Over the years I’ve found that I have become very bitter, or jaded. That’s a far cry from the girl I use to know. I started out with NO self-esteem in my teens through my late 20’s. I found myself being directed by others as to HOW I should be. I didn’t know that I was okay the way I was. I was so insecure that if someone was in my way at the grocery store, I’d wait until they moved before simply saying, “Excuse me” because I didn’t even feel worthy of that. I was a mess. Through a series of up’s and down’s over the years I learned to close myself off more and more to protect myself from hurt caused by family and friends. I had no boundaries. I was the “yes” girl. I was that girl that thought every argument or disagreement was my fault somehow and I hated confrontation. I hated myself.
Easy to see why I began to shut down. I didn’t have a voice. I was afraid and timid. To add to the confusion, I was diagnosed with depression, OCD, and panic disorder. I became angry and the pendulum swung from the left to the middle from the sweet girl I had always been. I over-reacted, I became the fierce protector of any underdog. I took everything personally and really started to just not like anyone. Luckily for me, I was in a loving marriage with a beautiful child *but* I literally could not stand people around me other than them. I became this little passive aggressive monster. I began to see no beauty in the human race. I lost faith in people, places, and things. Often times would find myself saying “I cannot stand people”, or “I hate people”.
The passive aggressive stage lasted for years and were so painful. Imagine having shit to say but not having the spine to speak up for yourself because you actually believed that you had no right. I had zero self-worth. People knew too, that they could walk all over me and I wouldn’t say anything which lead to more pain and resentment.
One day, a family member went too far and began to attack my child. That’s how I saw it and while I could not stick up for myself, I had NO problem being a voice for my family. That triggered a bigger monster. That’s when the pendulum swung from the middle all the way to the far right. I was going to right the wrongs, dot the i’s and cross the t’s. No more was I going to sit by and let people walk all over me. My therapist recommended a book “Boundaries” by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Best self-help book I have read to this day. I slowly learned that I had value, that I had to set boundaries, etc. Thing is, I was still pretty bitter and angry. Guess you cannot fix everything at once.
But today I don’t want to be bitter and angry anymore. I do not trust easily, I am skeptical of people, I still am a fierce protector of the underdog and of my family. It’s almost paranoia. Like, everyone is out to get me. Truth be told, I can be a shoulder to lean on for someone but I never have to fight someone else’s battles. Once again, I’m learning that I don’t have to be this way. I am the creator of my story in this life and I want to go back to the girl I use to be. I’m the superhero in my story. “Once in a while someone special comes along and restores your faith in humanity…” and it occurred to me that I want to be that Once in a While from now on. I am going to be.