With my family I am always wearing masks.
I’m tired of playing the role of the dutiful daughter and never getting anything in return. I put on a smile and a happy face and I let the world see what they want everyone to see: a loving family. The secrets and lies of what it means to be in this family weigh heavily on me which is why I spend as little time around them as possible. Does that make me cold? probably.
I’m learning that for my own well being I need to be a tad selfish and cut myself off from the toxic and negative people in my life – it sucks that unfortunately those negative people happen to be my own flesh and blood. Both E and MB have told me that I need to look at it like I am standing in front of a vending machine and that no matter how much money I put into it, that it will NEVER give me what I am looking for. The more time I spend with positive people the more I know this to be true yet I still feel guilty. I feel like I am letting THEM down – are you kidding me? my entire life nobody has stood beside me, nobody took the time to help me and yet I worry about letting THEM down?! How fucked up is that?
The years of sadness, the cutting, the distance and the eating disorder(s) that were clearly overlooked by the people who were supposed to love and protect me are wounds that still remain freshly intact. A childhood spent either being ignored or only noticed for my weight. I was only on her radar when I was eating, when I wasn’t making her look good, when I was an embarrassment. She had no problem putting me on countless diets, pushing me into sports I didn’t want to play and find ways to belittle any and all accomplishments I seemed to make. She measured love based on appearance, based on what the outside world saw. The feelings of inadequacy and feelings of worthlessness I have spent the past 30 years carrying around – it’s no wonder I am how I am.
I’d like to think that she did the best she could, that she was being supportive in her own way – that it all came from a place of love. The problem is I can only float around in that sea of denial for so long. I’d like to think if B were still alive she never would have allowed my mother to talk to me the way she did, to treat me the way she did…but I don’t know that for sure, the only truth I learned at that age was that next to death there wasn’t much of a way to stop the shit from getting out of control. I learned that hiding your feelings was how you needed to live. That you don’t cry, you don’t share and you certainly don’t let your weaknesses be shown.
In life there are moments that can shape and define you for better or worse. What I am now trying to do is find ways to move forward and find new ways to shape and define who I am. In the words of J “none of it is easy, but it is ALL worth it.”