“I’m tired.” she said.
Tired of taking the blame, making excuses and following the rules.
I used to have dreams, hopes and a very clear vision of how my life would play out. I wanted a career, a family, vacations and friends. I wanted to be happy, secure in myself and feel safe. I wanted all of that.
Somehow, I find myself trying to live up to someone else’s standards. Someone else is calling the shots, making the rules and creating the expectations and try as I may, I am losing myself in this process. I used to have the ability to make decisions. I had a choice, I had a voice.
Now, all of that is gone. You took away my power, you hushed my voice. You said no one would listen to me. You said I was wrong. You said it was my fault. You told me I am weak. You made me feel stupid. You took away my friends and shunned my family. I am alone with you now, and I am afraid.
I am afraid for my safety, maybe not physically, because you have never laid a hand on me. But I am afraid of hurting myself because I am unable to live up to your standards. I am afraid of the world around me, because you said I wasn’t strong enough to handle it.
My life was not supposed to be like this. How did I get here? How do I get out? I am in a dark hole. I cannot see the sun.
I look at this huge scary world around me and I see people laughing. How can you just laugh without someone telling you the joke was funny? Aren’t you afraid your laugh is too loud? What did you have to do to get permission to be with friends? I’ll bet you’ll be in trouble when you get home.
Hanging out with friends is a distant memory, but it is a fond memory. If I allow myself (in the quiet moments while you are gone), I remember laughing. I remember not having to worry about what time I got home. I remember choosing who I spent time with. If I really work at it, I can remember.
It is these memories that get me through. It is these quiet times, when you are gone, that I am free to remember, free to feel, free to just be. I know I can’t spend too much time in my memories, and I know I can never share them with you. It is a sacred place in my heart and in my mind that keeps me going. There is a voice in these memories that speaks to me.
This voice tells me I am strong. I am smart. I am tough. I can be more. I can want more. This voice tells me I belong in a sidewalk café enjoying a coffee with friends. This voice gets a little bit louder each time I visit my memories. I am so torn. Torn between who I thought I was, and who you say I am. There is something missing. A piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit.
I know you are stronger and wiser than I am, but I just have a feeling. A feeling that it doesn’t have to be this way. Other people look so happy and free. I think I want to try that. I want to experience joy (is that even a word, I’m not sure). I want to feel the sunshine on my face and drink coffee with friends. I used to be quite smart, I wonder if I still am? In my memories I dreamed of living by the water, playing on the beach and I think I felt important. What if there is truth in my memories?
You are so brave going out into the world everyday to earn a living for us. I could never do that. You said the world would just eat me up. You said I’m not strong enough or wise enough to venture out there. You said that I am grateful that you are willing to do this for me. Am I grateful? I’m sure I must be, but this doesn’t feel like gratitude. This feels like obligation. I think I want to try. I think I am going to try. I think I can.
The voice in my memories is growing louder. It is telling me that I am tired. I am tired of being at fault, taking the blame and making excuses. I am tired of living by your rules. I am tired of trying to be the person you expect me to be. I am tired of not being me. That’s it!! Right there, with you, I am not ME!!
I am going to be me! I am strong. Strong enough to venture into the world. I am smart. Smart enough to know there is more to life. I am tough. I am tough enough to break though all the pain, the heartache, the disappointment and find a way to be ME!
“I am tired,” she said, “tired of you.”
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