Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quietly Disappearing

Somewhere along the way I lost myself. And not in a good way. No, somewhere in my timeline I ceased to be and melded with those around me. I slowly, quietly, and sometimes unknowingly gave up piece after piece of myself.

Sometimes I gave willingly- like when I would opt to do an activity my husband or daughter wanted to do when it wasn't something I had any interest in. Little bits of myself were given away as I tried to be strong and supportive of my loved ones. Those are the kinds of things you do when you love someone.

Other times I've given my time to help someone in need. And many times I've sat and listened and cared, gladly exchanging those pieces of me for the peace it brought to those who needed someone to be there for them.

But there were many other times that I gave up big chunks of myself because it took too much energy to say otherwise. At times it's seemed easier to capitulate than to speak up and say "No! I deserve to have my voice heard. I matter too!" Too often I find myself trying to find a way to fit myself into others' lives, changing my needs and desires like a chameleon, attempting to blend into what's expected of me. Too much of the time I've acted out of fear- fear of abandonment, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being accepted, fear of standing out.

Taking a hard look at my life today though, I see that what matters to me isn't what consumes most of my time and energy. I'm not saying that I should be selfish and focus only on myself and what I want- but when I deny myself so much of what I am at my core, I place myself firmly on a slow path to oblivion. Soon I fear that I'll fail to exist entirely. All that will be left will be an empty shell, molded into whatever is wanted of it.

The question is: how do I find myself again? How do I remember who I was and what I wanted in life? How do I sing my song after having no voice for so long?


Stephanie Turner said...

You do have a voice, and you are singing your song. Being a blessing in other people's lives doesn't take away from who you are...and it doesn't change who you were. It just kind of all goes together to write one big, beautiful story. It's not too late to decide who you want to be, but it's not a requirement to stay who you were. Does that make any sense at all? Who you WERE and who you ARE can blend into who you're going to be someday....and I consider myself blessed to be part of that journey.

Papa D said...

What do you want to do? Do it. Talk with David about it, then do it.

**I know it's not easy**, but it really is that simple. Simple can be difficult, but it all boils down to deciding what you want to do and doing it.

You have a good husband who loves you. I'm sure he will help you do what you want to do.

Mama D said...

As a beneficiary of many of those times you gave of yourself to listen and care, I am incredibly indebted to you for doing that and offering me a bit of life-saving peace. I do not exaggerate when I say you were a savior for me at that time. I was quietly spinning into oblivion, and you helped rescue me.

Having said that, I agree with the above comments: Find what you want to do, who you want to be, and learn to meld your past, present, and future to become and do those things.

I know you struggle, but I believe in you and your ability to overcome even these obstacles. Never forget that you are a loved and respected daughter of God, wife, mother, mother-in-law, daughter, friend, woman. Find yourself, and you can continue to do great things!

PS: I admire your bravery in posting something so personal. You're my hero in multiple ways, but you inspire me to allow myself to be vulnerable and share pieces of myself and my struggles with those I love.

Leslie said...

You are such a strong amazing woman. Waaay more than you give yourself credit for. But, I totally understand. I feel the exact same way so often. A really good book, that might help, is Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge.
If you figure some things out, please share with me.