I’ve always felt a desperation to fit in, to be popular, one of the “in-crowd.” I just wanted to be seen. As a child, I always remember being alone. An only child who went to a school across town from her home (because while my mom couldn’t control the neighborhood we lived in, she made sure I’d be educated in the higher end part of town), not to mention being a painfully shy introverted empath, didn’t make for the best combination for making easy friends.
Life at home wasn’t easy either. My father was (and still is) a methamphetamine addict who was not fit to be a father. My mom carried the whole household on her meager paycheck while my father would disappear on drug binges every weekend. During the times he was home, he was the worst kind of monster. (That’s a whole other blog post though.)
Spending the first 30 years of my life doing everything to fit in was exhausting. Trying (and failing) not to be awkward, trying to cover up how big of a nerd I really was, trying to prove I was worth letting hang around, trying to be everything I wasn’t.
Hindsight being 20/20, all those years I was being used. I was so willing to help others that I neglected myself in the process. Doing things that would push me to mental and emotional limits because I didn’t want to let others down. I always prided myself in my independence, but when I really truly needed help, not a single person helped me out.
I was devastated. Here I was doing above and beyond for these people, but I couldn’t even get a ride to the store when my car was down. Let alone REAL help.
I’ve started secluding myself. Doing things just for me, shutting down my personal Facebook account (I still operate my handmade crafts site), and refusing to assist others when doing so will affect my mental health.
Surprisingly it has worked. I’ve felt a sense of peace that I haven’t felt since, well, ever. It is so refreshing to finally put myself and my passions first instead of helping others fulfill their dreams by putting mine to the wayside.