I'm Living Free Being Me: So What Does That Mean?
It’s sad how so many take on the identity of other people’s words spoken into their lives. They take it on as who they are and it is not even close the person they truly are. The opinions of others become who we think we are as a person and it is usually all a lie. Yes, I was angry and with good reason, and yes I had walls all around me for protection. Although, the truth is it was not who I was, it was who I’d become because of the hurts in my life and the inability to see past them and discover the true me. I looked at myself through the eyes of the people around me who caused the pain in my life and were just as screwed up as I was at the time. I became who they said I was and was afraid to be who I am.
I want to explain about what it means for me to live free being me. The reason for this is because I really thought for years I knew who I was. I was whoever someone else wanted me to be and I never even saw it. It wasn’t until my children started to move out of the house that I really started to see that I had no clue who I was.
Peoples perspective of me for years was that I was this tough girl and shouldn’t be messed with. My mouth kept me out of a lot of fights as a kid and as an adult because what came out of it scared them away. That might have been good because I wasn’t a fighter and probably would have gotten beat up a lot. My abusive childhood built up defensive walls around me and I made it very hard for people to get in.
When I was growing up I always believed there was this person inside of me fighting to get out and she was afraid. The girl inside of me was so emotional so I constantly shut her down. Why? Because I was told too. If I cried I was told to stop or I would be given something to cry for. I was a little girl with many secrets and nobody to tell them to. This taught me to just stuff everything so deep inside and would contribute to the tough exterior of my personality. It would teach me to hurt you before you hurt me. It would define how people saw me but not be the truth of who I was.
Counselors I was taken to as a child told my mom I was angry but not one asked why. Another one I saw as and adult said I had a personality disorder and I was like a chameleon in that I tried to fit into whatever situation I was in. I’ll be whoever you need me to be, because I don’t know how to be who I am, because I had no clue who that was.
I knew who I wanted to be on the outside and it wasn’t me. It was always someone else. I wanted to look different because I thought I was fat. My nicknames growing up were thunder thighs, rump roast, moose, and lard ass. How in the world could I not think I was fat. The pictures from my childhood do not depict a fat child and yet it was etched in my brain I had a weight problem. I was also told I was the “B” word and I would say no I’m not and then told yes you are just accept it. Okay then I’ll just be one then and I was still dying on the inside because it was not who the girl on the inside was. Why won’t she come out. Well, I had her barricaded in so she couldn’t get hurt. I would protect her at any cost.
My friend Ray years ago figured me out. He was in a wheelchair and I would pick him up for meetings a few times a week. He’s get in the car I’d put the chair in the trunk and we’d go. We were heading out one night and he stopped and looked at me and said, “you ain’t so tough.” I’m like what does that mean? He said, “you might be tough on the outside but you are all mush on the inside.” I laughed and told him if he told anyone my secret I’d knock him out of his chair. We laughed and he agreed. Only a few people could see past my wall into my soul and Ray was one of them. I came off harsh to protect myself but I was mush on the inside.
I really was mush when I think about it. Hallmark commercials made me sob, as well as any Lifetime movie. I cried in secret over the silliest things and often would ask myself why I couldn’t cry over things that mattered. Why did I have to come off like this mean, sarcastic, blunt tell it like it is person. I acted like someone who didn’t care if I hurt you and yet when I did I couldn’t sleep for days because of the guilt I felt.
Let’s fast forward a bit I think you get the picture of how the world saw me and also how I saw myself and that it wasn’t who I really was. Finally, I realized fear was the reason I was afraid to be me. I was so afraid people wouldn’t like me if I showed the vulnerable, compassionate, caring side of me. The one who cared about your feelings and your life.
The person I am is a survivor. When Christ came into my life it changed everything I was taught and believed about who I am. A psychiatrist at a mental ward I was ordered to go to asked me to make a deal with him. He asked me to stop looking at myself through the eyes of my mother and that hit me like a ton of bricks. He was so right on it scared me. Since that day I have tried to do just that and have conquered it. Here’s the thing about broken people who see you fighting through the obstacles they have never been able to get through. They will do whatever they can to keep you down. The old saying “misery loves company” is so true. If I look at my family I am the one who always fought to break free from the vicious cycle of dysfunction and addiction that runs rampid.
Sure I messed up a lot but I never stopped fighting and I have won the battle. The walls are almost all the way down and I let people in freely. I don’t hide my tears or the compassion I have towards people who are broken like I was. I have a huge heart to help women who hide behind the mask of others or suffer from addiction, eating disorders or anything else that deters them from seeing who they really are. What I see when I look at women, no matter what condition they are in, is a Princess. A daughter of the Most High God. My goal is to reach as many people as I can in my lifetime and share the truth of who they are and dispose of the lie of who they’ve been told they are.
It has been an awesome journey of discovery and people were weird at first but they are coming along in accepting the real me, the me God purposed me to be.
I’m Living Free Being Me and my hope is for you to be Living Free Being You.