where a bunch of unexpected people in your life can’t say enough nice things about you? as though people are bending over backward to tell you how great you are? compliments are flying and not from any of the expected places?

lately that’s been happening to me a lot and i find it disconcerting. partly because i feel like i asked for it by posting my blue thoughts to my blog and partly because i suspect that my constant need for approval is really pretty transparent.

Still, very unexpected things have been said that I may have drawn out but still weren’t things that i thought i would hear. Like for example I have a “graceful rolling dancing way of walking” uh yeah. i do? damn that’s pretty cool. I would certainly aspire to have a walk like that if I believed such a thing were possible.

Also I have a sweet blog which is also awesome. I am a calm and sturdy presence in people’s lives. I’m hella hot AND classically beautiful. I’m awesome and a deep thinker. I have an old soul… shall I continue or do you get the idea? These are fantastic compliments. These are like the 10 out of 10 of compliments someone could want and really not many of them relate to how I look. Although the looks ones are great. And not one of these comes out of my blog comments which, trust me, are REALLY good for my ego.

And yet [and this is not a cry for flattery or reassurance although I do love both of those things, it’s just what I’m thinking about this afternoon] I don’t believe a word of it. Not a word.

I just keep waiting for the other shoe. [yeah that seems like a theme lately]

I keep waiting for the fantastic people around me who think I’m awesome to like notice that I actually suck. To realise the cranky unhappy person I really am. To spot how selfish and ungenerous I often feel. To realise that I’ve fooled them this whole time. To… I don’t know something shitty.

It’s not like I don’t know where this comes from. I can trace it firmly back to my enormous lack of friends from the day i started school until the day I graduated. Okay that last year I did sorta start to popular up but I still think it was because I started smoking and I was and still am a very generous person [read: easy to hit up for smokes.]

And it isn’t just that I had no friends. I had enemies. I had people who tortured me because they thought it was fun. They would befriend me just to set me up for something. I got beat up by a gang of boys from swimming. Regularly. [did finally win that one… but it took years] In high school I was the person whose locker got stink bombed. Repeatedly. Whose locker got taped shut or kicked in or whatever. Hell my french teacher wrote a reference letter discussing the grace (??!!??) with which i handled the negative attention. IN A REFERENCE LETTER! So it’s not like the teachers didn’t know it was happening.

The custodian knew my on sight and by name. He could find my locker without direction. In fact when he saw me he went for his crowbar without waiting to hear what I had to say.

My mother told me recently that I used to come home from public school and tell her what happened that day and that she would be amazed that I still had the courage to speak. This implies that I don’t even really remember just how bad it was. I’m just grateful that I had a mother who showed me that friends could be found in books and adults as well or I would be totally fucked instead of just screamingly insecure.

It does, I believe, go a long way toward explaining both my sense of ‘where’s the other shoe coming from?’ and my total difficulty believing that people like me. I recall discussing this with a friend (who dumped me not too long afterward [i think because i held her hand while she had an abortion and that she then couldn’t handle having me around to remind her] {incidentally that’s why I know I can’t ever have an abortion} [icky vacuuming noise] *shudder*) [hah how’s that for effective use of parentheses? (damm I love all forms of brackets and am sad i can’t use diagonals here cause stupid blogger thinks they’re html)] who looked at me very sincerely and said ‘but sass you’re not that girl anymore’ and that hit me very hard and I still go back to that moment when my insecurities get the best of me.

It does, I admit, lose a little power due to the dumping… but I can really understand how it’s hard to be around people who’ve held your hand through that sort of thing. Or with whom you spent several months being suicidal (different friend that dumped me… and was then embarassed when I greeted her on the street). Still E was right, I am NOT that girl anymore.

I’m a smart, talented, hella hot (!! yeah right :), witty, generous, compassionate and maybe even beautiful inside woman. But still there’s that little girl that nobody ever liked sitting inside that woman and going ‘yeah right’ or ‘just you wait’ or ‘they’re setting you up… you’ll see… I warned you!’ or ‘did i mention there’s another shoe?’ or whatever.

