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Who I am, or trying to be

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  • #355898
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Vulnerability is something I have always struggled with.</p>
    As I write this, a million thoughts are running through my head. Should I? Should I not?

    What if somebody I know finds this?

    It’s so hard speak my truth when at the core of my being, I am ashamed of who I am.

    My struggle starts a few years back, where my mind knew that something had gone wrong inside me, and tried to warn me, but I ignored it.

    But a few months earlier, my mind just gave up. From a star student to someone who could barely motivate themselves to do anything, this was a huge change and it was terrifying.

    A lot of things that had happened, and they built all these emotions over time which violently exploded. I have never been the same since.

    I am not happy with who I am. My emotions control me more often than I like, and because of the battles that go inside my mind, I fear I have been pushing people away, unable to express myself, instead choosing to opt for silence when somebody asks me how I am doing.

    One step that I took was, starting therapy. Which helped me evolve and analyse my patterns, and I have made a lot of progress.

    But at the same time, my own inner critic and harsh judgement has pulled me down so much that I am afraid that one day, I will give up on working towards my goals and dreams.

    I have never been consistent with anything. I start a lot of things, and then give up in the middle. I see all these people achieving things that I’d like to achieve one day, and feel like a failure.

    I see people in my own family who I am compared to, accomplishing so much, and I am stuck in a profession, studying something so tedious, yet not moving forward at all.

    I see people enjoying their lives, having good people around, and I am stuck with people who don’t bother to check up on me, and those who do bother (guys who have liked me), force me to reciprocate their feelings, and I feel smothered by their attention, because once you reject them, they act like you never existed.

     

    I am sad, I am angry, I am tired. My own family, has no concept of boundaries and I feel so tired because I have been doing so much for them, so much, and yet, I just feel like they exploit me sometimes. I see cutthroat competition in a space that was supposed to be safe, my own home, and I am withering, without the love, the attention, the support that I seek from them.

     

    I try hard to love myself. So hard. It’s not easy. I feel like an impostor, for I have a lot of good things and kind acts in my account, but all this pain and suffering that I am going through, I wonder, why me?

    My mind is this dark place, filled with so many thoughts and so many feelings and I journal these, but I am so confused, and scared by the intensity of these that instead of accepting them, I reject the idea of who I am and instead try to be somebody else.

    I have been a ray of sunshine for people, but I feel like, one day, this star is going to fade into nothingness.

     

    It took a lot of strength to write all this. I have been following Tiny Buddha for a long time now, and the people around here made me feel safe enough to share these hidden parts of myself. Thank you.

    #355964
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    this is my thread^ I had an account with the pseudonym Darcy. Sorry for the confusion. This is the conflict that I go through everyday. I just don’t like who I am.

    #355990
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sherry:

    “Vulnerability is something I have always struggled with… What if somebody I know finds this”- you are afraid that someone you know will find this thread, read about you suffering, and his/ her response would be to hurt you even more, to make you suffer more.

    “It’s so hard speak my truth when at the core of my being, I am ashamed of who I am”- because people you know shamed you to the core of your being.

    “my inner critic and harsh judgment has pulled me down so much”- your inner critic is doing to you what the people you know did (and are doing) to you: hurt you, shame you and harshly judge you.

    Who are these people you know who hurt you, shamed you to the core, criticized and harshly judged you?

    “My own family.. exploit me.. I see cutthroat competition in a space that was supposed to be safe, my own home, and I am withering, without the love, the attention, the support that I seek from them”.

    Isn’t it interesting that you are afraid that someone you know will find your thread and hurt you while all along your family members found you a long time ago, and they have hurt you for a long, long time. I am guessing you are living with them?

    (I hope you do answer me. I found you, so to speak, but I will not hurt you).

    anita

     

    #355998
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear anita,

    I was hoping you would find me. I seek your guidance and wisdom. Whoever you are, wherever you are- thank you for your words and kindness, for you have helped so many heal.

