Like many codependents and those with related types of questions/issues, I have constantly struggled with who I am from an existential crisis point of view. I have been in a covert state of existential crisis for the duration of most of my life, whether I knew it or not. To get my mind around the fact that this struggle has created different types of traumas that have morphed and shapeshifted throughout my life has been overwhelming and shocking. There is no simple fix. There is no single issue identification. Hell, I’d settle for a list of a dozen. Nonetheless, I realize that the longer I have lived with the flawed framework that has underpinned my adult life, the more complex the dismantling of that framework will become.
It’s pretty safe to say I’m maxed out at this level. /smile
My takeaway has been to go in the opposite direction and oversimplify. This means I can not and should not worry about all of tomorrow’s problems today. Selectivity and prioritization are the only tools I have to survive this experience. Sometimes I stink at it and sometimes I get it right. My hope is that there will be more wins than losses at some point. If I believe in myself then there will be but if I don’t stop the mania and focus, just “be”, I will be destroyed by it all.
There have been a few areas of my life where I’ve manifested the person I want to be and those have been the areas that have provided the most gratification and satisfaction. That’s not a coincidence but I have to recognize that growing up the way I did failed to provide a useable framework in some ways and it’s time to change that. Baby steps toward boundaries has helped me a great deal. One of these days I’m going to be really, really good at it. For now, eh, I’m taking the time to learn and setting aside the overachiever expectations I have for myself to be realistic and honest.
So who is it that I want to be? Just me. The parts of me that are the good mom and that have been the good wife (in a healthy sense). The parts of me that are an inspiring professor who changes peoples’ lives for the better because I believe in them and I’ll see them through whatever the encounter if they take up their part of the load. The musician who can simply get up in the morning and naturally do things that people study and practice to do for years, yet cannot match the intuitive musicianship and emotion that I put into my art. The professional who picks her battles and is well-respected. The friend who can be there for others as they have been there for her. The goofball that dances in the frozen foods aisle with her son. The sounding board for the occasionally angry teenager who needs to know I’m an unconditional supporter and his biggest fan.
I am She.