Maybe it’s an ‘aging’ thing now that I am 60 that such a thought as I just had would enter my mind. “I hate writing so much about myself. I sound so self-centered! But the truth is that I always hope something I write will mean exactly the same thing — and a good thing at that — after I am dead and gone.”
Dead and gone. Yet have I yet truly lived? Have I spent my entire adulthood trying to ‘be something’ or to ‘be someone’ in somebody else’s eyes (including, perhaps strangely, even in my own eyes)?
Do I have a clue who I really am? How can I be 60 and not? Is such a thing possible, that I could walk around on this earth for my lifetime, sleeping in between, and NOT know who I am?
Because early relationship trauma so changed the way I formed during my most formative first 18 years of life (especially 0-2), I truthfully just barely know what a human being is. I will never have the ‘inside scoop’ on being a social member of my social species. I am more closely autistic in my right-social-emotional brain regarding ‘all things social’ than I am to ordinary-normal.
So if I simply objectively include myself inside the circle of ‘human’ I could see my overall disadvantages looming over me. I have far more reasons NOT to know who I am than the other way around.
But I am also thinking about getting stopped on the road in this little town a week ago for ‘sliding’ through a stop sign I consciously THOUGHT I had stopped at — good enough! Only a deputy was parked right in front of me on the roadside. I saw him. So I made EXTRA sure I ALMOST stopped!
I am thinking about that now. What if I have to COMPLETELY STOP ‘trying’ to be myself before I can begin to know who I truly am?
Completely stopped, like I need to do as I slide around this nearly-always-empty-road town I live in. Completely stop. What might that mean?
Can I erase from my consideration all thoughts about what I SHOULD be in other people’s eyes? My severely mentally ill abusive Borderline mother kept her eye on me as much as she could my entire childhood. I suppose I instinctively KNEW I was ‘in her eye’. (When I got into high school she forced me to sit in the center of the back car seat so she could train her rear view mirror directly on my face — she would stare at me, hate-glare at me — turn her evil eye on me any time she wanted while she was driving. SPOOKY — and I could not escape!)
In part I am thinking all of this because of my living alone and preferring my life that way. Really, I can’t imagine my life with someone else in MY home! I don’t enjoy running around looking for a society-fix, either. I have a few good friends — but the hardest lesson I am learning is that they love me for who I am — even though I really have very little clue WHO that ME is — let alone why they would value me in their lives.
I think this has everything to do with my not having the ability to trust humans. So I try to practice FAITH in people, instead. Faith, to me, is about believing when I have no actual proof – although I work to recognize the proof people give me that they care. It is all a very long story, and is all about how severe abuse created an insecure attachment body-brain for me from birth.
But these trauma changes to my physical development are about HOW I am in my body in the world — NOT about WHO I am.
So I thought, “Maybe part of my need to be alone is about the stopping thing. Stopping being ‘somebody’ in other people’s eyes. Maybe if I can completely stop the ways I have always related to myself — as I TRY to be myself — I will actually come to know who I ACTUALLY am!”
Yet I also know that ‘derealization’ and ‘depersonalization’ are aspects of dissociation — a big part of how my body operates in the world as a result of being formed in trauma. These states of being are related to being robbed of the FEELING state of FEELING one’s self alive in one’s own body in one’s own life. It’s all mostly a mystery to me……………………