• Hools

I'm An Attention Whore

I don't remember when I first acknowledged it. Perhaps it was always known, but I didn't know it was a problem, I just thought everyone felt this way. I wanted to be seen. Though, I suppose, most people do? The people who want to be left alone and invisible, desperately deep down want to be seen by someone, right?




I've been an artist my whole life, probably since the moment I started to speak. Creativity has always flowed through my blood. I started choir at age four, and performed in my first musical at age seven, I was the Littlest Christmas Tree. It was the lead role in a class Christmas show. How could I not have been drawn to the spotlight and continue to chase it when that was my first real experience. At an age too young to be glorified. Showered in praise at her gentle voice, and adorable big blue eyes.


I guess anyone who knows me probably doesn't pick up on this quality. I hide it really well. In fact, I'm very good at only showing the good parts of my personality. It's why I have so many friends. The ones that have stuck around after I've revealed even a little bit of my bad, are the ones I hold very close, but I also need them. It makes me want to vomit when I say that. To NEED someone is never been something I've been good at.


I don't mean need in a desperation way, in a co-dependant way. I think needing someone can really have power behind it. It can give someone a purpose. It can also feel nice to let it all go for once. I know that I need people to tell me I'm good, constantly, even though I don't believe it. I'm just treading water, if they stopped saying I was good, I'm afraid I would drown.


I constantly joke about running away, disappearing, living in a remote cabin in the woods, off of the land. I joked so much I even wrote an entire show about it, or at least a show about the concept of living secluded from society. It turned out to be something completely different than my fantasy. But I don't actually think I could do it. Live away from people, away from those that I love.


I have 5-10 text conversations a day. If I haven't reached my quota by the end of the day it's usually because I've kept myself distracted or my phone died. It's aggressive. I've heard of the rare breed of human who doesn't check their phone for eight hours, and only has three text conversations a week, one of them is just about confirming a time they are meeting in person. My throat closes up the moment I start thinking about not being texted.


It's very much not fair to the people in my life that I message constantly. I can't imagine it's enjoyable, to have to attend to your phone for my needs. That just feels so horrid. I want to crawl out of my skin. I think about a message I've sent, and if I don't hear back from someone I start to think of things like this:


  1. Re-read it in case you wrote something wrong

  2. *yup that was wrong, follow up

  3. You didn't need to follow up, you idiot

  4. Change the subject

  5. They're probably busy

  6. Why did you even bother them

  7. They're probably busy

  8. Actually, maybe they hate you.

  9. They're showing all their friends this annoying text from you.

  10. They're probably dead.

  11. No. They're busy.

  12. Follow up text, changing the subject again.


And the cycle will continue like so.


I would have to agree that my need for attention does contribute to my poly identity. This isn't true for all poly people, but I know for me it is part of it. It's not that I can't wait to hear from someone, so I might as well find the next best thing. It's that, if someone is busy and not responding, it starts to make me realize just how meaningless my life is. So I need to be validated by hearing from someone else who has time to respond to me. I could NEVER ask one person to deal with the inside of my head. I can't even deal with the inside of my head most of the time. How do you break up with yourself?


If I don't get enough likes on a post on facebook/instagram, I usually delete it, within maximum a day. I scroll the newsfeed and see one person's really stupid question with 30 likes and my brain starts to carve out the insides like a pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern. How come my post about needing help is lost among the inter-webs. Have that many people unfollowed my social media, am I just THAT annoying? And the thought spiral takes over.


I want to figure out a way to fix this. I do strongly believe in the power of suggestion.


How about you maybe stop thinking about what other people think about you and start thinking about yourself?!


The honest truth is that no one is thinking about you, they're only thinking about themselves. Right? So how come I'm constantly thinking about something I did or said that effected someone in a way to ruin their day (lol to that time someone told me I ruined their day just by existing), or hating my art because of the small factor that it's based on a real person I never got consent to talk about, even though I never use their name or make a blanket statement that anyone would know it's about them.


I obsess over what people think about me because I WANT them to be thinking of me. The thought that I've been completely erased from someone's peripherals, so easily forgotten, so quickly let go of, is what causes the core of my anxiety to shake everything around it.

And the funny thing is, I don't even want anyone to read this, but I desperately want everyone to. I want them to think that I'm a genius, or at least I'm a person with something to say. But the only person I'm kidding is myself.


A facebook friend sent me a message telling me they saw my face on a commercial while watching TV. I then spent the next half hour trying to find the commercial, then turning the television on at my work to the channel the friend mentioned, and staring at it during the commercial breaks, just to see my own face. How fucking pathetic. How much attention do I need, when my main objective for the evening is to get a glimpse of my own face, just hoping that someone in the restaurant would look up and say 'hey, is that you' and I would just snuff it off like 'oh what, yeah I'm an actress, it's NBD', but deep down, I would feel this pitter patter of being seen.


The fact that I chase that feeling, just feels so gross.


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About Me

I'm Holly, aka Hools, and I've been working on art that pushes past the every day social norms. Recently really coming into my identity as a Poly, Pan, Ace.

 

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