Forcing myself to think you love me

Katianna Mansfield

More stories from Katianna Mansfield

I am okay now
February 16, 2018

Being who I am, distancing myself from others and not keeping people close in my life, I find it very difficult to believe that I have any influence on anyone whatsoever. I don’t believe in my ability to be important to people; therefore, I neglect the idea that those I’m close to those who care about me. This has brought up issues in my relationships with others, as I don’t believe in my significance to them, so I don’t hold them in high significance myself so I don’t get hurt. It’s not a conscious choice- it used to be- but I indoctrinated it into my worldview long ago. It is instinct now.

An instinct to not care or trust and a belief that I am not important to anyone locks me in a solitary cell. The bars are thick steel; there’s more metal than there is space, and I am nothing if not alone. Many suitors come to the “door” and offer an open world and a beautiful universe, but they cannot fit their hands through the openings to provide the things they promise. Growing discouraged, they leave. My solitude has reverberated in this world for so long; I am so lonely every day not feeling the connection or support of other people. This isn’t because no one is willing– it is my own doing in isolating myself.

This is the life I have driven myself to lead.

I can’t do it anymore. My heart cannot take more months and years of thinking I am unloved and uncared for.

I am handing myself my own way out. The hammer is in my hands, and I will demolish the wall in my way to the feeling of genuine companionship.

My step one? I asked the most important people in my life to write a paragraph for me. A paragraph that describes the impact I may have had on them if they believed it to be so, and I would immortalize it in this form with their permission.

This is so that I cannot deny it. I cannot delete and forget and refuse the idea that I am important to the people I am surrounded by. I can love them with my whole heart and capability because they do the same, regardless of what I’ve ingrained into my head.

I am handing myself my own way out.”

I will force myself to feel love in my heart that isn’t mine to give.

To those of you who helped me and wrote paragraphs, thank you. I love you so much. I hope you feel that more after this– that I can genuinely believe you care and provide more love in return.

Here are their answers:

“Kati has affected my life in many ways. For one, she is my older sister, which means she is a third parent to me. Whenever she’s around, I feel safe [and at] home. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if she weren’t in my life. Every day she faces challenges that I don’t think I could get through. Between school, her job, homework, and the whole whopping two friends she has, I don’t know how she juggles it all. It makes me think about the stress I have, and I wonder if the significance of it is debatable upon her examples of stress. When we were younger, I would brag to my friends about how amazing she is. I still do. It’s baffling how often she affects my decisions in life. She is my beautiful, intelligent, and sweet sister who would take the shirt off her back for me. I love you, boo bug.”

– Sophomore Karissa Mansfield at Lowell High School

“Kati Mansfield is one of the only friends I’ve ever felt an extreme connection to. I would describe her as my platonic soulmate. I feel like we really just click. Before this year, I assumed that I would finish the rest of high school without any real friends. I thought that my reputation as a loner would hold me down. And then I experienced something I never had before. When I talk to Kati, we just click. I rarely feel as though what I’m saying is going over her head. I love listening to her, and I care about her so much. One of the most important things Kati has done for me is raise my self-esteem. She makes me feel better about myself because she tells me on a daily basis that she appreciates me. She has impacted me in that she has taught me that there are genuine people out in the world.”

– Senior Shawn Doran at FHC

“Having Kati in my life has affected me a lot over the years and taught me a lot about friendship. I learned that someone can still be a close friend even if you don’t talk to them every day. She taught me different ways to cope with my anxiety, and she helped me to think a little less badly of myself. She was someone I could rely on and call at midnight to cry over whatever I had going on that day. I learned what it feels like to have a true friend who doesn’t want anything from you. I learned that you can’t lean completely on one person; sometimes you need to be able to stand on your own. Having her in my life ended up teaching me that sometimes it doesn’t matter how close you were or how long you’ve been friends– people grow, and sometimes they grow apart, and that’s okay.”

– Senior Lauren Rowell at FHC

“I had gotten to the point that I didn’t want to date anyone. I hated the concept because I was so pessimistic. I didn’t want to use my pain as a weapon of retaliation, so I used it to help people. But as people grew attached to me from me helping them, I would let anything happen, but not dating. But I wasn’t only your game changer, baby, you were mine. It was so spontaneous when we met, as was our first date. You took me on an adventure; we created something new. We rekindled the fire together. I kept thinking that the feeling of helping others would get me there, but I was wrong. You showed me that. You showed me that by being true, and devoted, and so good all the time with everything you’ve already done for me in such a short time. You’re incredible. And I want to be a part of your future if you’ll let me.”

– Sophomore Mason Rittenberg at Western Michigan University

“Thank you for being different. There isn’t a way to describe you- maybe extraordinary- but even that doesn’t do it justice. Our friendship is different than any other I’ve had– both good and bad, but mostly good. Thank you for being there when I needed you most. You’ve saved my life– probably more times than you know. You’ve taken me so far out of my comfort zone that I don’t even remember what it looks like. You taught me how to be fearless– my anxiety has gotten to be so little, and you’re part of the reason why. Thank you for making me happy. Thank you for understanding me and being my “person” when I needed it. Thank you for being the home of my darkest “secrets” (for as long as they are actually secrets.) I love you; thank you for being you. You truly are an unforgettable person.”

– Senior Jillian Chamberlain at FHC