“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
That is my mother’s favorite quote. She told me it often growing up. She’s not wrong.
As each day passes, I feel myself get just a tiny bit stronger. It may not seem like much, like a millimeter everyday. But when you take a step back and look at the big picture, it adds up to so much. Like a video game, my health meter fluctuates. I get super charges sometimes, and at other times, I’m depleted to near death.
For me, what really drains me (besides my own mind and the self-fulfilling prophecies that I tend to flood myself with) is other people. It’s always people I shouldn’t be wasting my time and energy on. I tend to give my all to those who won’t really matter in the end. It’s the people that take advantage of my kindness that are the culprits. And I’m usually too blind to see it at first. As my life has progressed and I’ve encountered these individuals, I’m slowly becoming more aware of their tendencies and I’m able to cut it off early on. Why would I continue to sabotage myself to appease them, and lie to myself thinking they have my best interests at heart? They never do. All they do is take, take, take and take some more. They don’t care about what I want or need. So what am I left with at the end of the day? Nothing. I wake up empty, and then angry at myself for allowing myself to get caught up in their senselessness.
But I’ve come to realize that the things that I want and need– they’re not unreasonable. I shouldn’t have to compromise what fulfills me to pacify somebody else. If someone truly loves and cares about me, they will openly accept everything I am. I understand that in any sort of relationship, there is a level of compromise, but not to the point where it hinders who you are.
I guess that’s what’s been interesting in the time that I’ve been on my own (a year and eight months!). I’ve encountered different kinds of people, fake friends, and men who I could potentially date. Most of them are in for one thing, and then bail when it’s convenient for them. Many treat me as a doormat. Others just like to play with my heart, thinking they can get away with anything because I “let it slide” or accommodate them first. Nah, fuck that. I’m done. I can think of myself before any of them. I have to put my oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else. I’m allowed to take up space. I’ve come to respect myself so much more than relying on these heathens to make me whole. It’s taken so long to have that revelation but I’m learning. I can’t abandon myself; I’m all I’ve got.
I’ve also come to realize that nobody can make you whole– only you can. The other people in your life just help fill you up a little more, but they’re never the ones to “complete” you. Sometimes I fall back into my old ways, striving to connect with someone else so we can become a unit. I get consumed in the notion that when I become intertwined with another, that life will suddenly be so miraculous because they’re part of me. The reality is, while they can certainly brighten up your life, they still won’t be the reason you’re whole. If you seriously believe in that way of thinking, you are going to be severely disappointed when you come to realize it isn’t the case. And since I’ve learned the hard way several times, I’m now aware that the logic is so flawed. When I start to feel myself sinking in that notion, I mentally slap myself and do all I can to pull away from it. Sometimes having the help of a friend puts me back in check, but ultimately, it’s up to me to make that decision.
I won’t lie; it’s hard to find that healthy balance when my entire life has been wanting to please others and abandoning my own life to make theirs better. I tend to go from one extreme to the other. I’m either all in or you don’t have any part of me. It’s a daily task I work at. Some days I win, but other days, I don’t. And then once emotions become invested into someone else, it’s REALLY hard to separate what’s healthy for myself. But I won’t surrender or lay down in defeat because of these set backs. I won’t give up on my own happiness.
Either way, I’ll learn to create my own path of happiness. I can only hope that someone worthy of my love and time will compliment that happiness and put fourth their own effort to make it blossom more. I just want to be better in future romantic relationships. I don’t want what held me back before to affect the next relationship. Not that I’m NOT completely to blame for the failings of the previous ones (I’m not perfect), because it takes two to tango. But rather, I’m taking these lessons with me and laying them on the table. I don’t want to hide who I am, not again. I don’t want to be ashamed of who I am, I shouldn’t be. I know the right person will open their arms for me and give me what I want and need out of what we build together. I won’t have to second-guess it. I shouldn’t have to.
It’s a tightrope to walk along. It’s wobbly and I’m constantly paranoid that I’ll fall. But at the end of the day, I know I’ll survive. I know I’ll be able to catch myself when I fall because I’m strong. I don’t want to doubt that strength anymore. I’ve spent so much of my life angry, disappointed, frustrated at myself. I spend so much of my life in this fog that is nearly impossible to cut through. As I write this currently though, I feel like I’m able to tackle whatever comes my way. I know I can, I know the better part of me will prevail. All the lessons, all the struggle, pain, agony, misery, unstableness and depression I’ve endured (and will most certainly continue to endure) have taught me how to survive. A lot of my life has been about surviving. I know at times that’s all it’ll be. But I’m breaking through bit by bit and finding new ways to truly live. All of toil has made me stronger, I’ve built my armor through the understanding that I’m only human, but I have a fire in me that ignites me through the darkest of times.
No person can penetrate the armor I’ve put together on my own. I won’t be broken at the hands and expense of another. Go ahead, give me all you’ve got– I’ll come back out stronger. Inflict all the pain you want, but the universe will find a way to harm you tenfold.
I will not bow down in defeat, I refuse. I’m so much better than I give myself credit for. I’m coming to believe in myself and my abilities. I’ve survived so much, I know I’ll get on through this life with what I’ve got. I’ll find ways to get what I want. I’ll do all I can to find the things I need. I’m the heroine of my own story; I don’t need to be saved.
Nobody will never have the satisfaction of destroying me.
No… because I’m bulletproof.