    My inner voice says that I know you will not hurt me.

    I used to express a lot. All of my emotions. Be it happiness, sadness, anger, jealousy. And everyone around me knew what I was feeling. But for the past few months, it has mostly been sadness, and where I live, mental health, and the concept of trauma, is unfamiliar. My own family refused to accept my struggle for a few years, and when I reached a brink, my mother realized that she would lose me, and in this fear, she tried to understand what I was going through, what I go through, but I have given up. Her turbulence, her past, her words and all that she has undergone, just make me guilty about my own feelings, and I sometimes feel like a burden.

    Due to this lockdown, I live with my family. And a new addition to our family- my grandmother. I respect her, but I don’t think she reciprocates the same.

    All my life, all my life I tried to be the perfect granddaughter for both my grandparents, and instead their love and affection and respect was showered upon my cousin, who was achieving so much living in a 1st world country and making the most of the opportunities that she had.

    My grandfather passed away recently. I never really knew what he thought of me. And it pains me that whatever image that he had of me, I will never be able to change it. I do miss him, for I loved him, his honesty and hardwork and simplicity. But I just feel like a failure. I was never the granddaughter he wanted.

    My grandmother has her way of taunting me. Her love and respect goes to my brother, and if she had her way, I would be tending to her whims and fancies all the time. My mom does nothing to support me. She wants me to be the idea daughter and granddaughter- and not ruin my image, which I already have.

    I don’t know who I am, anita. I have spent my entire life pleasing others, doing what others want me to do, even choosing a profession just because of this silly competition with my cousin and I don’t even know if I want to do this anymore.

    I have struggled with friendships. Been bullied when I was growing up, and been called names, never been accepted into any friendships and friend groups, been shamed and ridiculed for who I am, always labeled as too weird, or too different.

    My friends, or the people I call my friends, right now, don’t bother to check up on me because I feel like I have become a difficult person to deal with. My emotional needs and my issues, are too much for them. When I stopped being a vent, and a home for their emotional needs, and asked for some reciprocation, they shut their doors.

    My mom has always been harsh on me. Her idea of a perfect daughter, her ideal kid, her sunshine, her hero, her saviour- the one who never fails, and I know that she is living her own childhood and the experiencs she lost through me, but instead of giving me a choice, and helping me take my own decisions, she forces her authority on me.

    I live in shame everyday. I do. I have so much potential. But in the end, I keep quiet, and do whatever is asked of me, for I know that as long as I live with them, there is no me. Just the version that they want to see.

     

    Thank you for listening to my story.

    Sherry

    #356008
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sherry:

    You are welcome and thank you for your kindness.

    “My grandfather passed away recently… it pains me that whatever image he had of me, I will never  be able to change it. I do miss him, for I loved him, his honesty and hard work and simplicity. But I just feel like a failure. I was never the granddaughter he wanted”-

    – I wish he told you that he had a good image of you and that you were the granddaughter he wanted. If he told you these things, the legacy he would have left behind was that of a granddaughter who feels good about herself, instead of a granddaughter who feels like a failure.

    I am sure you loved him and that it was easy for anyone to see that you had a very good image of him (“honesty and hard work and simplicity”). I wish he cared to show you that he noticed that you thought so well of him and that he thought well of you too.

    Your grandmother taunts you, your mother cares about her image way more than she cares- if she cares- about you. No wonder you are miserable, living with these people.

    You expressed it very well in your previous post: “My own family.. exploit me.. in a space that was supposed to be safe, my own home, and I am withering, without the love, the attention, the support that I seek from them”-

    – I am so sorry this is the case for you. I am no stranger to living in a home that isn’t safe, with no love. I too withered. And I tried to hard, the hardest possible for me to get the love that wasn’t there for me. I never succeeded. Decades after, I finally gave up trying to get love where it is not.

    Oh, how I wish my mother thought highly of me, how I wished she considered me valuable, that she cared to know what I think and feel.. I wish she looked at me with those eyes of appreciation, the way she looked at others (but not at me).

