Identity Integration . . . “She was like the Moon––Part of her was always hidden” -Dia Reeves
After living many years in frustration and confusion––constantly wondering why I seemed so different from others. I started exploring the answers to these questions:
- Why were making decisions so hard?
- Why did being honest or vulnerable feel painstaking and impossible?
- Why did I lack self control over my emotions?
- Why did I keep making the same mistakes, over and over?
- Why couldn’t I stop destructive behaviour’s when I wanted to?
- Why did I obsess over others, wishing I could be as good as someone else?
- Why did I pick partners who were narcissistic, substance dependent and/or abusive?
- Why was I completely detached from myself, searching for my existence in others?
- Why did I believe serving others––doing as they wanted––would earn me a place in their life, improve my self-worth and earn their love?
- Why did I believe that if people really knew me, they would not like me?
- Why did dying look more appealing than living?
Because I was tormented with these thoughts and negative beliefs, I suffered with not having a solid self/identity. All I had was the outer shell I portrayed––the versions of me I that I thought were easier to love and accept. Some people label that as being manipulative, I label it as survival strategies.
This reminds me of another event that took place later in life. My childhood friend, Jewel, previously mentioned in earlier chapters, had lost touch with me in our early adult years. Our relationship had become strained and estranged. Once we bumped into each other at a local bar, she, being intoxicated approached me and repeatedly asked “Are you mad at me?” I ignored her question and she continued to ask this over and over. When I finally answered I said “No! I’m just hurt.” She snapped back and said: “And that’s what I hate about you, you have no personality!
This statement pierced through my very soul. In a painful way she was right. I portrayed selves but never lived my true self. I suppose Jewel wanted me to finally say “YES! I am angry––to stand up for myself, speak my truth. I jokingly thought to myself “What does she mean I have no personality!? I have many!” But that was just it, I was a chameleon and could be anyone I needed to be in that moment––I was everyone except myself. I didn’t have a self. I lived a lie.
Want to read on? Get your copy here: BOOK: Lies In Disguise