The irony of the title post is getting to me and that is precisely why I am leaving it as it is.
How untrue that may seem to anyone and almost everyone who knows me! On the contrary, if you were to ask my loved ones, closest friends or even colleagues, they would say that I am one of the most fiercely independent person that they have ever met. Even I can attest that I am firmly independent and quite pride myself to be associated with this particular attribute almost all my life but now I would like to re-evaluate this aspect about me.
However, in order to do so, I got to dive deep.
I was that kind of person that will not sob about a problem but rather look to solve it immediately; It was more of a “what-now?” instead of a “oh-no!” kind of reaction whenever I faced a road block. Ever since I was a young girl, I was always attributed with the care – giver role to my younger sibling , to the younger kids at church, or classmates in school. I was a prefect in school, was assigned the role of the “good samaritan” monitor because I was so adept at spotting classmates that were struggling either academically or domestically at home and would point it out quietly to the teachers to help the kid out. I was that was “exemplary” youth, whom parents at church or elsewhere would ask me to help their kids with to improve their behavior and attitude towards school and life.
The very environment that I had to grow up in was anything but nurturing. I was forced to grow up and grew up I did. I did not whine, I did not cry, I did not complain. I just took everything in and worked with it. Even by the age of 10, I already knew that the adults I was witnessing often where extremely toxic but I had to “man-up” or maybe “woman-up” and became a listening ear and a helping hand to the victimised adult (s). I could not be vunerable , I could not cry (also crying was seen as a weakness in character), I could not be validated (to be reassured that what I was experiencing was valid) , I could not vent or act-out because I did not want to add to the stress of the adults and be a burden. I was that super obedient, excellent in school and church kiddo that most kids struggled to connect with because our maturity levels were not on the same frequency. Kids my age generally liked me alot but I never belonged.
I carried all that penned up energy/hurt/desires all the way up to my adulthood. I never open up about what I was dealing with, and I rather help another deal with theirs and not approach mine because it was less daunting. Yes, I have a strong maternal side but I did not approach myself the same way I did others. I rejected that side of me that needed support , a listening ear, or to be cared for and given attention. Threw it all away into a deep abyss , hoping it will never ever come up. Additionally, I could not connect as efficiently because, honestly, let me tell you something, you cannot love others fully unless you first love and care for you. Now, I have hit my adulthood, with all these baggages. I had subconsciously carried the weight of the world on my shoulders.
The environment(s) and the people I was dealing at this stage were too overwhelmingly toxic and I could not , just could not do this alone anymore. I did not know how to seek for help, I did not had the right people to turn to, the superficial things that were my firm foundation in life were crumbling (academics, social hierarchy , status) . Honestly, I learned so much from failures and pain than I ever did from success. It was bad. My health both physically and mentally were deteriorating (I am still recovering from the reprecussions of that damage).
I could reset this , all of these. This very realisation, made me cry. I let it all out. I think when I started to cry, I really could not believe it. I barely cried all my then 21 years of life and hearing myself actually weep was surreal. I started to share online (it was a starting point) that I was not okay, that I was struggling. I started to penned down my thoughts, and I wrote down what made me sad and started embracing and confronting it. I started to cut off anything that was toxic be it people, habit (s), attitude (s) and environment (s) which is honestly easier said than done but it was worth it.
It is still not easy but I am now way more comfortable being with my vunerabilities. I have learnt that every time I accept others and show love , it is the same as doing that to my inner child that was so hurt for not having it. Additionally, I learned to show my emotions , ask for help, show my weaknesses , and have gotten alot more emotional and sensitive to myself. I have learned not to be harsh on myself but rather forgiving. I too did not need to keep up with always being independent and to always be my own hero. We are humans, we are interdependent , so it is alright to need others and seek help and be “soft” in our own vunerabilities
I am only living gratefully from henceforth. I have deeper connections, stronger friendships, inspiring role model(s) and hero(s), greater empathy and I am more at peace with myself now than at any stage of my life. It may not be the most prestigious or successful stage of my life by conventional standards but it has been the most peaceful and contented stage so far, and that means just so much to me! I am only going to look forward with such an attitude till many years to come!