Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coming In Second To Yourself

I have to be truthfully honest. I have issues with being changed. I
resisted it for awhile because all of my life, I've had people who
wanted to change me, mold me into what they deemed as "perfect" (i.e.
the perfect, daughter, sister, niece, girlfriend, etc). The real me
(the person I was at the time) was never good enough, I came SECOND to the vision people had of me in their head.

Irealize now that I had no true sense of self and I was scared to figure itout because it was foreign to me. I wasn't raised around women that were strong in who they were and unapologetic about it. Nobody wanted to push the envelope, go against the grain
willingly. Instead they looked towards other people to fill that void.

I think people tend to live their life through other people, putting these unrealistic expectations on people who are too uncertain to act and live life on their own terms and convictions. Fear being the main culprit, why risk it all when you can go through life existing. Your life might not be bad necessarily but at the same token, it's not WHO you are either. My mother and I had a difficult relationship at times. I know she loved me and I'm thankful that I got to see her before they took her off the ventilator as she was dying from cancer. We cleared up so much and I'm happy for those moments because it gave me closure to a lot of what I was feeling. Since I can remember, I was always plagued with the idea that the person that I am would never be good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, funny, popular and nearly any other positive adjective that can be attributed to ones self.

So in order for me to gain others' love and acceptance (as I thought), I began to become who they wanted me to be and yes, it would work for awhile. Then gradually, I would become resentful and hurt and angry because what made me (the person I was inside), what made that person so bad? What did I do to them? Therein lies my problem, I put the issue on myself and absorbed it, I began to believe all the negatives about myself because these people who were far older, wiser and “settled” in their daily lives than me knew what they were talking about. So, who was I to question that? I relinquished part of my power over to them and lost a part of myself.

I quickly felt I didn't have control over my own life and how I was living. I resorted to destructive behavior (pills, drinking, smoking, eating) because that was the only way I could exercise control over myself in that situation. All the destruction was mine and even though, I was hurting myself in the long run I felt vindicated by doing it because I was getting back at every single person who made me feel lesser than. Anger caused me to lose myself in the hurt and frustration, which in turn gave them even more power over me.

And I'll be perfectly honest with you; I still struggle with those exact same feelings and frustrations. Even though, I have removed myself from most of the situations and came to peace with some (i.e. my mother), the ramifications of how I felt still resonate me so deeply. I am still not as strong in myself as I should be and when someone challenges how I see or do things, the pain that I feel hits me so hard because it sends me right back to that place. And my response is to run right back to my old vices, so I can feel in control again.

The only thing I realize now is that no one has power over me, if I don't let them. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” quoted Eleanor Roosevelt and now I understand fully what she meant.You choose to give someone power over you, you choose to let them keep it and you choose to reclaim it and make it yours again. You are your own unique being and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Be strong in who you are as a person, and own that because it is the one thing that will comfort and keep you strong in this life.


Running Knitter said...

Excellent post. Thank you.

Calyx Meredith said...

Great post! I'm glad I followed you from your comment on Running Knitter's blog.