How does pride feel?
"You did really well."she says to me and that I can be proud of having achieved it all. To have done it all alone, without her help.
But I am not proud. I'm confused. Your words and your praise unsettle me.
I don't know what it feels like to be proud.
All I feel is fear Fear of losing her support again and the security she gives me.
Perhaps people will now expect me to do everything else on my own. After all, I used to have to do everything alone and without your help.
After this "How" nobody asked and how often I exceeded my limits. Not even after how much strength it cost me and that I no longer have this strength.
I want to say something, but I can't find the right words.
Instead, I only feel the twitching of the corners of my mouth, which involuntarily kicks in when I am overwhelmed with a situation. I grin.
Not out of embarrassment or because I'm especially happy about what she said.
No, I grin because I am overwhelmed by their praise and because I don't know why I should be proud of myself. I don't know this feeling of being proud.
I've never been proud of what I've achieved in my life.
Pride implies having achieved something special. But I haven't.
I haven't done anything extraordinary.
Not today and not in the past either.
Everything that I have been able to do, millions of people do every day.
It is taken for granted.
Even if it involves an extraordinary effort for me.
And with fear. With a fear that has been with me all my life.
I can't remember anyone telling me in the past that I could be proud of myself or of what I've achieved.
When I was at school, I was sometimes praised for good grades.
But at home I was usually not allowed to talk about it, especially not in the presence of my mother's friend, because her daughter mostly got bad grades but was all the better at sport, which was mentioned or demonstrated at every opportunity while one was over my achievements were silent and at most emphasized my immobility and clumsiness.
"Yes, you can be really proud of yourself." she repeats and smiles.
No i can't. I don't even know how to be proud.
Her smile makes me even more insecure because I don't know why she is smiling.
I look out the window to focus my gaze on something other than her smile, which I saw, even though I am not looking directly into her face while she is talking to me.
Hopefully she notices that I am uncomfortable with the conversation.
I want her to start a new topic and stop talking about the fact that I can be proud of myself and how well I did it on my own.
Because the more she talks about it, the greater my fear becomes that she might believe that I no longer need her help, that I could manage without her.
And that's not true. I need your support because life is sometimes overwhelming and I then need help.
Later, when she left, I think for a long time about the feelings that are triggered in me when I have achieved something difficult for myself or something that I was very afraid of.
Most of the time I am happy and excited in such a situation.
"Like a little child.", said my mother earlier.
Then I can't sit still for joy and excitement and have to walk back and forth. I have to move because feeling overwhelms me and I can't hold it inside of me.
Sometimes I talk continuously and faster and faster until my voice cracks. Either by telling someone about it or by talking to myself.
I flutter my hands because joy is always in my hands and can be channeled outward through them.
But I only do that when I'm alone or in the presence of people who are very familiar to me. Otherwise, the feeling remains in me and expresses itself, if the pressure becomes too great, in physical symptoms such as abdominal pain or headache, rash, itching or circulatory problems. Far too often I suppressed this feeling because nobody understood it and it was not allowed to be, because what I had achieved was taken for granted.
I don't think that pride feels so much that in these moments I'm proud of myself or what I've achieved.
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