Can Sparkles And Smiles Hide How Scared I Am?

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago…before that big night out with Jack – our first public event together as a couple.

ayI have had a lot of time to plan for my first official public outing with Jack. I have been watching what I eat for a while. I have been trying to walk everywhere instead of catching the bus. Jack has done a lot of walking with me too.

I am not overly obsessed with the way I look. So long as I am clean and tidy – I am happy. Somebody said to me many years ago, many people (he said especially women) are so concerned with the way they themselves look, they don’t pay all that much attention to the way you are looking. That is perhaps a bit debatable, but I realized that as a teenager, I spent most of my time worrying about the way I looked, rather than the way anyone else’s appearance, So, I told myself there is a lot of truth in what my friend said – and I should not become obsessive about the way I look.

here we go aainBut the thing is…being in public with Jack means something I hate! It means cameras! I hate seeing myself in photographs. That is why I have been being more strict with myself than usual.

Anyway…Jack has brought me tremendous peace of mind and joy of heart these past few months. I am sure all of that internal healing has been better for my complexion and confidence than any amount dieting or exercise.

So…in planning for our first public outing, all I needed was a dress. I love my friends…we have had fun trying things on me and one of my gorgeous friends lent me a sparkly dress (which I would probably never have looked at in a shop myself). But in the end I have chosen to wear a Ted Baker dress I found in a charity shop a while ago. It is more my thing, navy blue with gorgeous flowers on it. Nonetheless, I will sparkle in it! Wearing a beautiful dress is another helpful way to feel a bit less terrified!

I just hope I make Jack proud. That’s all that matters! It’s a huge deal in my head at the moment. In fact…I am so super scared, I think I am going to schedule this post to be published after the event. I can’t think about it at the moment. It’s all so daunting. I keep telling myself, just think of Jack, just enjoy being next to him.

It will be all be over after a few hours of smiling and chatting. Ugh! Here we go!

Cameras Are My Kryptonite

content1This post is about a subject that could be misinterpreted, or even misdiagnosed. I do not generally have low self-esteem. I am secure in myself. More than that I am happy with myself. I also have a lot of confidence in public, social and other settings. I don’t become shy or nervous without a very good reason.

I have a healthy amount of self-esteem. I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses. I am happy with me. I know what I am proud of, I know what I need to work on. I have a very high appreciation for others, which helps me to keep a balanced view of myself.

Fundamentally, what I like about me is that I love people. Like my parents, who trained me and whose example I imitate, I have learnt to be patient, mild, a peace-maker, forgiving, kind, tactful, sensitive and graceful. I like that I am joyful and cheery, but I can change my temperament according to the needs of others. I like who I am.

poseingHowever, this post is not about my strengths. It is about one of my weaknesses. I have more than one weakness. But this particular weakness is frustrating. It is a ridiculous irrational oddity. But it has a powerful effect on me.

I hate seeing photographs of myself. I don’t mind posing for photos. But I literally hate seeing the photograph after it is taken. If you don’t have a similar reaction yourself to seeing photos of you, you might find it hard to comprehend the extreme feelings I have. I cannot bear to see myself in a photo. My eyes immediately focus on the less admirable parts of me, or how tired I look, or the lumpy bumpy parts of me, of my hair or eyebrows looking a mess, or my tummy sticking out…I find what I see repugnant.

mirosStrangely, I don’t have those feelings when I look into a mirror. Mirrors are fine. Perhaps mirrors are kinder than cameras. But what I see in the mirror is pleasant, even attractive (lol – if I do say so myself!)

I know I can’t really be repugnant. Neither Goldfinch or Jack are in anyway desperate for attention, Either of them could attract beautiful women. If I truly was as ugly and horrid as the creature I see in photographs of me, they would not be interested in me.

If you point a camera at me, I instinctively switch on the entertainer in me. I can pose and prance and pout all you like. But when I catch sight of myself in a photo, I become depressed, and very very upset. Recently, poor Jack had to calm me down when I became inconsolable about some pictures he was taking of me.

dress2It all started when I mentioned to Goldfinch that Jack and I were heading to our first public event together. I told Goldfinch I was going to be wearing a lovely dress. Goldfinch asked me for a photo of me in the dress. Oh boy! A simple request, you might think. Not in my case.

I asked Jack to take it. I cannot do selfies. It would drive me to despair. But I was happy to pose as Jack took several photos. He liked the photos a lot. He wanted to post one on Instagram and comment that I had found the dress in a charity shop. Jack has been extremely keen for a long time to post photos of us as a couple on his Instagram account. He sees it as a way of making sure any critics realize we are not intimidated. (Although, the truth is I am intimidated!) I saw the photos he took and was devastated. Absolutely horrified by how awful I looked.

