Letting people get close to me has always been difficult. For awhile, I made bad choices on who I should trust and who I should not. Those bad choices made me want to block everyone out. Family included. I used to seem cold, mean and very guarded to new people. I would not say much and when I did it was never anything personal. I did not want people to know me. It felt safer that way. The less they know, the less you can be hurt. In addition, I did not want to know much about them. I did not want to care about them so I would try to keep distance between us. I never wanted to be vulnerable.
I did let people talk about their lives if they wanted to but I would not try to give advice or state any sort of opinion. Staying neutral felt better than relating to them. Until about the age of 22-23, most people ‘knew’ me but really did not know me. They knew facts about me but nothing more. They knew where I was from, how many siblings I had, or where I worked. It sure was a lonely place to be. When I did go through things I would get angry about being alone and I would resent the people that I felt should know that I was not alright. How could they know if I didn’t tell them? I didn’t talk to my family or my friends. I would push it down and suppress those feelings.
I got so used to pushing everything down that I did not really ‘feel’ much of anything anymore. I often thought that I needed to feel physical pain in order to know that I was still alive. I never did anything to physically harm myself though. I would get piercings from time to time and it was usually at a low point in life. My first tattoo even happened around the time I was getting diagnosed with Epilepsy. I think this is why I am so emotional these days. I don’t hold much in at all. When I do, it consumes my mind.
There are days when I still struggle with letting people get close to me. When something bad happens, I try to pull back and shield myself. It is not as easier as it used to be. Cutting people out of my life was just something I did. They would have two chances to do something wrong to me and I would ice them out completely. I didn’t forgive anyone.
For so long I pretended that I was great and everything was perfect so it feels like telling people about my struggles would change how they feel about me. Sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve to be loved wholly by anyone. I think that one small thing can make someone want to leave my life because I wasn’t good enough or I disappointed them. With many of my friendships, I even did hurtful things to try to get them to leave because I figured they eventually would anyway. The crazy thing is that the people that I have been the worst too are still around.
I have been more open on this blog than I have with many people that are really close to me. Maybe that is why only 2 people that know me in my personal life actually know about this blog. It is public so obviously they can find it but I don’t put it on any other social sites to create that opportunity for them to.
I am always learning more about myself as I get older. Sometimes I need reassurance but over the last few years I have learned that it is alright to let people be there for you. It is necessary. We need each other. All of the walls in the world won’t protect you from your own feelings. I know that I need to continue to kick those nasty thoughts about myself out of my mind. People will still hurt me. That does not mean that I need to shut down again. I just have to accept that they are human and are also hurt as well. For me, it is important to determine when it is time to cut someone out of your life because they do not bring you joy or support any longer. Thankfully I haven’t felt the need to really do that in quite awhile.
We all struggle to be open with who we really are inside. Let’s do this together. Will you join me? Click the link below to see some other women that are working to #DropTheMask.