Personal development

On living an authentic life

I’m not doing it. There. I said it. I’m not living an authentic life.

I’m so worried about what other people think of me, all the fucking time, that I make choices that I don’t want to make, say things I don’t want to say and fail to make the choices I need to make and say the things I need to say.

That is not to say that I don’t want to be sensitive to other people’s feelings. There are things in my life, that are rather taboo topics. To be authentic, to me, is to be open about these things. These include my personal mental health struggles and – related – personal stories of my childhood that would inevitably touch on other people’s privacy. The latter creates a problem for me. My authenticity would touch others. They may not be happy if I say certain things. But .. where does that lead me? I have tried to keep silent about the difficult stuff. But then inevitably my blog, online life and even my real life become.. inauthentic. Fake. Superficial. I’ve become rather closed, silent, walled off and have stopped saying and doing things. Because there are just too many damn thoughts and ideas that I have that you’re, basically, not supposed to say. What will the neighbors think? Or ideas that I somehow think I’m not supposed to touch. Someone with authority should write about some things first.. Not me. Who am I to share my view? I want to be courteous. But I added a caveat to my definition of courteous, to remind me: “unless not doing the action hurts you yourself“.

I’m hurting myself.

I’ve always been afraid to express myself, for reasons I want to write about in future blog posts. But your body finds a way. You’ll make movements, you’ll misspeak, you’ll slip up and make a remark or act in a way that even startles or scares you yourself. It’s scary stuff, suppressing yourself, because well, firstly, you can’t and secondly even dangerous to not listen to your inner voice. It nearly cost me my life in 2019.

My eccentricities will always find a way out. In fact, I have a feeling that most people who speak to me have a feeling that I am a very open person. This is because I am different in a way that is sometimes painful: My intensity is off the fucking charts. So even when I’m suppressing myself, I’m still .. intense. And volatile, actually… Most people have a steady candle burning. I have a fucking furnace. And I don’t mean that in an oh look at me being special kind of way. I’m. Really. Intense. It’s sometimes hard to handle, especially when I’m overwhelmed or when I’m having a traumatic flashback or “amygdala hijack”. My intensity frightened me as a child. And this is regardless the lack of middle gears due to childhood trauma. I’ve always been different as an innate part of me. I’ve sensed it, it’s a painful truth I cannot deny any longer. But instead of being guided and helped with it as a child, I was abused, bullied and at the same time often felt like I was treated like some trophy on display. She’ll be fine, she’s smart. She’ll get there. And even a part where I became nothing more than an extension for my father’s ego. When, as a child, you’re feeling nothing but discomfort at being painfully different (and socially inept due to severe emotional neglect and abuse), being called amazing is so far from affirming that it feels outside-the-known-universe-level wrong.

This behavior of mine, this tendency to try to control the flame by covering it with my hands and torso, has turned into a lose-lose situation. When I suppress myself, I suffer deeply… and people are still overwhelmed by me. So I might as well stop doing that. Other people can make up their own mind if they want to hang out with me.

I’ve never kept a diary, because my home situation was too dangerous to be vulnerable. My parents both have no concept of boundaries. As a child, I once started a diary, and then tore out the first page, tore it apart and threw it outside in the bottom of our dumpster, because I knew it was not possible to have any privacy in our home. My mother proved it by reading my brother’s diary years later and confronting him with the contents. My boundaries were constantly violated. I remember many, many days in my teenage years with my back against my bedroom door, angry and crying, while my mother tried to force her way in to convince me that “we should make up now”. I have an even better story. My mom is so ridiculously sensitive to sound, but so oblivious to other people’s feelings, that she once opened my bedroom door to figure out why I was making panting sounds.. Yeah, ouch. Not to mention the shit my dad did… Some of the posts about my dad will be password-protected to protect the privacy of other family members. At home, I wasn’t free to speak up. My dad had the monopoly on anger. To this day, I am unable to raise my voice, not even to shout at someone who is about to crash into me in the street.

So anyway, I never kept a diary. I didn’t write things down. They would be used against you. I think it’s a shame, because I love words. My e-mails are long and detailed. In university, the lady from the university paper saw my report on my travel to Japan and invited me to write for the university paper. I was hesitant and all the time that I was writing for that paper, I felt like I was a complete fraud. But she encouraged me. She believed that I could do it. And I am grateful, because I read them today and I thoroughly enjoy reading them.. And right now.. I think that’s what I want to do. For KindvanAuti, I’ve been making the reports of some meetings and again people have been encouraging me. I think this is something I could become good at. I’m certainly no writer.. yet. I’m going to be writing.

I’ve decided it’s time I start channeling my thoughts. Here’s to a new year.

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