Arielle Frank

Being Vulnerable. A Diary Entry, June 21.

Arielle Frank
Being Vulnerable. A Diary Entry, June 21.

Sometimes I feel like a fraud.

I feel like I’m trying to be someone else in this body. A body I’ve lived in for 25 years has somehow become a strange and unwelcome place.

And not in the way you would think. I’m proud of my physical body. I am comfortable with what I see in the mirror. But it feels like I’m in a shell. I feel a sharp pain in my side and remember all the panic attacks of my teenage years. I undress and remember coming out of a blackout with my clothes on the floor and a guy I don’t know next to me. I feel shame. I feel regret.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve to move on. That my physical and emotional scars are a necessary reminder of who I am. That I deserve to be forgotten about. That I will always be nothing but a distant memory - as many people have become to me.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t move on. That the person I WANT to be is a stranger. And I know how strangers have treated me. They’ve taken advantage of me. They’ve misjudged me. They’ve underestimated me and convinced me that I am SMALL. I have a hard time trusting that this growth, this moment of change is okay. That saying goodbye to who I have been is okay.

You think that there will be a moment where it will all change. You’ll look up in the mirror and say “I’m an adult. I can own this. I can own all my traumas and move forward. I don't have to allow those memories to govern me and my decisions anymore.”
But… I look in the mirror and still see that 16 year old girl most days. The girl who dedicated everything, morning to night, to creativity. To dreaming. The girl who ran away from everything and everyone that didn’t make her feel whole. Who created characters and personas to escape the cowering, angry, terrified girl that lived at home. I don’t want to be her anymore. I don’t want to have to steal my food from grocery stores because I can’t eat at home. I don’t want to have to inherit hand-me-downs from friends to wear clothing that makes me feel beautiful. I don’t want to quit dancing because I can’t afford classes. I don’t want to deprive myself of the basic things that keep me alive because I am afraid I don’t actually deserve to be alive. Because I was told that I do not deserve to be here. To have a life. To be proud of who I am. To love what I do. To love myself.

As we enter Cancer Season and the tears stream down my face I know that I have to let go.

Of who I was. Of the loud, harsh whisper that bounces back and forth in my head

“you will never be enough”.

Today I decide not to make this my moment… but to step forward and start this journey. To create because it makes me feel whole. To paint because it allows me to be present in the process. To write because it is okay to feel. To express. And to let go.