Monday, June 11, 2018

The Other Me

Speaking now from the other side of depression, at least for the present, possibly forever.  I won't say that I'll never fall into the pit again.  But I will say that I feel I have more inner resources now to guide me through if that happens.

Realizing that the depression has been/was a thing in my life, a major blockage if you will, has enabled me to see it as an entity apart from who I really am inside.  An entity that was created, by me, in response to a lifetime of grief.

I have been aware of for a long time, albeit now far more keenly attuned to, the fact that there are two Connie's in this body of mine.  Were I never aware of this, it's easy for me to see that I probably would have drifted into psychosis, as did my predecessor. Instead, I've had this overly strict superego that judges everything I do or say and always has, that's rendered me neurotic.  Better neurotic than psychotic, I guess.

But maybe not.  You have no idea how often I've said to myself, "Ignorance is Bliss," implying that if I weren't aware of the inner workings of my psyche, life would have been so much easier.  I could have just been clueless in word and deed, and moved on.  Rather than inwardly excoriating myself for everything I say and do.

The me I feel is the real me is the adult inner child, that innate playful, spontaneous, spirited, loving person, who was metaphorically beaten out of me at about age five.  She's still inside, but buried very deeply.  If I have any life goals, one of them is to free her before I die.

The other me, the one I've taken out into the world to do my bidding, is the me who was made by my environment.  This me has gotten through life by reacting to everyone and everything, defending and protecting myself, pulling a lot of interpersonal shenanigans because I never learned how to play well with other people...basically doing whatever I had to do to scrape by.  Clearly, I always did the best I could at the time, given the circumstances and who I was.  But there's a lot back there in the past about who/how I was that saddens me deeply.  Regret would be the right word here.

I've been on somewhat of a mission over the last three or four years, to express that regret to people in my past who were negatively impacted by my words and/or behavior.  I've written letters, made phone calls, seen people, with no motive other than to apologize for being who I was at the time.  I'm still making verbal faux pas occasionally, and apologizing for them.  All the memes say to "never apologize for being yourself."  But the me I feel I need to apologize for is the me I can hardly relate to any more.

The other life goal, if I have them, is to bring the two me's into alignment.  So that who I present to the world is the soft, vulnerable, real, compassionate, loving person that I truly  am inside.  Instead of the other person I no longer want to be.

4 comments:

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

OMG...you have brought tears to my eyes. Are you writing about me? People have asked me for the last 46 years why I married my husband. My always first response is "He Makes Me Laugh". A glorious response but a sad one too. I hold back and am reserved. I always thought it is for other reasons. Now I'll go back and re-read this post to digest what you say. And to wonder why I thought I knew myself so well.

People search for and sometimes stumble on answers. This is a thoughtful sharing.
xx, Carol

Els said...

You're in a huge process Connie !
I think it also comes with our age, that you look back and regret things you did or was ... but isn't that just great ? that you realize? that you still can change (and amend) things ???
You're doing quite OKAY, I think :-)
(keep on going, girl !)

QG said...

Awesome insights and awareness! You're on a great journey that is here and now as well. I can relate to your wanting to free the self that is really you !

jenclair said...

Good for you, Connie. Life is a process, and I think most of us who are inclined to introspection are always looking to bring the best self forward. Age makes it easier to examine the past and the missteps. We are all works in progress, but only if we choose to be. Your choices are inspiring.