We can hold on to our opinion, hurt feelings, anger, and/or control to a point where we lose all perspective. On that day, we can find ourselves alone. We can find that one by one, our friends are no longer around and our families avoid or tolerate us, at best.
Often we have developed the need to be right or to have control by having to constantly “balance the scales” as we grew up. It was an act we put on to make the world think that we were equal and that all was “normal” in our world. We literally felt we had to put on this “act” in order to survive as a person who mattered and/or fit into society. When we see someone who has a need to brag or build themselves up, we can feel contempt or we could see it as an attempt to build their own self confidence. At some point, they have most likely been made to feel “less than” or as if they were unimportant or flawed in some way or ways.
Growing up, I lived mostly in a fantasy world in my head to keep from falling apart. I would create a world that was different from the world I lived in so that I could escape reality. I pretended that being treated as if I was not “good enough” didn’t hurt me. I depended on my high school friends to make me appear to fit in. Today, I cry the tears I didn’t cry then when a situation brings up those feelings of not measuring up.
There are times that my perception of a situation is flawed and my reaction is out of place. I confront either face to face or in writing. Upon reflection, I find myself wondering if I have lost my mind to have made the confrontation. I embarrass myself and once out there, I can’t take it back. When that happens, I have to take life one step at a time or one hour at a time to keep from trying to over-fix the situation. Attempting to fix the situation usually only makes it worse as only time can heal at that point. By trying to “balance the scales”, I end up falling on my ass. It gets to where people don’t take me seriously when I try to make a valid point.
I have become aware of trying to build myself up in other people’s eyes and it comes off like bragging. Upon writing that, I realize that it is really trying to build myself up in my own eyes. When I write these posts, it helps me to face my shortcomings and understand that they aren’t the be-all, end-all. I have let the over-inflation of my shortcomings by others and myself drive me into a defensive posture. In order to feel o.k. about myself, there is a tendency to take someone else’ temperature to see how I am feeling. I have literally let someone else’ negativity about my personality define me.
There is a struggle within me to find myself even though that sounds cliche’. I really want to stop seeking reassurance that I am doing or saying the right thing or that I am o.k. I want to stop allowing myself to be shamed for my feelings and emotions. I want to stop reacting to every perceived slight and making excuses for every mistake. I want to stop feeling devastated by my fear of abandonment. I want to be able to flip a switch when I am feeling vulnerable.
I guess what I am saying is that I want to be mentally and emotionally healthy. It will take hard work and I will have to fight a lot of dragons, real and imagined as there are people who have pigeonholed me. I will have to walk away from attempts to discredit the changes.
All I ask is:
Do not lead me for I may not follow.
Do not follow me for I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend.