I used to define myself by several things:
- Who my people were (this is Southern thing)
- My education
- My job
- Everything that happened to me (Hi , I'm Donis. I am a__________(fill in the blank with any of several things that applied depending on the venue where I was)
- Who I dated/was married to
- Who I birthed
Well, I came to the conclusion that those were all true & the majority were unhealthy for me. My people are my people but they are not me (I was, am, & will continue to be a very different person from any of my relations). I am blessed to be smart (it's genes & hard-work) & while, yes, I graduated from college in 3 yrs with a B.A. degree it is not all that I am or who I am in my Spirit. I have a very good job that I love, but it is not my real life. In the past I have always had very good, well-paying jobs, but those were what I did not who I was even though I used the labels of those jobs to define me to others so they would think I was worthy. My addictions & tragedies are the result of choices I made as I journeyed along. Again, not who I am even though they did shape an outcome. For many years (through 2 marriages & a few serious relationships) I allowed myself to be defined by the men I was with. For some reason (again I think it is a generational/cultural (Southern thing)) I defined who I was & my worth by men that I acquired. I acquired a few & I was very good at being a chameleon in each one. I use the word acquired because that is what I did. I saw them, I wanted them, & I got them. I am a good judge of people. I knew how to make them think they wanted me because I, in most cases, instinctively knew who they wanted & that was who I became. So I acquired them. I was who THEY thought I was. Maybe it was easier or maybe I just thought they wanted a better person than I thought I was. I am an actress & that comes in very handy in relationships because I just played a part. The guys I was with were the directors & I played the roles they gave me. There were a lot of roles & I changed my looks & personality to mirror each one. Then I am a Mom - that is an identity I will not explain, give up, or wish away. I chose to be a Mom. I planned to be a Mom. I made sure I was a Mom. I fought to be a Mom. I was not always a very good Mom. In fact, I failed miserably sometimes. Most of those times were because of the other roles I was playing. But I make no excuses for my mistakes. I made them. They are mine to own. But as Maya Angelou says "We do the best we can, & when we know better we do better".
Each of these personalities I put on eventually became too much to handle. After all even TV shows finally come to an end - they cannot just run on & on forever except in reruns (and believe me I have been in reruns many years). As Me, the true authentic Me, started to fight to come out & began to show up I heard "You've changed" "This isn't you". Well, no I really didn't change I was just hidden & yes, this is me. When you have played a long-running part people don't want to see the real you. They don't know the real you. So, I would just pack up & run. Running has always been easy for me. I am comfortable in "Fight or Flight" mode. I hate confrontation & arguing (even thought I have done it quite a bit in the past). Running is easier because it requires no explanation. One minute you are there & the next you are gone.
No more will I run, literally or figuratively. No more will I play a role. No more will I choose to be someone I am not. I will be authentic, I will be true to me. I have slipped into old patterns because they are comfortable & because I do not have to admit to my illness if I am someone else. I sometimes joke that I was raised by crazy people & it is a wonder I am as sane as I am. Well, I am not all that sane sometimes. Too many head injuries, traumas, & tragedies I think. But I am going to be sane. I am going to put it all to rest this time. I am going to take meds if I need. I am going to be healthy not just in body but in Spirit, Mind, & Emotions. Fasten your seatbelts, I think it is gonna be a bumpy ride.