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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. 

9 comments:

  1. Are you writing for me now? I identify so very strongly.

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  2. This very thing is what my therapist began to uncover last summer. I quit going before it became too painful.

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  3. Wow. It's as though I wrote this blog post. You wrote exactly what I feel, but could not have stated as well as you did. Wow, wow, wow.

    I'm wondering how my Mom would react if I showed her this... She always says she wants me to explain to her how I am feeling, but I don't trust her with my emotions after getting in trouble for expressing them so many times as a child... Maybe reading this would give her a window in to my soul.... Or not. lol

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  4. Darcy, I can so relate to your article. If my husband and parents were still alive, this is what I would like to tell them.

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  5. thank you for putting into words what i have so fearfully and quietly tried saying out loud.

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  6. I learned the hard way to never, ever, ever express my thoughts, feelings, and fluid beliefs to anyone in my family. While they pretended to listen and understand, they were actually judging me. The things I said were either stockpiled to be used against me later, or gossiped about to other family, who would either "pray for me" or treat me as an outcast going to hell. I was accepted so long as I conformed to their idea of whom their "perfect" Christian daughter ought to be. Any deviations, disagreements, or arguments are viewed as "dishonor." This, and for other reasons, is how I have 2 beautiful children with whom my "parents" have contact with very rarely, only because I don't want my kids to resent me later in life, no longer have 3 sisters, multiple cousins whom I have in Facebook but they never have anything to do with me, and grandparents who have yet to meet my son or acknowledge the existence of my daughter.

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