Some times I come here and have so much to say, but stop myself because what if it offends this person or that person, or what if people don't agree or whatever. And then I thought, do those people even read this blog? Probably not. lol And today I'm in one of those writing moods, and feeling honest, and feeling like clearing out the cobwebs in my head.
I've written about this before, so some of you may know already about my past. But my whole life, even from the time I was a little kid, it was really clear to me that the way that I could be loved and accepted would be to make sure that I needed as little attention as possible. Be independent. Don't require the attention or affection of anyone. Make your own food, and stay out of the way. Lots of kids of alcoholics have this trait.... it's actually called co-dependence, because you learn that you cannot be happy unless the person you count on can be made happy. So you do everything you can to make sure the people around you are happy, because that's how you get to be happy. Completely disfunctional, of course, but it happens.
Doing that, I surrounded myself with a lot of selfish people far into my adulthood- people that I loved to make happy so that I could be happy. I threw parties for big events of friends, expecting that they would do the same for me. I allowed boyfriends to put their careers before me, assuming if I ever asked to be a priority, then I would be. I allowed people to put me last on their list, thinking that even if they only had a little time for me, I was lucky to get that.
And for a long, long time, that actually kind of worked. I knew I wasn't happy, but I was a people pleaser. Pleasing my dad, pleasing my teachers, pleasing my ex's, pleasing my friends. Please don't get me wrong- I wasn't a great person or anything. In fact, I was so hollow and empty, I was a bitter mess, angry that I couldn't suck my happiness from others. Angry that I never got the parties, and that I wasn't a priority even when I asked my boyfriend. Angry that I would wait for friends to come by on the holidays, but they never made it by. Angry that I had no love for myself. No life for myself.
I learned a lot from the women around me early in my adulthood, especially the women at the rec center where I worked. I saw from them how to stand up for yourself, how to give tough love to kids to push them to their full potential, how to love yourself first. And the kids I worked with there- I learned that it was okay to give so much of myself to them. And in that, I found my passion. And my career.
But do you know what pushed me the last little bit to say, "no more?" To end those last few relationships that didn't serve me, didn't grow me, and brought so little joy? My back injury. It was the first week, after laying in my bed, in my room, thinking, in the silence..... just evaluating my life. What had I done? "I could be dead right now. My doctor gave me 5 years, and here I am, 8 years later, and what am I doing? Living my dream? Or living dissatisfied? Living with people that put me first the way I put them first, or being second to other's whims? Fulfilled, or drained? Happy, or just content? Satisfied, or just status quo?"
And that was it. To be honest, I was surprised when I said my needs at the ones who who stood by me and who didn't. And of course, I made huge mistakes in trying to find my own life, but I will not say that have I regrets. When I look myself in the mirror now, I know I am taking care of myself. Asking for what I want. And walking away when it no longer brings me happiness, peace, love or joy. Do I miss the people that were once in my life? Of course. I cry when I look at pictures. I am sad when I think about the fun times. I'm distraught that they picked so many things to put in front of me, or were so absorbed in themselves, when I really believed that I was important to them. And I'm sure I didn't handle it all so gracefully as I sound now. But there is emptiness when this happens..... emptiness that is filled with possibilities. And of course there is still a huge part of me that doubts that I deserve to have parties like the ones I threw for other people, and I feel shameful for thinking I deserve more attention than my boyfriend's favorite hobby. And I feel guilty for wanting old pals to set aside alone time just for me.
But I guess the real question is: did I ever do that much for them, anyway? Obviously not.... obviously I was not fulfilling them, or they never would've let me walk away. And was I really being fulfilled by them, anyway? No. So many times, these things just naturally work themselves out.... we drift away from each other, and we fight and cry because it's over, but when it's over, if you both won't fight for your relationship, then one of you is not going to be able to carry the both of you through it. And in another way, I'm happy that I do not allow myself to be the victim anymore. This is my life, and if I want happiness, I have to make changes, do what I need, and, even with tears still in my eyes at times, move forward. Because people's actions speak so much louder than words, and I want my actions to say that I love myself. And I hope that your actions to say the same. :)