Self-Made Me

When I look at my sister, at the way she behaves, the way she does things, the way she talks and her opinion, I recognize my parents. The way she cleans her house, the way she thinks about the corona crises, the way she talks to my grandma… a lot of how my sister is, I recognize from our parents. My sister’s behavior, her responses, everything she is, is influenced by the habits and thoughts of my parents. My sister is a great example of how parents can educate their children, how children can learn everything from their parents.

But then I look at myself. I have my mothers hands eyes and nose, my fathers toes and lips, I do look like their child. However, on the inside there seems to be no similarities, nothing in my behavior seem to match theirs. The way I cook, the way I talk, the way I think about the news, everything is completely different. Besides our looks, there is nothing from my parents reflected in me, nothing from what they have tried to teach me has made it to my adult life.

I am different

On the rare occasion that the four of us come together, the differences become painfully clear. Whenever my sister tells a story about her life and I comment on this story, the 3 of them will look at me like I’m crazy, they’ll tell me I’m wrong, mean even, and they will all share my sister’s opinion. However, when my sister comments on my stories, my parents will agree with her, telling me I have made a mistake. Every single time, my opinion or behavior is strange according to my family’s ideas.

Recently we sat around my parent’s dining table and my mother wanted to discuss what to do when my grandma would pass away. She already thought about it and according to her, there didn’t have to be a funeral. She said, that when my grandma would die, we would just cremate her, without any gathering and dump her and my grandpa’s ashes somewhere on a field.

3 vs 1

Strangely, my father and sister agreed, and this made me furious. A funeral is the last chance to say goodbye to someone, this last chance played a big part for me in saying goodbye to my grandpa, his funeral was the only time I allowed myself to cry, to grieve. I placed him in his coffin in the room, I burned candles for him, I spoke about what he meant for me and gave him flowers for the last time, all of this played a big part in the process of letting go of him.

Besides, my grandma has friends, sisters and other family members. My grandma has other people that care about her, other people that would want to say goodbye to her, other people that need to deal with their grieve. I told my family this, I told them that we can not just make this cruel decision, my grandma is allowed to have an opinion on this as well, I told my mother she was too selfish in this decision.

I told my family I wanted a funeral and I wanted to do something meaningful with my grandparent’s ashes (some of my grandpa’s ashes I carry around in a necklace every day), I told them to consider my grandparent’s wishes, to think about other people. However, I remained alone in my opinion. My parents and sister told me I was crazy and rude to not agree with my mother, I was the bad one, the weird one, the stranger that would just never agree with them.

Self-made

No matter what situation occurs, I am nothing like my family. I share nothing with them besides DNA, I didn’t learn from them. The person I am today, especially the good parts of me, are not created by my parents, they didn’t educate me on how to live my life. My grandpa did a little, some parts of me I recognize from him, but most of the person I am, is created by myself, I am the one that taught myself how to live, I am self-made.

Bad base

I left my parent’s house as early as possible, from when I was 17 I have had my own house and the years before I was mostly staying with other people, avoiding my parent’s as much as possible. These years before, the years with my family where dark and painful. When I think about our holidays together, I remember the places my father has beaten me, I remember the loneliness I felt, I remember how I was always counting the days until we would leave. I was always waiting for it to be over so I could go back to the people that did make me feel some safety.

When I try to think about the good memories of my childhood, I always remember the thing I did without my family. The nice memories are the ones I share with my grandparents, aunts and uncles or neighbors. I have no nice memories including my parents or my sister, those don’t exist.

My parents did not bring any positivity to my childhood, they created a bad start for me. Instead of teaching me how to live or help me with my struggles, they made everything harder for me, they covered my life in negativity and pain, and the only thing they taught me was that I should do things by myself. Even in the beginning of my life I had to fight for everything myself, I had to rely on myself for everything I needed, forced me to do everything alone.

Discovery

Usually, children find safety and love with their parent, while they discover the world, their parents are always there to help them, to teach them and to make them feel safe when things seems scary. I however, didn’t have this safe base, I didn’t have parents to provide me with the safety and love I needed, instead, I had to find a different place and fight for it. I have to figure out by myself when I needed love and where to find it. I had to figure out that what my parents told me wasn’t always true, that I wasn’t always truly wrong. I wasn’t always annoying, difficult or making mistakes like they told me, I was just different, a thing they couldn’t accept but didn’t make me necessarily bad.

I had to make my own decisions when it came to what is good and bad in life. I had to discover, try, fall and reflect all by myself to figure out what is good in this world and I learned at a very young age to be independent and open to new things. I discovered the world and what I like about it all my myself and this made me into the unique person I am today.

No trust

I notice often how I still don’t trust other people’s opinions about what’s good and what’s bad. When someone tells me to not do a certain things, I will always do it, to try fr myself if I really shouldn’t do it. The lack of love from my parents, the lack of them knowing what was good for me, still results in me being unable to trust anyone’s opinion on what is good (or bad) for me.

My parents also made it extremely hard (maybe even impossible) for me, to share things with other people. They made me loose my trust in compassion and help to come from sharing because of their constant rejection of my feelings and emotions. They have always made me feel alone, my parent’s hardness taught me to rely only on myself, that something like support from other people doesn’t exist, that I should be hard and deal with things on my own. My parents made me loose trust in other people completely and they have made everything a struggle.

I did great

I am fucked up, I have been isolated all my life, I don’t have any trust in other people, I can not deal with emotions, there are many things I do wrong and more than half of my life has been covered in darkness and pain,

But.

I am still here, I have a nice job, a wonderful home and now even the most loving boyfriend. I did great. I can, and should, be extremely proud of the person I made and the life I have created for myself. My parents fucked me up, but I did not allow them to fuck up my life. I fought for myself, I raised myself in the best way I could and I have created a result that deserves some proudness.

I made myself and off course there are mistakes, I was too you to know what was right and too much in pain to always do the right thing. But I did what I needed and could, to feel the brightness that would get me to the next day. I was able to fo through so much darkness, all by myself, and I have always found a way out, a way to give myself the life I deserve.

Blinded

Every day I put my standards too high, I beat myself up for little mistakes and I don’t allow weakness or fun. I am never good enough in my own opinion, but I am. I have come so far, I have been so strong and I went through so much that I deserve to be proud, proud of the self-made person I have created. I did well, and now it’s time to enjoy the life I have given myself, time to stop fighting, time to relax.

I believe that until now, I have always been fighting against the image of the worthless child my parents saw in me. I always wanted to be better, be the best even, to show my parents (as well as myself) that I am worthy of life and love, that I am allowed and that I am great. But I have taken this fight too far, I have put my standards higher and higher and this made me unable to see what I had already achieved. I always looked forward, focussed on getting even better, but I forgot to look back, look at how extremely well I did.

Letting go

The time has come to look back, look back on where I came from and what I’ve reached, all by myself. When I look back, I can see that it is time to stop fighting, I have reached my goals for a long time now and I should no longer try to prove anything. I have succeeded in life so far, I have dome an amazing job and I no longer have to be this hard. I no longer have to fight for my place, I have already earned it.

It is time to let go of the fight, let go of the urge to prove the world I belong here. I do belong, I have proven that I’m great. It is time for my next chapter, the next phase, in which I will learn how to love, trust and allow mistakes. It is time for me to truly start living while enjoying everything and everyone around me. I did great. I am great. And now I can relax.

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