I’m getting better at talking about my unique perspectives of existence, but it’s so hard! Some of the things I experience within my BEing simply aren’t relatable, comparable or understood by others – at least, not in the ways I have been trying to express them.
This wouldn’t be much of a concern, but it effects almost all of my personal relationships. The vast majority of my life I felt isolated from others by virtue of my own strange interpretations of reality.
Identifying as a Lonely Outcast
As a child, I locked myself in my room away from my siblings rather than engage in play with them. I recall lying to my friends, telling them I was grounded when they wanted me to come over. I preferred the company of books and animals: things that didn’t talk back.
It’s not because I didn’t wan’t to be a conversationalist. My mom recalls me telling her “how the world worked” as a toddler sitting on the toilet with barely any legs to hang over the side. My young mind was always wild with ideas, questions and theories, but I learned early on that other people really didn’t care. At least, that’s how I chose to interpret their persistent misunderstanding.
My mom’s own studious nature lead her to provide me with invitations to look up things that I didn’t know, but my dad would get frustrated by my verbal processing. It wasn’t long before I just skipped asking and went straight to researching anything and everything I could for myself.
I was lonely and outcast, but I was smug about it. People “didn’t understand me” and “couldn’t comprehend my thoughts,” which simultaneously allowed me to feel victimized by society as well as an egoic pride for being “unique.”
Reconstructing my Created Limits
My dissociative biases as a young person created a great deal of anxiety as I grew up and began having more and more social interactions. Early on I had been homeschooled and my friend choices were limited to the children I could meet at church – situations with vastly diminished population. As I gained more friends and had more opportunities though, I began to feel decidedly disadvantaged by my avoidant nature.
In my adolescence my isolation turned into depression and feeling outcast morphed into anxiety. The smugness I had felt dissapeared right along side the “uniqueness” I had within my very small childhood world.
I was suddenly harshly aware of my lack of social skills. I also noticed that I didn’t have the mannerisms of my peers and I certainly didn’t dress like them. I wasn’t anything close to “cool” – I really was a “loser,” just like my older brother had always said.
Yet somehow, in spite of myself, I had a knack for having “cool” friends. I was a great sidekick, henchman or third wheel; I was quiet, easily lead and desperate to please. Without awareness (how else) my disconnection with reality had shifted and I had begun to disassociate, “chameleon-ing” from one relationship to another.
Falling Even Further Down the Rabbit Hole
I spent the majority of my adolescence and young adulthood in this state of spongey-mirroring. For my parents, especially my father, I was the dutiful, obedient daughter. For my friends I was the spontaneous “partner in crime,” or adventure-, shopping-, foodie-, drinking-, study-, etc… “buddy.”
As time went on the people in my life changed, and I changed right along with them. That was my way of riding the waves of social expectations: complete complacency and adaptation. It made my ever-changing identity increasingly fallible and I had equally diminishing confidence – even though I was still remarkably good at convincing people I had whatever traits they expected from me.
While in middle and high school, the dramas resulting from my spinelessness enveloped me. I truly believed I was trying to do what everyone wanted, and therefore what was “right,” not realizing that by having no precedence for truth myself I was simply an accessory or tool for whomever was willing to use me.
These habits quickly turned dangerous and reckless as an adult. Even in college, I was already experiencing major life crises because of my inability to construct my own value system. I had an affinity for con artists and was a muse for their sick artistry.
The Long Journey to Acceptance
I ran from myself for the first 28 years of my life. Before I could even attempt to reconnect with whatever my fears had cost me though, I had to fully embrace what I had become.
I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it. All of it. Every bit.
But about 3-4 years ago I finally faced my ugly, wretched, miserable, spineless, worthless, etc… self and wrapped my arms tightly around themselves, literally embracing my own body in a hug to force the connection. It was that moment in which I collapsed into myself fully, lies and all.
It was that moment that I committed myself to authenticity. In the filth of my shame, in the hatred of my self condemnation, in the disgust of my full, actualized self-acceptance – that’s where I found my truth for the first time. Everything that I have been able to build since has been dependent upon my awareness of it still.
Finally Navigating Relationships Honestly
This last week has given me opportunities to have really good, really hard conversations. I find myself able to tell my friend who is suffering through a dark valley of the soul to keep going amidst the darkness, that it’s okay to be afraid and that I know she is strong enough to overcome her own created limits because I’ve been there and I can admit it.
I’m unafraid to be misunderstood by my boyfriend and mother, using synesthesia and poetic devices as tools to try and guide them through the experiences of my own conceptualizations when talking about religion, politics, the past or the future. I’m not nervous about the “rightness,” “appropriateness” or comfort my often contrasting existence provides anymore – and it’s creating freedom within my ability to relate to others.
I have even recently been repeatedly thanked for having some difficult conversations within the past year that I had desperately wanted to apologize for, but couldn’t because they were my authentic truth. My ego has been hating on me, but my compassion and acceptance are steadily wearing it down.
Taking the Good with the Bad
My theme for 2018 was “I am comfortable being uncomfortable.” 2019 was, “do the hard things.” It has taken time and sweat and blood and tears and feeling all of those things I don’t want to feel when I speak out the truth that others don’t want to hear – but it has been far worth it all.
I do have people who understand the way my mind works now, and they are increasing in numbers. My mission this year is to learn how to “rest, relax, heal and meditate,” which my ego thinks shouldn’t be as hard as it has been so far (lol), but is still a stark contrast to the commissions of the past two.
I am confident and happy today in ways I never dreamed were possible. I am able to help others simply by being me, owning up to my life and sharing my story. Even despite sometimes still being misunderstood, my relationships are rich and deep, and I didn’t have to become anyone’s (even my own) idea of perfect to attain these things after all.
It really is the Truth that sets you free.
Please dare to become more authentic yourselves my dears; be your whole self and discover the fullness of love ever within. Blessed be my beloveds –