Friday, October 23, 2009

The Real ME...

I wasn't the best daughter. 

I wasn't a good friend.

I wasn't always a loyal girlfriend.

I was the girl that others liked to talk about but not say nice things.

I was the daughter parents wondered about where they went wrong.

I was the girlfriend that would do things for boyfriends so that they could never get too close emotionally/mentally.

I was the girl that hid under masks and facades looking for answers and hiding the real me under layers not allowing others to get close.

I was a girl looking for answers to life's most challenging questions while dumbing down for the outside world.

Shit, I was seen as the ditzy girl that always smiled, laughed and knew how to "party like a rock star." I would do foolish things and just live in the moment.....but not really live as ME. Well, I guess it was me, just....Fake!

I did many things to disappoint my parents. Drugs, parties, cutting school --hell I didn't even show up for college and I was there on scholarships, -- abusive boyfriends... I did a lot and I put my parents through a LIVING HELL.

It took me years to realize who I was. YEARS!! My parents tried everything with me. I used to swear they hated me. They could never understand how their "Smart Beautiful Daughter" could do these types of things and/or hang out with this crowd or be with this person.

How do you tell anyone when you can't even admit to yourself that you are afraid of what people will see you as if you showed them the real you. I did it once. My first true boyfriend, Mike. We had an extremely intense relationship. I don't mean sexual in any way. We were very very deep. We got each other. I was 16 years old (he was 18) and I had someone to share these deep conversations about everything from spirituality, the arts, philosophy elephants jumping over the moon. It was something anyone could wish for....who wasn't a teenager. We broke up because our relationship was too mature for us.

So what did I do? I built a wall. Being dumb seemed so easy! Mixing with the wrong crowds and having foolish relationships and partying just seemed like the way to get by. Since obviously my way didn't work.

Well, things got out of hand as they often do. I ended up with abusive relationship after abusive relationship. The last one the worst and it made my parents realize there was something wrong with me. They "forced" me to go to a mental hospital for a few days to see what could possibly be making me go through this.

I had the perfect home life. My sister and I were extremely close. My mother and I are exceptionally close. My dad and I had a decent relationship although (at the time) I only thought of him as a disciplinary.

Back to the story, I went in and was very angry with my parents for "making" me go through this. The anger built up from years of not knowing who the hell I was.

After this incident I started looking for myself for the first time since I was 16. Mike and I were still friends and we would discuss these things and it made me feel great to be this person again.
I would sit and talk to my Nana and she always told me to not regret my actions. Learn from them. So that's what I did. I LEARNED from them. I GREW from them. Most importantly, I now UNDERSTAND why I went through these things.

Psychiatrists told me it was a way to fill the void between my father and I. That since I wanted to be a Daddy's girl I would act out because it was the only attention I got. I believed it for years.... until I figured it out on my own.

I wasn't trying to fill any void with a relationship with anyone other than myself. I did these things because I hated the persona I was living. I never allowed people to get to know the real me. Only one person did....and I hated that I was shy/embarrassed call it whatever you would like.....

I wanted the world to see me for MORE than what I put out there.

When I had my oldest son, I changed my way of life even more and have really had a lot of personal growth. Due to cafemom and goodreads, I have made friends that I probably would have never had the guts too in real life.

Yes, I was a troubled girl but it was all a way to find myself. I'm okay with that. It's my past. It has strengthened my character. It makes me look at things in a way I never thought I could. I look at my children and sometimes I could see them slipping into what they think others want them to be and I try my hardest to let them be free of this.

My mother used to cry and wonder what she did wrong. How did she fail me. I always told her it wasn't her fault. She raised me with the best of morals. She taught me the difference between right and wrong. She was the ideal mother. The mother that I wanted to be. It took years for her to realize she didn't fail me. To see that I ended up on the path that she willed for me. I just hit a few paths where I took the scenic route and forgot about the mission at hand. It feels good to have her respect and admiration. It makes me feel wonderful that my parents admire my parenting. I'm in awe that they no longer refer to me as "the bad one." They look at me now and they see the real me. The me that I hid for over 10 years on a journey where all I was trying to do...was escape myself.

Life isn't easy. No one can say it is. But, I can offer one piece of advice as my Nana did for me.

Her's ~Live life without regrets.

I will add to hers ~ Don't make life more difficult by denying others your true identity. Love yourself and share who you really are. Those who should be in your life will embrace you with open arms and those that don' will see were never meant to be there in the first place. When you do this, life is beautiful! Just like mine is today. Despite the drama and heartache, I am happy because I am living it, being true to myself.


Lisa said...

I found myself in the same boat when I was in high school, although I was close to my dad but estranged from my mom. I never lost respect for them and their morals and it kept me from going too far over. I wish I had had someone like your Nana. My goal, as my children have become young adults, was to teach them to find themselves and never be afraid to show the world that person. My oldest son went to school one day in his senior year dressed as a pirate. Maybe I went a little overboard!

Holli said...

I can certainly identify with what you said here Mandy.... I really can. I learned from my experiences just like you did and those experiences were worth it if only because they made us who we are today. I love who I am and I think you are awesome so don't worry about how you got here... just be glad you did!! ;-) That's how I like to think about all that self induced craziness I endured in my life! LOL

Jo said...

I know how hard it is for you to put this out here, to share this with us and I applaud you & thank you for doing so! You are an incredible & strong woman and mother, especially having been through so much. I am so glad CoL brought us together!

Kalanna said...

so proud of ya M and happy!

Brenda said...

Mandy, I am guessing you don't want us to know the real you because your font came out in light pink.....LOL!

I couldn't read a thing.

Have a great weekend