We all do it. Wall up. Close off. We create versions of ourselves that we think will work better, be more liked, sexier, wanted. We hide parts of ourselves that we are ashamed of because someone made fun of it or it was deemed “uncool”.
We throw ourselves away, all the most parts, the parts that make us unique and individual to become part of the masses, the accepted, the sheep – to fit in, be liked. We do it until we forget we are not that person. At some point it seemed like a good idea, unknowing that it cost us, eventually.
And we all must pay the price for this. We give it up willing or perhaps trauma takes it from us. I spent most of my life watching what was happening, not actually in it happening. I don’t think I understood that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be until the last few years, or maybe I did know it wasn’t right but I was so disconnected I didn’t know how disconnected I was.
It caused me to disconnect.
I became a chameleon. I could change colours depending on my environment, any perception of danger or wanting to be liked. I had no identity of my own. “Stand for something or fall for everything” – Fight song. I fell for everything. Bendable, malleable by anyone. On the outside but on the inside in my safe place it wasn’t like that. I could paint over a story so that it was unrecognizable. In real life I would just let things happen, never stand up for myself and if I did it came from a place of taking too much and eventually reacting, being snarky, passive aggressive.
But I always had this safe space to go in my mind. So I was never fully aware of things. I would just let it happen but I was already somewhere else so things never really impacted me. I stored them because we store everything we don’t process and I didn’t process anything.
I was watching life happening but I was numb and it wasn’t until a horrible experience woke me up, to help me see how I was living my life, the choices I was making, who I was being that was causing me to have the results in my life that I had.
While the breaking open was hard, it was how the light finally got in, where I could understand that I was disconnected, soul loss, fragmented, not “there” because of my life experiences and that it wasn’t normal… well, it might be normal because of our life experiences but it’s not supposed to be normal. This watching our lives, this becoming someone else to stay safe, to fit in, to be liked.
To live fully, to be myself I had to unbecome all that I was not. And I had already built a life and a business based on who I was not – a persona, a don’t give a fuck girl that nothing could touch, a girl who’s heart was in a cage, protected and safe. I told myself so many times I didn’t care, I decided in advance it wasn’t possible or wasn’t worth the risk so I never asked for what I wanted and pretended, even pushed away what I wanted – in spite, in vengeance.
I had spent decades building this girl. Building who I was. Crafting and creating the experience, holding onto the knife by the blade, feeling it cut in as a constant reminder that people all hurt you, that it’s not safe, that it’s foolish and it’s better and safer to be logical, use your brain, don’t give people anything to use against you, don’t admit weakness.
Layer by layer, brick by brick, wall by wall as the experiences were processed, the more armour I released. But sometimes I still find remnants, walls, curtains, bricks, stones to hide behind. Sometimes I miss the familiar feeling of the knife digging in, sometimes I long for the weight of the armour I carried and the walls I could so easily hide behind.
I long for the safety of the veils, the masks that I crafted so carefully. But they are no more. I feel it when I am withdrawn, it’s heavy and while that once felt good now it feels suffocating, it feels numb and like nothing. It doesn’t feel like freedom.
I used to think detaching from needing anyone and anything would make me free. But it was the opposite that set me free. It was the willingness to let go, to forgive, to take the sword by the handle instead of the blade, to admit what I wanted, to show people the real me – that is my freedom.
But sometimes I forget. Sometimes I don’t care about that freedom because it comes at a cost of being vulnerable, open to hurt, pain, fear. Fear itself is my trigger. Literally. Some people have scents, clothing, styles, places but mine is fear. When I feel scared or uneasy I am triggered into survival mode and begin operating from a place of trauma. I’m learning and growing through this and trying to widen the gap between the trigger and reminding myself I’m not a child and using my tools.
Sometimes it works and sometimes I’m already a month into trauma brain before I realize that I’ve been withdrawn and closed off and reacting. I’m no longer in control but I am controlled. In that space I become the person I am not, the walls, the armour, the separation, the pushing people away and pretending I don’t care.
Life will throw us curve balls, it will give us challenges we cannot begin to imagine and we cope, we survive, we build walls, we withdraw, we play it safe, we hide. But there’s no living there, there’s numbness and anger and frustration and existing but there is no living.
And I’m here to live.
The purpose of my life is to live fully in life and love and be an example to others of what’s possible when we decide to heal, when we let our walls down, when we let ourselves be ourselves by reclaiming all parts of ourselves.
To become who we are, we must stop defending who we pretended to be. We must let her go, knowing it will take time, it will happen in stages, she will come back to protect you from time to time, you will hide, you will run, you will fall because you think it’s safer, that it’s easier not caring.
But that’s not true. That’s just the story you tell yourself. It’s not easier, not in the long run, not after 10, 20, 30 years living as someone you’re not, giving up on dreams, hopes, love because someone hurt you somewhere along the way…
We all become someone we’re not, we wear masks and persona’s that aren’t really us.. We hide the real us. But she’s watching… from the distance… and she’s tired of living that way… she’s tired of watching and not fully living. She’s tired of existing. She’s ready to live, fully, even if that means being open to being hurt, if it means not being cool or knowing what to say or do in any situation, even if it means letting die what must die – like the persona, the disdain, the aloofness, the patterns, the habits, the behaviours, the people, places and things that no longer serve you.
What you created as someone else isn’t real. And to rise you must be willing to let it all fall and see what remains, what can handle the real you and what is right for you. Let the rest go…
In order to have what you want, you must be who you are and in order to be who you are, you must let go of who you are not and unbecome all that isn’t authentically you. Your wild soul is calling to be released, freed. Will you let her lead?