That’s always the way I feel. I hate seeing photos of myself. I truly literally detest what I see. Jack tried to contradict my self deprecating statements. He tried to calm me down. it didn’t work. I was inconsolable. That was the night before we were going to our first public event. Jack was tired that night. Perhaps I was too. In the end, he gave up and went to bed because I was in such a major sulk.

poserThe following night, we had an amazing time. All my confidence came back at the event, because I was focused on other people, both Jack and everyone else. I had no shyness, not low self-esteem. But people took photos. Some of those photos on now on their Instagram accounts. Jack says we look great, but I have begged him not to let me see them.

Poor Goldfinch. He has no idea what he started when he asked me for a photo. Poor Jack! To him photos are part of daily life. As a celebrity, he can’t avoid photos. He is always taking selfies and pictures of people he meets and places he visits. He repeatedly poses for photos with people who recognise him. But he has a girlfriend who has something between a phobia to a paranoia when it comes to seeing photographs of herself.

annie disappointedI don’t like that Jack saw me so upset about something that must seem so ridiculous. He has now seen a crippling weakness and how it makes me crumble. He wants to “cure” me. But he will have a battle. I have felt that way since I was a small girl. I have always hated to see photographs and video footage of myself. It hasn’t stopped me from being on stage, on television, and in fashion shows. Neither has it stopped me posing for cameras. But I can only do and enjoy any of that on the proviso that I don’t see the images the camera has captured afterwards.

I am fully cognizant of how much it doesn’t make any sense, Nonetheless, it is a powerful feeling. I am repelled by photographs of me. I find them revolting. So it is best, to let me carry on dancing, singing, posing and generally lighting up the room. But please do not show me the pictures you took. Because I will be on the floor in a puddle of tears, hating the abominable creature in those photos.

As I mentioned, it doesn’t effect how I feel about myself. The inner me is delightful. I know that. I get to walk around with a heart full of joy and warmth and smiles. There is no sinister unkindness lurking. I don’t have these intense feelings when I see myself in a mirror. But nonetheless, photos of me are a problem. They crush me.

Anyway, Jack is going to be away now for a while. I don’t think I can be on my own with a photo of us on his Instagram account. It’s something I am going to need his support to endure. Sigh.

 

The Tears Of A Technophobe

issues.jpgI have a problem with my tablet. I don’t understand why the camera is not working properly anymore. In the past I could take as many photographs as I wanted and the tablet would store them. At a later date, I could look at my photographs and delete them or edit them and then if I thought they were keepers I would also blue-tooth them to my laptop.

That was working fine for ages. And then…the tablet camera stopped working properly. It will take a photo, however, if I take a second photograph I lose the first one instantly. There is no way to retrieve it. And any photo will not automatically save. I have to try to blue-tooth it for the tablet to even register that a new photograph has been taken.

photos.jpgThis has been causing me problems. The biggest and most upsetting realization is that I had lost all of my photographs from Australia, except one. That’s right – I have one photograph from Australia. None of the photos I took of Goldfinch or of the scenery in Australia are there. I thought I was going crazy. I thought there must be a way to retrieve my photos. But no! Nobody who has tried to help me can recover them. I have a blurry photo partially obscured by my fingertip of something I had cooked for him. Can you imagine my tears when I realized???

I was working on a project that I needed photographs for. It was painstaking! Having to take a photo and try to blue-tooth one photo at a time before I could move on to the next task. It’s pointless taking my tablet out to take photos on a day out, because they all vanish except the most recent one, which I have to blue-tooth as soon as possible or it will also disappear.

oz pic1.jpgI do not understand why this is happening. Before I went to Australia I deleted around one hundred old photos that I had already blue-toothed to my laptop. I also cleared the cached data. So there should have been plenty of memory available. Indeed my tablet is indicating I have plenty of unused memory gigobites or whatever they are called. I took videos and photos of kangeroos, koala, bandicoots, kookaburras and all sorts of buildings and places in Adelaide and the surrounding countryside. All lost! Gutted! Absolutely gutted!

I am a technophobe at the best of times, but this tablet camera issue has made me downhearted. I am still provoked by not having photographs from Australia – it is too awful! All the more reason to go back there as soon as I can. But this time I need to buy myself a proper camera before I go out. Something else that will cost money. I have a lot of saving up to do!

What Happened After That Cup Of Tea?

You may or may not remember a post I published some time ago entitled:

Well, I have finally been able to sit down and write about what happened after that strange conversation.  It’s been hard going, because my emotions are still a bit volatile whenever I recall the events that led up to that night I went to a London park on my own and woke up the next day in an ambulance.  But I  am relieved I have managed to get so much out of my heart and onto paper. So during the next few days, I am going to present the events of the week that followed that conversation over a cup of tea.

Cup Of TeaSo, here we go:

At first, I was slightly in shock, because I had not been expecting the words he uttered, and I was bowled over at the humility he had displayed.  Those beautiful expressions he directed towards me played games with my mind.  Over the next twenty-four hours my feelings developed at a reckless pace.  Every real or perceived offence or transgression on his part vanished far from my mind. By the time I had percolated my emotions, I was left with admiration, esteem, fondness and joy which before had been almost buried beneath frustration, hurt, bewilderment and humiliation.

