Who I Think I Am vs. How Others See Me

There are so many thoughts on “being yourself” and not caring what others think of you.  Hell, one of my favorite is “what other people think about you is none of your business.”  However, I guess at times maybe it needs to be for some clarification.

So I asked one of my friends that has known me the longest.  This person has seen me when I was fighting for my independence as a teen, a single mother, broken hearted, hell bent on something, a bitch, soft hearted, withdrawn, some of my deepest fears and yet someone who has pulled away to an extent.  What makes me so different than all the other friends we grew up with?  How am I so forgettable?  I believe that I was born missing whatever it was that made people love you.  I mean my own parents and sister don’t really love me.  But I know I am lacking something that even when others know I’m struggling they either sit and watch or walk away.  What is it?

Here is the feedback I got.

“I feel when it comes to your family it has to do with their mental/emotional conditioning.

You are also a known INDEPENDENT WOMAN and have had those qualities for as long as I can remember. This makes you intimidating to most people, especially when combined with the ability to be able to read people well. It gives you a power that most don’t understand.

I also feel people tend to take those things and assume you have no feeling toward yourself and have all your shit together to the point people “leave you alone” either thinking you don’t need them, or scared you will be calling them out on their shit and they don’t want to hear it” (word for word via an instant message).

I was truly appreciative of this conversation.  Perception is reality.  We all have our public side, social side and private side.  It’s difficult to manage all of them and sometimes I think they get all mixed up.

If you’ve read any prior post then you know I’m independent.  Reading my first post and in-between the lines in others it’s plain to see I’ve learned to be that way from a young age.  I have a strained to somewhat non-existent relationship with my parents.  Not for lack of trying.  We just cannot be who each of us need the other to be.  I cannot be a daughter that will allow them to dictate 70-80% of my life, including my beliefs, parenting, which friends I can have in my life and even my career.   They cannot just “be there for me.”  I actually asked my mother to do that for me when I was going thru something really difficult regarding my son.  She said she thought it would be dishonest to not tell me what she really thought.  No, she nor my dad cannot just be supportive or let me cry.  They need to tell me what else I’ve done wrong (even in the past) and am doing wrong.  Basically, I need to hear why somehow in a roundabout way it is my fault or punishment.

I’ve had some very close friends thru out my life.  My two closest both now live out of state.  There has been a core group of us since I was around 12.  As time goes, things like having kids young, college, work and so forth widen gaps.  I’ve got more jewelry, candles, home products and so forth than I need due to “parties” that have been thrown by them over the years.  Also, I am known for “getting things done.”  You need to move; yep I’ll be right there and work my ass off.  A crisis is happening and I will drop what I’m doing and head over.  However, I know I’m not the first, second or even fifth one that is thought of when someone just wants to hang out.

The last 5 to 10 years have had their serious up and downs.  My husband had serious health issues, damage to our house, my own health issues, lots of debt, job changes, we moved in with my in-laws, diagnosis for our son that was out of the blue (seemingly) and death of loved ones.  You know LIFE as most people know it.  I had some support here and there but felt more and more that I faced these things alone.  I had a break down… okay maybe more than one in trying to deal with everything.

I felt like if I talked about anything that was going wrong it was off putting.  However, I was sick of also being walked on by my parents or anyone else that just wanted me there to HELP them or do things for them.  The same people who couldn’t help us move or were unavailable when things took left turns.  Are you allowed to be fragile? Are you supposed to be strong? I’d bring things up and then joke about them in a sentence or two.  I felt like I was testing the waters but was the only one in the water.  I feel like I have to seem confident but have a massive tornado of emotions tearing me apart inside.  WHERE THE HELL IS BALANCE?  I guess I just have to be me and evolve over time.

Count my blessings that I have a wonderful husband.


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I'm turning 40 in April 2017... So much seems to have happened and changed. I guess I am feeling I should have it figured out by 40, but does anyone every really have it all figured out?

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