My Rules

Those red dots that litter my forehead are disgusting; they are flaws, I can’t let them be seen. But they look a lot better than they used to. Better isn’t good enough, this year was supposed to be the year that my face looked perfect and spotless. Says who? Says me, because I’m using the medication, I’m following the dermatologists regime, and since I still look a mess, it’s all my fault, I should be better. Some of this is out of your control. Well it should be in my control.

Remember, don’t show much weakness; cry, but only cry silently; do not cry if physically injured, only if something really mentally hurtful has happened; the death of a pet or a truly gut-wrenching betrayal are valid reasons; only cry in front of very close friends/family; if you cry because you fell down, you’re pathetic; pain is part of life, deal with it. Why do you get to decide these things? It just seems right to me; others don’t have to follow my rules, but that will
affect my opinion on them.

Always pretend I know what I’m doing; asking for help is stupid; others will think I’m incompetent, and I can’t let others know that. If you don’t ask for help, you won’t learn. I don’t want to learn, I want to know.

Perfection must be shown in public; imperfections are for when you’re alone, with nobody to witness it. Pretend I know everything, even though I don’t know much at all, however, don’t appear “too” smart, I don’t wanna be that kid; if I need to appear more on others’ level, do so; don’t be sure of myself unless I know I’m 100% right; imagine being sure and then being proven wrong, how embarrassing! Unless positive, say “well, but I’m not totally sure, don’t listen to me.” Being wrong is a part of life. It’s a learning process. I don’t want to learn. Bottom line, I must show self-doubt, instead of making a fool of myself by letting others prove me wrong.

Everyone is better than me at basically everything; I hate it, I want to be the best. Practically nobody is the best. Well, I want to be; I want people to look up to me.

If someone calls me out, get angry; if someone says I did something wrong, fight back, even if I agree with them; I will not let others exploit my weakness. It’s not a personal attack, it’s learning so you don’t make the same mistakes in the future. That makes it seem like they know better than me; I won’t let them believe that; I won’t back down, that makes me seem weak; trying to understand other points of view means I was wrong, and I won’t let others know I’ve given in to their beliefs instead of sticking with my own; do not apologize if someone corrects me on something, that means I’m a pushover and bowing down to their authority which I will not do, they have no power over me, only I decide what I do.

Be aloof, act like I don’t care what others think, even though I really do. In order to maintain good relationships, you have to show you care. Well people could take advantage of that, I can’t allow that to happen.

Judge those I don’t understand; I don’t want to make the effort to try, it’s uncomfortable to me. Some things in life are uncomfortable. I’ll avoid those experiences as much as I can.

You need to develop some self-love, some self-confidence. No, I have to earn it. If I don’t look perfect, I don’t deserve to love myself; I won’t be confident until I’ve reached that level.

For someone who doesn’t like authority, you sure follow a lot of rules. They’re my rules, though. I made them. But why? All they do is hurt you. I’m not sure, but I don’t know how to stop.


Isabel wrote this poem  for her high school English class;  published here with her permission.