I cannot bear to be caught within those gaze.
It is a gaze that bellows with contempt, condescension, and disgust, void of any fondness, affection, or tenderness.
It is a gaze that instantly reduces me to a school girl at age 6 who had just been caught during Math class for snacking over popcorn bought for singko pesos from the canteen at recess, instantaneously thrown into and whelmed in a sea of horror and humiliation – horror to be caught by those pair of angry, dreadful eyes, and humiliation to be caught only to have everyone else know of my naïve defiance, and be judged and labelled as an all-bad-no-good, inadequate disappointment.
It is a gaze that pierces the very core of my soul with shards of my own once fragile yet now shattered ego; penetrates the deepest parts of my being that I’ve learned to make every attempt all my life to bolster; infiltrates the self that I had tried so hard to protect, that I had long since hidden it deep into a labyrinth fortress; yet all in one single instant, suddenly I am vulnerable, exposed, laid bare, found out.
It is a gaze that tells me, in a split second, all that I am not; tells me that I am not – never – good enough, that I don’t know what in the world I am doing with my life, and I am utterly incapable of living life the right way; tells me that I’m far too young for everything and anything, hence far too foolish to ever make one single good decision; utterly incapable.
I cannot bear to be caught within that gaze.
And so to avert that gaze is to hide myself. To evade that gaze is to protect what is left of me. To avoid that gaze is to preserve the parts of myself that I have not lost, yet.
Because I am afraid. Terrified. I am terrified to lose myself, to be obliterated, to be engulfed, to lose all at once all the pieces of the person I have tried thus far to piece all together.