And I still can’t figure out how to shut her up. How to tell her that people *do* love her. How to tell her that even if people don’t love her that she’s still okay. How to fill that hole inside myself that can’t ever hear enough good things because I don’t believe any of them. How to look in the mirror and see the eyes or the collarbones instead of the saddlebags or the jiggly bits. How to hug that little girl and tell her everything is going to be okay and I definetely don’t know how to fill up the bottomless bucket of reassurance that she needs. How to see the woman everyone else sees instead of the girl I can’t let go of.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hella better at it than I was and a big part of it has involved teaching myself to speak nicely to myself. Not to call myself an idiot. Not to make fun of myself or my ways. To get rid of a lot of the self deprecation. To be NICE to myself.

That’s helped enormously and took years for me to even be able to see… but still. I always smell the other shoe… I always feel like shitty things are about to happen… and I want to let that go.

I just know that the nicer my life is the stinkier the other shoe gets.

What’s funny? I’m probably the most positive and cheerful person I know. *rueful laugh*



  1. Nothing any of us, or anyone in “real” life, can say you to will get you to change your mindset; you’ve had it too long. And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, to fear the “other shoe.” Hell, it might even help you keep perspective.

    I’m somewhat of an optimistic pessimist myself, so I get the gist of your feelings. I won’t say “I know exactly how you feel,” because I don’t. Especially the childhood crap; that was rough.

    Being a chubby (fat) kid, I got a lot of teasing and taunting. But besides being fat, I was tall and strong. I beat up a LOT of people; sometimes multiple people. And I took to becoming something of a protector of others who were teased, which brought me even more people to beat up.

    Eventually, I realized I just couldn’t pound everyone who made fun of me or others (relatively early too, around 6th grade), so I turned my brilliant mind on and gave back better than I got. I made the other kids laugh at the taunters by making fun of them. Though I admit, if they got so angry they wanted to fight, I had no problem kicking their asses.

    Anyhow, back to you LOL.

    I have to concur will all the positive things said about you, though I’ve never seen you walk to judge your gait. I do know that you are an extremely intelligent woman with hot looks and an even hotter mind. You’re introspective and make that work for you. You’re a great writer who has only the potential to get even better.

    I like you lots; many people do. I wish and hope that you will be able to overcome the stinky other shoe syndrome, or at least get the shoe to become smaller and less rank LOL. You can’t do anything to change the past, but you can use who and what you are to adapt yourself to how you cope with/deal with it.

    And, once again, thanks for the stimulating, deep blog thoughts. *Guam smoochies*

    Comment by DZER — October 24, 2005 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  2. *hug*

    You really do walk like that, I think.
    Always up on the balls of your feet, levering up and down, like a ballerina, or something less pretentious.
    Sometimes you walk along the sidewalk carefully, thoughtfully, picking your way along as if traversing across a particularly difficult stretch of wall.
    Hell, you even throw in a few cartwheels here and there on major city streets!!
    Just, one of a bajillion things that are cool about you, so get used to a bajillion compliments over the coming years.

    Comment by Johnny Canuck — October 24, 2005 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  3. dzer: actually that isn’t true. last year a woman i know gave me a lecture that went like this ‘you always say such negative things about yourself, why do you do that?’ and i went “no i don’t” … about a week later i thanked her and went from there.

    I thought i had beaten that but it had crept back in after a few shitty years.

    i got beat up a lot. i beat up a few people after i discovered that i was bigger, stronger, faster, in better shape, and smarter. which may have been why they hated me? anyhow, eventually one day i fought back and then they left me alone at swimming (and then my sister after me)

    holy shit dzer. um… yeah. *blush* … when is talking about your self esteem issues trolling for compliments? thank you for that. i do think i’m a decent writeer… there seems ti be a little funny in my fingers.

    i would love to get the other shoe to be less rank. part of that will come with time and work i’m sure. and you’re welcome, i’m glad you appreciate it

    Comment by sassinak — October 24, 2005 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

  4. johnny: wow.
    i really do want to walk like that… that would be how i would describe walking if i had ever thought to put such an idea to it.

