This post has been a while in the writing…just over 50 years to be exact. Today I’d like to explain how I have come to be me. At least I will try to. This is as a result of a LOT of thinking, remembering, talking etc etc.
So, a recap first off. I am divorced, have a range of long term health issues and have been working on getting respite from my unhappiness for the last couple of years. I have two sons, two cats, one life partner and his son. I also have baggage collated from a lifetime of ‘stuff’. So while fascinating to me, not very unusual.
Anyhoo….me and this blog have been together over ten years now and it’s a really important part of my creative life. It has carried me from one life to this one. And it was in considering my reasons for this blog recently that I finally saw the pieces falling into place.
What pieces? ah, let me do a quick sketch to show you…
I started to write so that as Parkinson’s robbed me of my voice(or so I imagined) my children would have something of me to go back to, to hear me as myself. OK, a little bit morbid, but hey, diagnosis of PD and an unhappy marriage will do that to a girl.
In fact, it’s given me so much already. Not least a way of understanding how my life has and is unfolding. and so, back to those pieces.
When I look at this seemingly disparate set of qualities, I realise that I have always sought approval and validation from others, never happy to rely on my own judgement, never trusting my abilities. I have almost always accepted others’ criticisms and,instead of making a well founded, researched decision and then sticking to it, I have typically preferred to acquiesce and garner approval from others by going along with their suggestions, trying to keep everyone happy. Conflict has been my nemesis, to be avoided at all cost. Compromise seen as the ultimate tool. Combined with impatience and diversive thinking, it’s a challenging mix.
I was once told I was manipulative. At the time I was so shocked and hurt. The person knew me so well or so I thought. I pondered their accusations for a long time. Now I think I can see how they got to their (imo wrong) judgment. I try to find common ground. I try to please everyone and will almost bargain to get there. I expect everyone to come with conditions. The concept of unconditional love is alien. Or was until I had my boys. And I-met my partner.
I was brought up to think of others before me. To put others first. To shun pride. To please. To be the responsible one. To be dependable. And somewhere along the line I realised that I had a much better time if I went along with others’ expectations and either hid or abandoned my real goals and dreams. I gave up Art after School, I studied what was expected of me, I didn’t argue back, I just wanted to be liked. I wanted to like myself.
I kept diaries then too. And they show a teenager convinced of her uselessness. Sure of her inferiority. All this in the face of facts that basically disproved any of these worries. I won scholarships, had friends, was in the sports teams, house captain, physics prize…but always unsure.
And now? I am trying to apply unconditional love to myself without being selfish. So hard. So frustrating and scary for me as I feel I am risking everything and everyone. What if they don’t want me? The real me. The inside me. What then?