Being true to who we are, being who we are, may be difficult if we are concerned that our true selves will disappoint another person. In the past, I spent quite a bit of time weaving tales so that those around me wouldn’t see who I truly was, and be disappointed.
We know what is expected of us from a young age, or at least a certain amount of us do. We know the basics, the “norms” of our family and culture. We, to a degree, know what our parents expect from us, even perhaps those things they won’t readily admit to expecting. Behaviors and events and reactions paint a picture, and often it is all too clear just what that parent expects.
And as our world moves away from our nuclear unit, perhaps even our culture, we begin to see what “society” expects, what relationships expect, what our boss, our roommate, our out-of-town boyfriends expect.
I learned early into my venture, that what I wanted was simply not possible. The life I wanted to lead, not possible, living with out-of-control bipolar disorder. And I did a lot of crazy things, made a lot of bad decisions, but always told a lie that did not coincide with who I was at the core to spare the disappointment of people I loved.
Not, that is to say, that they didn’t see right through me. Here we are over ten years later, and sometimes, when I start to get sick, I start telling those lies again, or I stay silent. And often, when I am just in a space of feeling bad, which can last for days or can be intermittent throughout the day like a dying lightbulb, I am likely to gloss it over and not talk about what is bothering me. “I’m fine!”
I tell fewer lies about the real truth of myself now, than I ever have. I think I’m becoming more comfortable with me, but I think also, that I am beginning to learn that I can’t compromise who I am for the comfort of someone I care about. I may disappoint, I may hurt, but I am me.