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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.rainfallpress.com/

Sunday, June 10, 2012


All around your island there’s a barricade, it keeps out the danger but holds in the pain…

The number one rule of writing is “show, don’t tell.”  It’s like that with relationships too.  I don’t need to be heaped with compliments all the time.  In fact, it makes me extremely uncomfortable and has been the source of discontent lately with a very dear friend of mine.  He doesn’t understand why it causes me such duress. 

I appreciate that he thinks I’m this wonderful person with amazing talent and superhuman powers and stuff.  He claims that he recognizes my faults as well, but I’m not convinced.  It seems every sin I’ve ever committed only seems to add to my allure.  What I have tried, unsuccessfully, to explain is piling on the compliments may be fine and dandy with anyone else, but I’m a horse of a different color.  A whole rainbow’s worth of different, in fact. 

It’s taken me forty years to come to terms with the pressures I put upon myself.  I’ve been abused, assaulted, anorexic and bulimic, neurotic, drunk, depressed and catatonic too.  I have an amnesia of sorts brought on and triggered by traumatic stress. 

Just one big flaming ball of fun, I am.  Lock me in the barrel with the other monkeys. 

Because I was trained so young to feel unworthy of being alive, subsequently I did all sorts of things to self-destruct.  In the end, it’s all about control.  I couldn’t control the pressures being put upon me, so the challenge became to override all of that with my own set of expectations. 

In all of this there was never a motivation to excel in anything specific.  I never went for promotions or educational achievements.  Anything that I might have to answer to while playing by the rules was out of the question. 

So, now, when I’m praised or handed an unconditional or unbiased compliment, I don’t know what to do with it.  Suddenly there is a pressure to be that.  And when someone barrages me with such admiration, I revert to a fat dirty pile of how-the-hell-do-I-live-up-to-that?  It doesn’t matter that maybe I already did.  It’s not in me to see it that way. 

There are still urges deep within me to take leaps from a cliff to see how far I can fall and still come out alive.  It’s like any other recovery – it never goes away.  Unwanted survival instinct.  To feel any sort of idolization is a daunting terror.  My friend will say to me “I don’t idolize you.  I recognize that you have faults, just as I do, and that makes you more… you.  And I genuinely care for you.  The real you.” 

But the bar has been set, and like a gymnast who must leap and vault higher than the time before, I feel like someone trying to achieve a perfection that doesn’t exist.  He may see me as amazing, I see myself as a fraud who now has to be amazing.

I love that he appreciates what he sees as the good in me, but the truth is I can’t handle the enormity of being told so.  That he gives to me his friendship, that’s his showing.  I don’t need to be told why. 

But you’ve got a heart so big it could crush this town – I can’t hold out forever, even walls fall down…


© Kymberlie Ingalls, June 10, 2012
Lyrics:  Walls (Circus) / Tom Petty

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