no man’s land

what if
what if i actually
do own
that ever elusive
confidence
i constantly chase
& dream
of catching
what if
i dismiss 
my confidence
as selfishness
as self-indulgence
as bad
manners
like
one time i walked
into a pitch black room
as i was saying,
“i can’t go in there
i’m afraid of the dark.”
only realizing
once inside
that the story i had been telling
myself
had ended
happily
ever 
after
i was no longer
afraid.
now i have grown
so used to explaining
my lack of confidence
that i have never bothered
to notice
i have grown
some confidence
after all.

“no man is an island,” my mother used to say to me. 
“i’m a peninsula, ma,” i responded.
(have i told you that one already?)
so this happened while some 22 year old was telling me how sexy i was???? weirdo… so i was trying to explain to him my lack of confidence when i started to realize…wait…but…do i have confidence?
i mean, 
i told my abusive ex-husband to fuck the fuck off, choosing to raise four kids by myself in rural illinois. what the fuck does that take if not a big old set of balls?
then i went on to make a list of all the evidence i could think of to prove to myself that i actually do have confidence AND that i have had it all along. like forever. despite the cruel & unsupportive & invalidating natures of my parents & the majority of my relationships. in fact, my survival despite that overwhelming lack of support from my closest relationship proves i have to have had confidence.
so there, self. take that. 
you actually don’t suck.

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