Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Opening Up

I feel so refreshed today. I opened up to somebody who is damn near a stranger to me, my occupational therapist. I cannot believe that I did, but I can honestly say that it felt good to get it out there. He apparently thinks I should write a book about the insanity that is my life. I have thought about it on numerous occasions, just have never put it into fruition. It is definitely something that I have researched and put much thought into, perhaps one day I will take the plunge.

This is actually a huge step for me, discussing such personal issues with a stranger face to face. I am an open person and will tell you almost anything that you want to know about me, however, most topics don't come up often, especially those that are this deep and personal. I think this experience is part of my attempt to let things go and keep it real.

In order to keep things real I need to come to terms with exactly why I am broken and vulnerable, why I am so closed off physically and often emotionally from the world, and why I struggle with allowing people to love me. I know this is a topic that I cover often in my writings here, but this is a huge part of a healing process that I am going through right now. I want to be free of this brokenness. I want to be able to receive the love that I know that I deserve and in order to do that I have to figure out how to accept love. Real love, not just the sexual "love" that I am used to getting, a true, honest and unconditional love.

My parents broke me. I am not sure if it was one more so than the other, but each of them broke me in their own way. I know that a lot of my struggles stem from the lack of love I received as a child. I received a love from my father that wasn't truly love, it was a self satisfying, warped sense of love on his part, but it was all I knew. I thought that in order to be loved I had to give a part of myself that was my most precious possession, my innocence. My mother on the other hand was so closed off from me and never offered any sort of love. I was never good enough, despite the fact that I excelled at nearly everything that I tried. Whether that was academics or sports, I always excelled. I struggled making friends because I wasn't sure what they wanted from me. I didn't feel good enough to have a friend because my mother never let me know that I was good. There was always something that I could do better. When I topped out on my grades, it went unrecognized, as if the excellence did not matter. I was either not good enough or too good. I think this created a lot of conflict as I aged. My mother couldn't stand that I was better than she was at life, and she still can't. I have accomplished more in my life than she could ever dream of and I feel that it really irritates her, even though we rarely talk.

I am trying to overcome the lack of support and encouragement that I have dealt with my entire life. I have built a wall. A wall that says 'I don't care what other people think of me. Or I don't need your approval. Or validation doesn't matter, because I don't need it.' when in reality I am screaming, 'Please like me. Please tell me I am good. Please let me know that you approve of the way I parent, or the way I write, or the way I photograph.' I thrive when people tell me what great mother I am. I thrive when people tell me what amazing photographs I take. I thrive when people tell me that they love my writing. I want to be liked, but I still don't know how to accept it. I have a horrible time accepting compliments because I am not use to them. When people say something nice about me I often think to myself, 'What do they want from me?' Why can I not just accept that people like me for me, not what I can do for them, or what I will give them. I am a wonderful person. I care deeply for my friends. I would do anything for them. Now if only I could get out of my own way and allow myself to receive the love and adoration that I deserve. It's a work in progress.

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