It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
My childhood was tough. I was raped every week for years by the man who was meant to be my father. As for my mother, she stood by and just let it happen. She turned her back on me, as did most of my family.
As a child I didn’t matter. My parents told me I was unwanted. I had no one to guide me or teach me about the big wide world. My parents instead created my insecurities and anxieties.
I longed to be wanted and loved. I longed for it so much that I began vying for my parent’s affection. Favours they would ask of me, such as babysitting or going to the shops, I would do eagerly; hoping that it would make them love me. I bought them gifts and wrote them letters. I just wanted them to want me but nothing changed. I was still raped. I was still hurt. I was still betrayed and told I was unwanted.
The vying for affection didn’t end with my parents. I began doing it with my Nan, then with my friends and their parents, longing for the affection I never received as a child. My parents, my abusers, made me believe that buying peoples love was the only way anyone would love me. Just being me and loving them wasn’t good enough.
The sad thing is that this trait has followed me into adulthood. As soon as someone begins to show me love and begins to care for me I immediately think that I have to buy their love.
All the insecurities from my childhood start flooding back; the pain of not being loved or wanted, the fear of being rejected, and the sadness of not having a family. Finally the hurt of knowing that I didn’t matter.
I stick to people I care about like glue. I know it frustrates them and I don’t mean to do it. I overcompensate; buying gifts or writing thankyou cards, even saying sorry over and over when I don’t need to. I am so scared I am going to lose people if I don’t say the right thing or act the right way. Sometimes I don’t even know I am doing it until someone points it out. Other times I am aware but panic that if I don’t behave in a certain way that I will lose those I care about.
It frustrates me. I am an adult now. I am not supposed to have stupid insecurities anymore! So why are they still here? Why am I so afraid to just be me? Plain old me. No overcompensating, instead trusting the people who say they love me.
Why? Because I didn’t matter. I have grown up believing I don’t matter. That I am worthless. Who can love me for me if my own parents didn’t?
I don’t mean to be the way I am; this insecure person with trust issues. Everyone tells me that I am strong but actually I am scared to death. I am scared that with one wrong move I will lose those I love, that they will leave me and that I won’t matter.
The insecurities and anxieties that my own parents created are with me every day but I don’t want them to be in control anymore.
Over the past few weeks, circumstances have made me realise that the people who love me do love me for me. They don’t want fancy gifts or favours; I don’t need to buy their love. They love me for me. These people won’t leave if I make a mistake but will instead teach me and help me learn from them.
It is funny how, after years of believing that I am worthless, I can meet someone who loves me like my mother should have done. In one moment this one person can change everything and begins teaching me more than my biological mother ever has. She helps me start to train my mind to see the good in people and begin to trust again. She understands my insecurities and anxieties and helps me to understand them too.
This person helps me see that I do matter, that I am wanted and I am loved. I don’t need to hide away anymore. I can be honest about what I want, what I need and what I feel.
She helps me to see that it is OK to grow up and to become who I really am. That I can accept me for me and others will do the same. That she has done the same.
I will not name her but she knows who she is. I am so thankful for this person. She has no reason to love me, no loyalty to me and she could walk away at any moment but she chooses to stay.
I have my flaws and I will frustrate you but with your guidance I can become amazing. If you will be patient with me, if you will love me and believe in me, if you will teach me and guide me, then I will shine and I will love you more in return.
Yes, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are but now is my time to grow and find out who I really am.
And yes, I am beginning again, creating a new family, but I am not ashamed. Now I get to build myself bigger and better than before because now I finally know that to all the people who say they love me I matter.
I really do matter.
Thanks for reading
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