    If  you are in a desert and you are very thirsty, if you stand by a rock and hit it with a stick, you will never get water out of that rock, so you have to move away from that rock and look for water elsewhere. Maybe there  is a little lake you can reach if you start walking away from that rock aka family. Maybe there is water for you elsewhere, if you start walking away.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #356078
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I hear you anita. I understand how hard it is to bloom in an environment where all you absorb is negativity.

    I wish I could do that right now. It’s so hard, because I am financially dependent on them. My education is being sponsored by my father and the amount is a lot, but, I just don’t feel I am worth it. I hope that once I graduate and I am able to walk on a path that feels right, even if it is away from them, or create healthy boundaries for the sake of my inner peace.

    Some part of me strangely feels attached and grateful for all they have done- and without I am not sure if I would’ve been able to write this right now.

     

    Sherry

    #356106
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sherry:

    Before I read your recent post this morning, I expected that you will express a sense of indebtedness toward your parents for feeding you, clothing you etc. Because this is how I felt for many years: very indebted and very guilty for having been fed, clothed, etc.

    And then I read in your recent post: “Some part of me strangely feels.. grateful for all they have done- and without I am not sure if I  would’ve been able to write this right now”.

    It is true that without my mother and father I wouldn’t have been conceived, without my mother (my father had a third wife and new children later), if no one else took care of me- I would have died. But I am not grateful for having lived decades of anxiety, shame, guilt and overall torture. If I could go back in time and make such retroactive decisions, I would have chosen to not be conceived and to not grow up.. I would have compassionately let the baby that I was- die. I am stating this with no sense of drama, not trying to create emotion within you as the reader. I am stating this with quiet sincerity, because it is true.

    Your parents and grandparents, the supposed nurturing adults in your young life, your caretakers- they fed you, clothed you, bought you gifts, toys perhaps, school supplies and such, but not because they loved you. You clearly stated that you experienced and experience no love in the context of your family. What you do experience from them are demands: they demand a return for their material/ financial investment in you.

    Keep the Return on Investment principle in mind. It will be better that at some point you calculate how much money they invested in you and maybe you will choose to return that exact amount and free yourself from any debt to them.

    “My education is being sponsored by my father and the amount is a lot, but I just don’t feel I am worth it”- maybe deciding to return that money to him when you are able will help you feel worth his investment now. Think of it as a loan that you will return.

    Let’s look at your mental state: “at the core of my being, I am ashamed of who I am.. something had gone wrong inside me.. I am not happy with who  I am… the battles that go  inside my mind… my own inner critic and harsh judgment has pulled me down so much… I feel like a failure.. I am sad, I am angry… My mind is this dark place… I am so confused, and scared”-

    –  In the US on a legal website I read: “Emotional distress, also known as ‘mental anguish‘, is a non-physical and mainly psychological injury that may be asserted in civil lawsuits.. the law recognizes emotional distress as a state of mental suffering that occurs because of an experience caused by the negligence or intentional acts of another”. Another US website reads: “it’s important to know that you do have rights in a personal injury lawsuit when it comes to emotional suffering.”-

    – what I quoted above, as your mental state is the terms I italicized: emotional distress, mental anguish, mental suffering, emotional suffering.

    I am not suggesting that you take your parents to court- what I am suggesting is that you can resolve the burden of your sense of indebtedness to them by deducting a certain amount of money as a compensation for the mental anguish caused by your parents from the amount of money they invested in you (education and other expenses since you’ve been an adult living with them). And if you think that in the balance you owe your father/ parents, return that amount in the future and you will be debt free.

    Make your indebtedness to them a financial issue because this has been the nature of their investment in you: financial. It was not an investment of love.

    I used to be very, very attached to my mother. It took me a long time to understand that I  loved her very much, all along, but she did not love me back- what a revelation that was, to really.. really understand it on a deep level.

    anita

     

     

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