Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Progressively unwrapped

In one of my previous posts, I talked about personal guidelines that I have established, over the course of the last five years, for my own reactions to life and to people's (including my) behavior.

Lately it seems as though I've been having to reinforce some of these, especially the last one, where I walk away from relationships with people who consistently make me feel "less than." 

Some of these folks are persistent, and apparently will stop at nothing - including recruiting other people into their campaigns - to draw me back into the place where they are controlling and manipulating me again. (Fortunately, now I see what they're doing well in advance, which gives me a chance to regroup.) So, I've had to re-draw some boundaries. Again. (It happens; some folks just don't take no for an answer until right around the hundredth time, LOL) 

When I speak of graveclothes, (and I frequently do speak of them on this blog) I mean those things that others - by their reactions to my existence or to my behavior - have wrapped around me so tightly that I internalized them, made them a part of who I was and the way I thought about life. These were / are things over which I have had no control and which then gained the power to control me - things like "what will people think" and "if only" and "what if" and "nobody likes me" and so forth.

The more often I refuse to be bound up again by the old smelly graveclothes of being victimized or of trying to make everyone like me, the easier it becomes and the more free I am, free from being that chameleon that turns into whatever someone else wants me to be ... or of blending into the surroundings so that nobody notices me and therefore won't hurt me...again.

I'm more free to be me. To have my own thoughts. To hold my own opinions. To occupy space in the world. To be visible. To exist. 

Photo "Happy Jumping
by chrisroll at
For you see, for the longest time I didn't believe that I had the right to exist - not like other people who could get away with saying or thinking whatever they wanted and not getting slapped down for it. I'd been treated that way for such a long time - as far back as I can remember - that I thought it was normal. 

It wasn't. 

And when I got into recovery from that wilting-flower "don't-hurt-me" mind-set, I started to learn that who I was, and what I thought and believed and said as a result, was okay. Part of the reason I started this blog was because I had started to believe that I had something worthwhile to say, that I could actually contribute to the world, and make a positive difference if given the chance.  I also learned that if I made a mistake, it wasn't the end of the world and I could actually learn from it. (I know, duhhh...) 

This kind of thinking was alien to me before. I lived according to the rules of the chameleon: hide, blend in, disappear, change to fit the circumstances, and when all else fails, freeze and hope they don't notice you. I lived not in the present but either regretting the past or being afraid of the future. 

These are powerful forces. 

Until they're not. 

That process took some time ... and I'm still running up against hangers-on in my life where the graveclothes cling to me.

But for the most part, today, I live in the freedom of being who I am and of not caring what this one or that one thinks or believes or says. And this new lifestyle is so important and precious to me that it is well worth defending, well worth looking back once in a while to see how far I've come and remembering that "old me" enough to re-affirm that I never want to go back to that. 

Not ever. 

For, as my post title indicates, I'm more and more free as time goes on, as those things drop off me, as I learn to live in the now and to be who I am. 

Freedom might be something that a few people take for granted because it's all they've ever known - they have no idea how fortunate they are - but there used to be a huge bull's-eye on my back and now that it's fading away, I don't ever want it to reappear.

No comments:

Post a Comment