Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Looking Back to Move Forward

I'm struggling.  Finding things very difficult the last six months or so.  Not because of the kids or anyone else, just fighting my own demons and trying to keep the Dark Dog from the door. I've done an incredible amount of navel gazing trying to figure out and come to terms with who I am and why I am the way I am in an attempt to feel ok and have hurt people in the process, letting them feel that they are in part to blame for who I am today.  Wounds have been opened and words said that can never be taken back or the hurt eased and that saddens me greatly as I truly don't believe any person is responsible for my depression.  Well one person perhaps and I have to look in a mirror to see her.

I was always considered a very easy going child. No trouble, loved by all who met me.  If you look at my school reports I was described as a day dreamer who needed to apply herself more as was capable of doing better. There was never much effort to drift through academically as it came easy enough without too much effort. In other words, I was an intelligent quiet little girl who had a tendency to daydream. Musically I was naturally talented but lacked the desire to progress much to my teachers disgust and  flitted from one instrument to another but never stuck with any long enough to master it.  Huge potential and could learn anything that was put in front of me but without the desire to do so.  Very capable student... needs to apply herself more. Story of my life really.

When the transition to secondary school came I was given the best opportunities available and put into a private school.  I have to admit I found it daunting and had huge difficulties fitting in and making friends so became a little bit of a loner. I became an easy target for the school bullies. I don't think that it was the buck teeth, the railway track braces or the plastic framed glasses that made me stand out but more my disposition and the pack could sense vulnerability. I didn't fight back nor stand up to them and won't go into great detail but it reinforced my sense of not belonging or not feeling right. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I still ask was I bullied because I was different or did I become different because I was bullied?  Its a chicken and egg question, one I'm not sure has an answer. By the time third year came I snapped and fought back and discovered that if you pretended to be confident or brash you were left alone.  It isn't easy to admit then that I stood back and watched another girl be mercilessly bullied and never stood up for her.  She's often in my thoughts though and have heard she's married and has a family and doing well now.

From an early age I learned to pretend.  A coping mechanism that has left me now wondering at 43 years of age who I really am?  I've spent my life pretending and I'm tired, waiting to be caught out as a fraud is exhausting. Is it something we all do though? Most people who know me would describe me as a confident funny person who can be witty.  They're the people who know me through social media and see the person I've portrayed and want them to see... My family would describe me as hard work.  Difficult to get close to with a penchant for drama. I do attract drama into my life actually and most would find it hard to believe the things that have happened to me are true but if I were to write it all down many would think it belonged in the fiction aisle.  I think I attract the odd and the dramatic though as I invite it into my life.  The realisation that I find it difficult to feel emotions unless they're very strong, either upsetting or happy helps me to understand why I attract those situations in life that others seem to be able to avoid.  A willingness and desire to believe what others tell me too often leaves me open to people exaggerating or filling me full of lies.  I hate lies and liars intensely.  Doesn't matter what the content of the lie is just the fact its not true fills me with a sick feeling in my stomach. Paranoia and distrust follow these penny dropping moments. I digress though...

So what am I trying to achieve with this post.  I guess its a bit like coming out of the closet.  I'm not ok, and not sure if I ever was. like many others who suffer depression and other mental illnesses, you spend a huge amount of time trying to deny your own feelings as the world tells you to pull yourself together or its not alright to feel like that.  Well I've decided it is ok to not feel ok and my feelings are my own and as valid as everyone elses. Perhaps the kids didn't lick their issues off just one stone?  Its dawned on me recently that I'm feeling very lonely but that that doesn't marry well with the fact that I really am not that comfortable or sure I like people either. There, I said it. Its easier to have 100 superficial friendships where people don't know you well than have one friend that knows you, ugly side and all.  Its not that I don't want friends, I just don't know how to be one and let people know the real me. Perhaps its a deep rooted fear of rejection or a lack of sense of self that was always there rather than something that was ever caused as such.  All I know is that I want to feel connected and stop running but finding middle ground is hard.  I love my family but I haven't let them in or get close to me and I hope they know its not that I won't, I just haven't been able to. I accept that I've been difficult and hope they love me enough to forgive me that and accept me for who I am, warts and all.  In return I promise to try hard to be me, whoever that is xxx


Looking for Blue Sky said...

That was so honest is was almost painful to read, but as someone who is totally avoiding finding out who she really is, I have no advice, I just hope that writing this is helping you on your journey (and I hate that word too but I can't think of another one this late in the day!) xxx

Truf said...

Had a depressive episode a couple of years ago - mostly anxiety and panic attacks, in my case. What pulled me through was Jean (she sent me a lovely message on fb) and talking to old friends. I think if we could see inside other people we would find out we are all scared, lonely and looking for approval. And if somebody is not, they are more likely to be a sociopath. All I can say is - try and avoid bad places and negative people, and talk about how you feel to people who care about you. Hug!

Petunia said...

Thanks girls, I wrote this as a form of catharsis and a small step to accepting myself. Its good to hear that I'm not alone in my feelings and know that it gets better after a while. Glad to hear that you're in a better place now Truf xx

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