I often wonder at what point in my life in my life did I lose myself? And then I ask if I had ever truly been found to be able to lose myself in the first place. Have I ever really known who I was? Who I am? Who I want to be?
Most times I feel like I am a character and life is a movie with someone else directing. I have never had complete control of my life, because it seems whenever I made a decision that I thought was of my own free will, it allowed someone else to lead me and I let them out of fear of being considered disobedient. I justified this by thinking I was simply compromising, but in reality, I was letting others control me because I was afraid.
I wonder if I’d lost myself when I was a child?
I love my mother as daughters do and now that I am older and look back at our lives, I have a better understanding of why she was, and is, the way she is. I love her, but I also harbor a deep resentment and that makes me feel incredibly guilty.
My mother never allowed me to grow, to let me discover me. It was always “do as I say” so I became what I hoped she wanted and that would make her happy. There was never any room for discussion or defiance. My opinions did not matter and the only way I was allowed to express myself was alone in my bedroom screaming my anger unheard into a pillow.
My mother believes that everything is a problem that only she can solve. Our conversations aren’t really conversations, but a constant one-sided diatribe of unsolicited advice and her trying to solve problems that aren’t really problems.
My reaction regarding my mother might be seen as an overreaction, but when I have spent a lifetime of listening to her constantly giving me advice about matters she knows nothing about, well, it gets tiresome.
As my mother ages, I’m sure she is becoming more aware of her own fears and life regrets as am I of my own. Perhaps her attempts at control is an attempt at remaining significant. Perhaps she simply wants to be a mother that is still needed.
I know I should be more forgiving, but I'm not. I am frustrated and that again leads to me feeling extremely guilty. However, whatever her reasons may be, her constant advice giving and ‘strong’ suggestions of how I should do things, makes me feel inadequate.
I recognize I still have a lot of unresolved anger leftover from my childhood, but like when I was a child, my fears keep me from voicing my dissent and my anger festers.
I wonder if I’d lost myself when I became a cop?
I was 23 years old when I become part of the law enforcement family. I was taught how to act, how to speak, told what to wear (a uniform), how to wear my hair (it can’t go below my shirt collar), what color nail polish I was allowed (only muted colors!), my earrings had to be small, circular studs (silver or gold in color only!) and the list goes on. This was all in preparation for making me into the best cop I could possibly be and I always had to represent the Department in a favorable light, whether I was on or off duty.
As the years passed, I became resentful of the upper echelon constantly dictating how I should be and angry at myself for allowing them to have so much influence on my life.
I haven’t liked my job for a very long time now, but I have reasons for why I don’t quit which have been expressed in other blog postings. It wasn’t too long ago that I realized this job has played a huge part in me losing myself.
When I am at work, I am expected to be authoritative, controlling, a take charge kind of person, but in reality I am an introvert, a quiet personality who prefers a solitary life, which is the complete opposite of what my day job requires.
In uniform is when I feel like an actor, an imposter, because I cannot be who I want to be or who I think I am. I am who the Department wants me to be. I am a number that is expected to behave, but like when I was a child, my fears keep me from voicing my dissent and my anger festers.
I wonder if I’d lost myself when I got married?
I was only 25 years old when I married for the first time. My husband turned into, or probably always was, an emotionally abusive alcoholic. I won’t go into detail, because I have closed off those memories, because they are nothing but negative. That chapter in my life is over. However, I allowed him control of my life which turned me into someone who I hated and that is one of the reasons why I divorced him.
I have a good life now with my current husband, but as with any relationship, it has its ups and downs. His love, however has given me confidence to try and be who I want to be and who I think I am, but I find myself falling into the same routine and letting him control my life, because that is how I have always been.
The longer I let it continue, the worse my internal struggle becomes. It has always been easier to allow others to control my life than it is for me to figure myself out and take charge.
I want to change, but I don’t know how. Part of me wants to be assertive and the few times I have tried to use my voice, it has led to disagreements and agonizing guilt on my part, because I am not who I think my husband wants me to be or at least who he is used to me being.
My husband often tells me he knows me better than I know myself and I think that’s true. I don’t know myself, because I have never been allowed to discover me. I have always compromised for fear of being disobedient and perhaps for fear of rejection.
How do I know if someone will like and accept me if I don’t even know who I am? Or if I will even like myself? How do I present myself? I fear I will be a disappointment, so I yield. I try to be what I think is expected and in the process of trying to be what I think my mother, my boss, or my husband wants, I lose myself.
And as I grow older, I am scared my true self will never be found and whoever I am at that moment will be a failure.