There was a point in my life when I tried too hard to make others like me. I was a chameleon. I changed my demeanor to give the illusion that I belonged. No matter what I did, I felt like a fraud. I always felt as if I weren’t good enough. However, that didn’t stop me from trying.
I never really knew my own personality. I was quiet and shy around some, and loud and boisterous around others. There were times I was mean to people, and others that I was kind. It depended on who I was with, and what was expected of me. I never resorted to dangerous behaviors such as drugs. I just wanted people to like me. To accept me. I wanted to not feel rejected.
Gradually, I became a people pleaser. I couldn’t tell anyone no. I never wanted to let someone down. Many times though, in saying yes to everything, I let my own self down. I would overwhelm myself with tasks, and to-do lists that spanned the length of my arm. I would finish one task and add two more to replace it. There was no winning in this situation. Some people viewed me as a “brown-noser”, others took advantage of the situation.
All I was looking for was acceptance. To find the place that I belonged. Why did I have this need to be accepted? Here is what many do not know about me. I am the youngest of nine children. It’s a yours, mine, and ours situation. My mom had three children by her first husband. My dad had five children by his first wife. Then there is me. No matter what I did, I always felt like I never belonged to either sibling group. We didn’t put labels in front of the words brother or sister, yet, I always knew.
They each had their own families, that I wasn’t part of. At times, I wasn’t even acknowledged by some. I’m still not. I have siblings that I haven’t spoken to in years. I have some that I see every day. As we have gotten older, I have found my place among them, yet, at times I still feel like an outsider.
This need to always fit it, and to be accepted is from a life time of feeling less. Less than perfect. Less than deserving. Less than loved.
I am not exactly sure when this changed. I don’t know when I started creating my own persona, and became ashamed of who I had once been. It wasn’t as early as I would have liked to say. Honestly, I would argue that it has been in the last two years. Maybe I am not fully my own person yet. But I will be.
Here is who I am.
I am a wife who loves her husband with all of her heart. I try my best to be his everything, and I fail every single day. At the end of the day I always think of one more thing I could have done to show him how much I love and appreciate him.
I am a mom who would do anything for her children. I am a mama bear, and will fight for them so that they may never experience any more pain.
I am a Christian. I believe in God and Jesus. Not only do I believe in them, but I long to have a relationship with them. I read the Bible, I post scriptures. I invite others to church.
I am an avid reader. Sometimes, when there is too much weighing on me, I escape. I escape to a fictional world and I leave everything else behind. There are times when I had nobody else and reading provided me comfort.
I am a nerd. Proudly. I love to learn. I love Math. I love school supplies and planners, and to-do lists.
I am kind. I am always looking for a way to help someone else. I have stood in the pouring rain to put a strangers groceries in their car so they wouldn’t get soaked. I try to compliment others, especially women, because I know how it is to feel down about yourself.
I am a home-body. I love being home. While I like to travel, there is nothing better to me than the view from my front porch. It is comforting.
I am an intro-extrovert. I can talk to strangers all day, every day. However, when around people that I will see regularly, I really have to make myself talk to them. I might offer a greeting, but I usually wait for them to speak to me first. Sometimes, this may come across as snobby. However, I am anything but.
I am anxious most of the time. I don’t like large crowds, but I hate to be alone. If I feel stuck in a situation I feel panicky. My leg is often bouncing up and down and my mind constantly races.
I love sleep. Sleep makes me happy.
I love music. I love songs that evoke emotions. If a song brings me to tears it is my favorite.
I love the color gray. It is my absolute favorite color.
I do not have a large group of friends. My circle is small. I am absolutely terrified to let more people in. I think it is because I never feel like I am enough. I have let so many people in, only to be hurt.
I am a survivor. I have suffered great loss, and disappointment. I have survived abuse.
I am a fighter. I fight everyday to overcome my own thoughts. There are days that I have to fight to even get out of bed.
I am scarred. I feel things deeply. Love. Loss. Fear. Joy. Because I feel things so deeply, I avoid situations where I may feel unwelcomed feelings. Others may see this as weak, yet they don’t know my struggles. My strength cannot be measured by your strength.
This is me. The simple and complicated. I am not enough for some, and too much for others, and that is okay. I will never be everyone’s favorite. I will never have a huge circle. However, to those who truly love me, I will be everything, and that is the best I can hope for.