In which I ponder…being me

 

new-day

I am in a counselling room with a new therapist. We’re doing that getting to know you thing – the part before you start telling them about your fucked up life.

‘So…tell me a bit about yourself’, he says.

I tell him all about me. I tell him about my job with the NHS, my children, my involvement with the local parent/teacher association. I tell him I am a wife, a mother, a daughter. I feel a little bit proud. I’m not bad really.

When I’m done, he sits in silence for a moment or two, his hands folded in his lap. Then he looks at me and says:

“Ok. You’ve told me quite a lot about what you do. Now tell me about who you are.”

And I realised I did not know. I had become the things I did, the roles I played in relation to everyone else. I didn’t know where I had gone.

*********************************************************************************************

A couple of days ago, a private message from a friend in the UK popped up on Facebook. She told me she had been thinking about the title of my blog and how it resonated with her.

My friend met her husband when she was 16. Like so many women, particularly of my generation, she was a daughter, segued seamlessly into being a wife then a mother and soon will be a grandmother.

‘It’s got me thinking’, she typed. ‘What would I be like if I ever got to be me?’

Good question.

And one I could well have been asking myself, if I hadn’t found myself compelled to be me in all its questionable glory.

The thing is though, that being on your own doesn’t necessarily mean you get to find out. You don’t just suddenly start being you – you have to learn how. And it turns out it’s hard. Much to my dismay, the real me wasn’t just hiding beneath the person I had become – the person who was too much of a reflection of other people, and not enough of a reflection of me.

The real me was properly lost, and in order to get to her, I first needed to circumnavigate the temporary version of me that developed post separation.

Unfortunately, this person wasn’t much fun.

This person fluctuated between being angry and determined and being helpless and hopeless. She was difficult to be around some of the time, but for all anyone who had to endure her wished I would just snap out of it, they could not have wished it more than me. I felt out of control and I wanted it to be over. Not life. Just the bit where I was sad and angry and hurt and….well – a bit boring.

When you start boring yourself, you know you are in trouble.

These days, I would say I’m closer to being me than I’ve ever been. And I am grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to find out who that is on my own, even if it hasn’t always been a comfortable journey for me – or the people around me.

So who am I?

Well – I’ve realised that who I am is mainly an issue for me. I need to know who I am, at my core, but I don’t need to describe it for others – so I’m not going to do that here. Other people decide for themselves who you are, because they see you and interpret you through the lens of their own experiences. People take you as they find you. What’s important is that I know who I am and am steadfast in that.

Besides I’m in my writing – you can find me there. And some people will judge me and others won’t.

As a wise man once said:

What other people think of you is none of your business…

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “In which I ponder…being me

  1. I can relate to much from this post. It was only when the things I did fell apart that I started to realize I lost myself and relied on those things to define me. I love reading posts like this because it tells me I’m not alone and that there are people out there willing to be honest about it. I have a huge fear of being judged, which stops me from being me, so I’m trying to get to that point where just being honest and being myself is god enough for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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