I have this problem lately. I mean, I always have one problem or another it seems, but this problem has become foremost in my mind. I don’t know who I am or who to be.
That is exactly how I expressed it to my therapist yesterday.
I don’t know who I am or who to be.
It isn’t difficult for me to understand that statement as normal, given my circumstances. I have PTSD, I am learning to cope with chronic pain, and I am looking constantly at the ways that my core beliefs have been shaped (or misshapen, perhaps) and the ways that my self was formed by others and not by my own desires. It makes sense that I would feel a bit lost, from a “psychological assessment” perspective.
But I am not a psychologist. I’m a person without an identity.
And please, no responses that say, “Christy, you are [inserted claim of a personality trait]!” I don’t need descriptors of how I do or have behaved. I need to find the core of myself. I need to find my base—the place from which my actions and traits emanate. And I need to find it on my own, to make certain it is mine.
I know that we are always influenced and none of us grows up in a vacuum. I know that what I stand upon and stand for is shaped by all the experiences of my life. I know that “no man is an island”. But I also know that growing up disconnecting from myself, and dissociating, and directing energy toward pleasing others rather than feeling my feelings truly, and developing this dichotomous and inauthentic self as a result has left me reeling, and experiencing a strange distance from who I want to be—the person whom I would choose if some of those influences hadn’t been forced upon me.
So, how does one go about finding oneself?
I have no freaking clue.
But that is the journey I’m embarking upon—the finding of the authentic Christy. I hope she is as amazing as I imagine she might be. I hope when I deconstruct the damaging and false core beliefs, that I appreciate the piece that is left. I hope that I feel less shattered and broken at the end of this trek into the unknown landscapes of myself. I hope I don’t get lost in a maze of crazy and never find my way back out.
Wish me luck. Offer me grace. Extend kindness and understanding. Because wherever this road leads, I know that it is going to be bumpy as fuck—and the Christy you thought you knew might not be the one that emerges on the other side.
Hold on. Here we go.
Into the wild.