All that was forgotten with the new-found elation he had triggered in me.  He seemed very happy too.  The air seemed to have lifted completely.  He chatted with me freely in front of the rest of our flatmates and any visitors.  Outside of the flat he was comfortable with me.  In front of our neighbours and friends he treated me pleasantly and gallantly. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to talk and laugh with him.  I was curious about the gentle and fond glances he kept on sending my way.

thank-you.jpgIt effected me deeply.  It was hard to suppress my smiles. I loved every moment of his company when he was like this.  I was brimming over with delight.  I can’t remember ever feeling so intensely happy with any other man in my life.  So I did something I have done thousands of times over the years to all sorts of different people.  I sat down and wrote a thank you card to him.  I wrote that I had been touched by his humility and kindness and was so grateful that finally the air had cleared.  I wrote that I too wanted us to be friends and enjoy living in the flat together.

He seemed thoroughly pleased and gratified with my thank you card.  Of course he thanked me personally for it.

I loathe to admit what happened next.

cyberbullyThe rumours began to arrive back with me.  The words I heard ranged from cute to crude, from ridicule to outright rude, from droll to dreadful, from silly to slanderous, from vile to vicious.  If I give you a tame example, you will wonder what I was upset about, but if I give you examples of the most degrading things said and published on social media, it will make my site unsuitable for readers of all ages to read – so use your imagination.  But as they stacked up, I became troubled.  In essence, people thought my flatmate and I were now an official item, that we were now “going public” about an intimate relationship which we had been apparently trying to keep a secret.

Even my best friends asked me if it was true that he and I had now “got together”.  I assured them that was not the case at all, I told them we had just sat down and had a chat and cleared the air, and we both felt so much better now.

So, you haven’t slept together?  You are not going out with him?

No! Of course not! No, I am not going out with him.”

Well, that’s what everyone is saying.”

Ugh!  I was sick of all of these ridiculous rumours.  I intensely disliked that he was a celebrity and seemed to be always on the radar for people to create fanciful stories and fiction regarding his personal life which was invading my privacy and peace of mind.  I wondered how people could say these things?  Why didn’t they get a life!  Or at least a hobby, something that would absorb their attention in a more constructive way – like chess, or oil-painting, or fly-fishing.  Anything!  Just leave me alone!

 

 

My close friends believed me, but they asked probing questions determined that there was something I was not being fully open about.

But would you like something to develop with him?  You do like him don’t you?

I can’t really answer that.  At the moment he is being wonderful.  But I’ve spent months thinking he could not stand me because he has been so hostile.  It’s only been a couple of days since we’ve been getting on I just hope he is being genuine, well, I will have to wait and see how long it lasts.”

love backgroundIt was only to my best friend Marta, that I was brave enough to admit, “If he stays like this then I am going to fall in love with him“.

My friends showed me some awful comments and photos on various forms of social media of or about my flatmate and I. Most where being spread through Whatsapp groups, but they were spilling over onto Instagram, Facebook and other forms of sharing brainless nonsense.

watching flatI was amazed at how many photographs must have been snapped up of he and I during the last two days while we were near home.  Who was taking these photos?  Could it have been one of our neighbours?  Or several of our neighbours?  Or just people passing and recognizing him and seeing an opportunity? It could not be just one person.  But why take these pictures and then use them to make up stories that were untrue?  Was it even legal to be publishing their baseless presumptions?  I hated seeing what people had written about the photos that were being shared.  So crass!

There were a couple of photos that were strange.  In one he seemed to be playing with my hair, but I am sure he never did.  Another, I remember holding his bag for him while he ran back up to the flat to find his keys.  When he came down to the foyer of our block of flats, he had taken his bag from me and put it on the floor and knelt down and started rooting through his bag and sure enough, the keys were in the bag.  Somehow, someone had caught a photo of him leaning forward (I think it was as he was about to kneel) and it looked as if he was coming in towards me for a kiss).  I saw immediately the way it looked.  But, I now realize how cameras can tell lies, for all he was doing was kneeling down.

There was one photo that had been taken from a very unfortunate camera angle.  I remember he had opened a car door for me and I had turned around and smiled graciously thanking him.  But in the photo it looked as if his hand was on my behind and I was enjoying it.  Believe me, he did not lay a finger on me, otherwise there really would have been a story to tell, along with a black eye.  But it was just the angle the picture was taken. He had his right hand held out as he was inviting me to get into the car…and it really did look as if his hand was planted firmly on my derriere and I was giving him a smile of enjoyment. Ugh!

Ugh!  Sometimes, I hate cameras, hate social media…or at least the way some heartless people have used them.

I will finish this post for now…but I have more to come….look out for:

 

 

via Volatile — Word of the Day Challenge

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/your-daily-word-prompt-transgression-september-3rd-2018/

FOWC with Fandango — Loathe