Saturday, October 18, 2008

Who I Am Hates Who I've Been (Relient K)

I think too much. I don't know when that started, but it's true! Once in a while, I'll try to post about something I've been thinking. Unfortunately, my thoughts travel so quickly to the next topic, I forget my point by the end of the post. It's likely this post may be an example.

Growing up, all I ever wanted was to be accepted by my older brother. From as young as I can remember, he couldn't stand my existence. He constantly made fun of me and shoved me away from his space. I remember being invited to his friend's birthday party when I was about 4. My brother didn't wear a shirt because it was hot outside. I wanted so much to be like him that I begged my mom to let me go without a shirt. I remember her saying no, arguing with me about it, and finally letting me go. Then I recall as soon as we got there, my brother began to point at me and make fun of me in front of all his friends. I was so humiliated.

I think that's the earliest memory of my brother's rejection, but it continued even through high school and beyond. From the time I was small, I was constantly molding my decisions, my likes, my dislikes, my choices on things my brother liked. In junior high, he liked rap, so I liked rap. I could never admit I might like New Kids on the Block because he would have made fun of me. Everything I did was based on what I thought would gain his acceptance.

I think this plays a big part in a couple areas of my life. First of all, I like a variety of things (food excluded!) and am pretty open to trying anything just to try it (food excluded). That's a good thing. The negative is that I have a very hard time knowing my own opinions. I tend to say what I think people want to hear. My desire for my brother's acceptance has morphed into my desire for everyone's acceptance. Somewhere in time, I lost who I was, who I am. It is difficult for me to assess my own feelings. I have a hard time knowing what I want. I don't know how to make my own decisions.

After so many years of rejecting my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions, I have no idea how to rewind, how to start over, how to fix it. I feel like I will never be able fix this flaw. This is where my post rabbit trails in a few directions ...

1. Making my own decisions or voicing my opinion sometimes requires confrontation/disagreement, which I avoid at all cost (another post all together).

2. If I let other people make my decisions for me, I can blame them when things go wrong (lack of responsibility).

3. I'm afraid of who I am. It's easier to live this way than to figure out how to fix myself.

4. Through the years, my mind has raced 100 other trails from these thoughts---too many to continue for now.


MadMup said...

Though I'm not as sure how I go to them, I have many of those same traits. Not knowing how to reboot is a big one.

I don't think I have any trouble knowing my opinions, but I do have trouble making decisions.

Maybe someone will leave suggestions here that will help both of us :)

Emily said...

Here's a suggestion: Stop giving a shizitz about what people think. I started doing that a long time ago and I feel much better.

I know, I'm no help. I too hate making decisions. I don't like to really have to think about stuff. Even stupid stuff like what I want for dinner. I have to always tell my dad now "Whatever you make is fine." Decision-making is beyond me right now.

Anyway, I love you, darlin' (Melissa, not Mark), just the way you are.

Emily said...

(Am I bad for using the word "shizitz"? Oops, I did it again.)

MadMup said...

Where's the love for Mark??


Michelle said...

Thanks for this post, Melissa. It is really giving me some insight into my daughter's reactions to her older brothers. As an only child- it is hard sometimes to see sibling relationships from their point of view. I appreciate the insights.