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Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Will Not Be Erased

You think you know me, but you don’t.  

You have no idea who I am – what makes me happy, sad, furious, what makes me tick, what makes me, me. You think you do, but you don’t. 

You used to tell me “I know you better than you know yourself.” How dare you? I can’t think of a more arrogant, presumptuous thing to say to someone. You only ever saw the parts of me I let you see. I learned early on that it wasn’t safe to let you see all of me, the true me. That you were not someone I could trust with myself or be vulnerable around. I learned a long time ago that who I really was would never be acceptable to you. So I hid. And those times I couldn’t hide, I was punished by you, confirming that my instinct was correct and you were not safe.

That girl you think you know doesn’t exist and never did. You made her up and did your best to cram me, the real me, into the mold you made for her. You did your best to create a role that I was to fulfill, and I tried, oh how I tried, even until recently, just to be accepted. I was only ever accepted if I played the role well. Maybe this is why you have to erase me, because I quit playing your role. 

You think you own the narrative of my childhood, my life. My story told by you is very different than how I tell it, how I lived it. And when I have tried to express this, I am dismissed, what I have experienced is denied, and everything that has made me *me* is erased by you. Like a magic spell, you speak the words “What are you talking about? That never happened!” and gone is another part of my story, another piece to the puzzle that could tell me who I am and why.

But I am done accepting your narrative of my life. You do not get to control it any longer.
These memories are mine, my life story. They have made me who I am. They embody my childhood, my development into a fully functional human being, spirit, soul, and body. They have influenced my choices in life, including my career choice, my parenting choices, my aversions and desires, who I love and who I hate, what I believe and what I doubt. I am paying today for the consequences of those events you say never happened. I am who I am because of my story then and now. You cannot take that away from me because you don’t like the parts you played. You cannot paint over the dark ugly parts with pastels and rainbows. You do not get to define my identity, and as much as you try to do so, you cannot erase me in favor of a girl that never existed.

I will not be erased.