    you really are scientist guy, you observed phenomenal amounts of detail about things that i do habitually that i didn’t even notice that i did

    colour me impressed

    also flattered :)

    bajillion compliments… damn

    Comment by sassinak — October 25, 2005 @ 12:07 am | Reply

  5. comment number 659, 676,097 567. 98

    you rock my lil blog world ;)

    Comment by da buttah — October 25, 2005 @ 12:20 am | Reply

  6. hi elle!

    glad you’re back and recovered from the alcohol incident!

    may i suggest either beer OR jack next time? hrm i should say this on *your* blog…

    Comment by sassinak — October 25, 2005 @ 1:01 am | Reply

  7. and that being said Sass, I still think you’re awesome.

    Sounds like the other shoe had already dropped.

    I think that as we age we become all of the wonderful things you spoke of… and you meet people (online or otherwise) that actually respect and see you as the person you really are.

    I, speaking on behalf of myself, have no time to blow smoke up anyones ass. And if I think a person is repulsive or well, an ass… I always speak up about it.


    Comment by Everything nice — October 25, 2005 @ 10:36 am | Reply

  8. dzer: by the way i’m a similar pessimist. i expect the worst because that way the good things are always nice surprises… and i try to pay more attention to the good things than the bad ones…

    bubbles: i find that the shoe drops pretty regularly. so far whenever i start to make plans or predict the future or think i might get my credit card paid off the stinky shoe shows up. for years now actually

    my lesson is patience but it takes a LONG time to learn :)

    hmmm i think you’re right about the aging thing, if you want to you can become the person you aspire to be… you just have to try

    i try to speak up about asslike behaviour and universally it’s done me well but yeah… sometimes i can’t do it…


    Comment by sassinak — October 25, 2005 @ 11:32 am | Reply

  9. What a great way to describe feelings that I suspect a lot of people (including me) have!
    I always am more nervous when things in my life are going well……
    The way that I try to handle painful stuff from my past is to remember that I had to go through all that to become the person that I am today, and will be tomorrow!
    Enjoy those compliments- you deserve them! :-)

    Comment by whitesgem — October 25, 2005 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  10. gem: thanks dude. i was hoping to inspire some ‘this is how i handle it’ comments but i think that just knowing i’m not the only one is pretty cool.

    i’m always hella nervous when things go well but i try to just enjoy it anyway…

    i totally agree with you on the painful past crap. that really is what made us us and is the only reason it’s worth going through that kind of crap. that doesn’t take away the triggers though and still makes it so easy to be back in that mental place.

    thanks for the words of encouragement, i’m certainly enjoying the compliments (that i feel i asked for somehow…)

    Comment by sassinak — October 25, 2005 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  11. Wow, get out of my head! lol

    You always seem to put into words just the way I’m feeling. And very powerfully I might add.

    I don’t think saying you have low self esteem is fishing for compliments. You are just stating a fact. If the compliments come, then that is what you needed.

    I feel lucky to have “met” you and anxiously await your next post (a view into my mind again?).

    Comment by SignGurl (Jenn) — October 25, 2005 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  12. Hey Sas when I read the you were called an “old soul” I thought “yes” that is the best way to describe you. I probably feel that way because you are so much older than me. LOL. but honestly you are wise beyond your years.
    I will expect an email of this with corrections
    Ted E

    Comment by Ted E Bear — October 25, 2005 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  13. Jenn: i’m so happy that my musings can have a positive effect on someone. i’m assuming it’s positive because i know that for me when i did some group therapy i didn’t get any therapy out of it but I *did* get the feeling of others out there having the same exact thoughts and feelings.

    that was very freeing somehow! And what a compliment that you say i articulate your thoughts!

    thanks for that… you’re right, i didn’t fish i only stated my own feelings… not that i mind what got hooked! :) [i mean seriously don’t you want to walk like johnny says i walk?? I sure do!]

    i nejoy your comments, keep them coming

    hey Ted and welcome to idle mind land. i strive very hard to be wise in my dealings with the universe but really i don’t know anything except how little i know.

    i don’t need to correct it, you got it pretty much dead on! I’m waiting for your thong post!

