This is probably the most significant post I’ll every write here. If you’ve ever wanted a first-hand view of my self-image, now’s your chance. Instead of making this a private post, I’ve decided to share it in an attempt to demonstrate what it is I struggle with. *I warn you, this is going to be a bit long winded so you might wanna grab some coffee.*
Before I start, let me just say thank you to my few faithful readers. Many of you go out of your way on a regular basis to boost my ego. For that, I am eternally grateful. I get many comments, often in private, asking why I am so hard or down on myself all the time. I’ve never really given it much thought until recently. With my growing feelings for someone, I find myself taking a much harder look at myself. Said person inspires me in ways I’ve never felt before. While he may not have my heart yet, he definitely has my admiration, respect, and attention. (And lets face it, keeping my attention is the hard part)
Ok, ok, I’m stalling. Cut me some slack here, I’m nervous. This is not the easiest post to write. The truth is, I’m hard on myself because I feel I have to be. I often see a clear confliction in how I value other’s kindness toward me and mine towards them. I think I understand why now. You see, being the person I am is still a choice for me. I didn’t grew up w/any sort of moral guidance. Kids are supposed to be given some sort of behavioral guideline to follow throughout life. It becomes ingrained as you grow older and eventually becomes the backbone of your convictions. Whether it be based on religious beliefs or accepted societal norms doesn’t matter. In my case, I just don’t feel that happened. I’ve always felt like an empty slate. I learned my perception of right and wrong from distant family, teachers, coaches, etc. Oddly enough, I got a huge chunk of my ideals from TV. I know what a shocker huh?! But, it’s true. I would often find myself emulating good TV stars. Never the bad ones, always the good ones. And I don’t mind telling you trying to ingrain these traits into my id as an adult has not been an easy task.
Among other things, my parents were selfish, petty, shallow, and even dishonest when it suited them. I was often told to do one thing while they did just the opposite. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know I was NOT fond of my stepmother. In fact, she is the only person I’ve every truly hated. I blame her for a lot of my woes. And it’s not the physical abuse I remember. (Ok, that’s not exactly true. I remember the broken nose, the fists to the head, and the incident causing my deviated septum but the monotony of the daily beatings has faded away.) What I do remember most is living in a state of constant fear. Fear of never knowing what to do right. At best, my days were a confliction of events that left me paralyzed to rationalize my actions. Until finally one day the fear went away. In it’s place was left a cold dark emptiness. A place cold enough to allow me to almost kill my stepmother when I was only 12 years old. (She was a pill addict and I had a brilliant plan to dissolve a whole bottle of vicodin in one of her pepsi bottles. She was also addicted to soda.) I would have gotten away with it too. My father, siblings, relatives, all knew she was an addict. No one would have ever suspected me. I am deeply ashamed of that. I am grateful I never went thru with it. Instead, I continued on in misery.
Even though I couldn’t go through with it, the cold stayed w/me. I was a different person after that. And it scares me to this day. It gave me no qualms over lying, stealing, cheating, or anything else it took to survive. And yes, I have done things I am ashamed of. I can say I’ve never done anything I consider evil. I’m not vindictive. And I’ve never done things to hurt intentionally or out of some twisted sense of fun. But my life isn’t just about survival anymore. Yes, I choose not to be that person. Yet, I find myself plagued w/doubts over my progress. I know that cruel cold person is still inside me. I don’t dwell in it but it’s still there. I still have to choose to be a good person. It is not ingrained yet. And therein lies all my doubts. You are now privy to one of my deepest insecurities. I am in tears as I write this and I offer to you that I am ashamed.
*I had to take a break here. I’m back again…*
With all of that in mind, I still feel like my life has been blessed. As a child, I had a roof over my head, food in my belly, and shoes on my feet. There are those even in this country who can’t claim the same. Beyond that, there have been several sentinel moments where I felt things could have gone horribly unrepairably wrong. A good example would be my brush with god. (You should read it if you haven’t otherewise, you’ll miss perspective here.) It was a defining moment. That spark has stayed w/me ever since. It’s always there to give me that extra humph to better myself.
I know I’m taking a chance posting this but I don’t care. You wanted to know my perspective on things, well now you do. Comment if you like but it’s not required. It’s taken me over two hours to write this and I’m completely exhausted. I’m going to bed now.