    Comment by sassinak — October 25, 2005 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  14. I think most people, or at least the ones that I tend to chill with, all have these thoughts. I really enjoyed this post. And, somehow I don’t think the other shoe is such a bad thing to be aware of. Don’t let it paralyze you with fear, but just be aware of it. It keeps the ego in check and gives us empathy to others that have been victomized by society.
    I’m bigger and stronger now, physically and metaphysically, and the people that never had to wear the other shoe don’t stand a chance against me. Thier critisisms and remarks slide off of me, and if I am pushed far enough, I will make some observations that will sit in their belly for years. They have no immunities built up.

    Not that I do that all that often. Just a Ace up my sleeve that I suspect you have as well.

    Comment by Light Strikes A Deal — October 26, 2005 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  15. i think you’re right for sure. i am so much more chill and strong because of the shoes the universe tosses at me like fastballs. still and all i sort of wouldn’t mind a short period without shoes dropping on my head and my bank account… just enough to get back to zero at least :)

    you’re right about the sliding criticisms as well. it never occured to me how little i care about the mean things people say about me now… and man i cared a LOT as a kid

    Comment by sassinak — October 26, 2005 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  16. Being a kid is hard. You have spent your entire life up until that point being kind to others and having other be kind to you (hopefully). Then one day at school you run into sensless sadistic evil in the form of Little Tommy or Sue Soandso. There is no immunity built up to that sort of social behavior so all you can do is hurt and wonder what you ever did to make them hate you so much.

    Our revenge is growing wise enough in our adulthood (god I hate that word) to understand that they didn’t hate us. They hated themselves. Probably for any number of reasons. Usually because while we were being filled with kindness they were being filled with anger. Still, it doesn’t make me like them anymore. I just sort of smile sadistically to myself when I realize that I am still kind. Relatively happy with myself. They will probably never be happy.

    So in short, its better to be on this side of the coin.

    Comment by Light Strikes A Deal — October 27, 2005 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  17. being a kid is brutal if you’re that particular kid… which i was. i don’t know if i was kind to others until that point or not. i do know that i was described as brutally honest which cannot have helped at school. i also know that i had a circle of friends until my family moved when i was four… so i expect that school shocked me a lot.

    i suspect you’re headed in the right direction with the idea that they hated themselves more than they hated me but it’s hard to imagine when it was really the entire class. i wasn’t being filled with kindness at home either though… well i was on one side and on the other i got logic and brains and some other stuff that’s not so positive… but still. i was a very angry soul for a very long time. still kind, but very angry and unhappy.

    i’m certain that those early experiences have formed the compassionate and gentle soul that i am today so it’s hard to hate those people for them… but with very few exceptions i would spit and cross the street if i saw a single person i knew as a child [and the exception is now playing in the nhl, happily married and with three kids… damn i’m so glad for him!]

    but yes, you’re right… i’d rather be happy in myself and compassionate with others than any of the alternatives.

    Comment by sassinak — October 27, 2005 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  18. I should imagine that there was a few influential kids that were the ring leaders of the torture brigade and the others were afraid of them so they joined in with the tauntings. Better you then them was probably what there little sub-consciences were telling them.

    Its funny how it tends to work the same for adults often times. Just get in line, keep your mouth shut and be glad your on the side with power.

    Comment by Light Strikes A Deal — October 27, 2005 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  19. it’s funny that you say that because on more than one occasion one of the semi popular kids would hang out with me away from school (forced interaction due to group/paired projects mostly) and say ‘i really like you i just can’t be seen talking to you at school’ and i have to say i’m a little proud of the kid i was because i basically said ‘not good enough’ and didn’t take them up on their offer to be ‘secret friends’ or whatfuckingever.

    It works exactly the same for adults EXCEPT the adults like me who don’t care due to becoming self reliant very young or the few that have learned that caring what others think of you is the surest path to unhappiness that there is.

    Comment by sassinak — October 27, 2005 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

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