Thursday, August 6, 2009

Being Different

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

I always wanted to be like everyone else. I didn't want to be different. But I felt different. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. I think child abuse does that. It changes who you are. It changes how you move in the world and it changes how you think about yourself.

When God touched me, I started watching and copying others - how they talked, how they lived and what they did. I got really good at doing that, but then I began feeling like I wasn't real - that I wasn't being me.

My daughters are different from each other. My oldest is a tree hugger. She cares about the earth, recycles everything and sees the good in everyone. She's cautious when trying new things, but once she decides on something, she's in with both feet. My younger one is always up for adventure. She's daring, spontaneous, laughes from her toes up and always knows what she wants. She's a definite leader. I love their differences. It makes life interesting and exciting.

When I had my youngest, I asked my oldest if she was jealous of the baby. In her five year old wisdom, she said, "she is the best she is and I am the best I am." That kid is totally smart. And right on. I learned something about me from her that day. I don't need to copy anyone else. I need to learn to simply be me.

That's been really hard though. I had spent most of my time trying to figure out what the abusers thought, what they wanted and how they felt. I had became so in tune to their moods and needs - working really hard to keep them happy and calm and to not go crazy. I didn't exist. There was no me. I became what they needed.

I don't want to be someone else anymore. I want to be me, even if it means being different.


Rhonda said...

I agree with you 100%! I have always felt like I was trying to please everyone else around me as well. I want to be ME....the challenge is finding out who that really is. I'm glad I'm not the only one out there that feels this way. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post! {{{HUGS}}}

Just Be Real said...

This is all too familiar to me. I am on my journey to become the real me! Thanks Sarah for sharing! Blessings dear one.

Charlotte said...

I think wanting to be like everybody else and to feel accepted is a problem every one has. I was never abused but when I was growing up - at least after I got to high school, I had a feeling of inferiority because the house we lived in and the car we drove were not nearly as nice as everyone else I knew. I was shy and although when I was with my family I was smart, witty and always had something to say, when I was around other kids at school, I couldn't think of a thing to say that I thought anyone would want to hear. I remember my mother telling me to just be myself but I felt like "myself" was a very boring person. I wanted to be like other popular self-confident girls and I just wasn't. Growing up is hard. When I got to be about 40 I had changed so much and had so much more confidence than I did when I was in high school that I wished I could go back and do it again and be the "new me". I know I would have enjoyed it so much more but life doesn't work that way, We all have obstacles we need to overcome.
Enough of this rambling. I'm glad you're getting on with your life and helping others by posting stories such as this one.

Andrea said...

Great post! It has taken me more years than I can count to become comfortable in my own skin and some days it is still a struggle. I praise GOD for the progress HE has done in me, thus far!

Denise said...

Such a wonderful post, just be yourself.

Terri Tiffany said...

I think that is exactly what you are doing:) You are stretching out there and becoming the person God intended for you to be.

Finally Free said...

Hi Sarah,

I love this post. The quote is adorable and the picture is great. I have been trying to walk this one out. I have found that people either accept and love me for me or they can't figure me out and sometimes reject me. The rejection part is still hard. I believe the cost to fit in is just not a price I am willing to pay anymore. It is definitely a process that God is helping me with.

Gin said...

Isn't to wonderful to learn what your five year-old already knew? I spent so many years trying to change for everyone else that I forgot who I was. I am still on the journey to rediscover me and I am loving it! Beautiful post.

Epiphany said...

Every story about your daughters just amazes me.

And I have to say I LOVE the quote and especially the picture you uses. *giggle*

Lisa Marie said...

The story of your daughters is the exact thing my mom would say of me and my sister. Crazy how two that grow up in the same family can be so completely different!

As for being yourself, you never go the chance to do that because you did what you had to in order to survive. I can connect with that all too well, and I too am getting sick of pretending to be someone I'm not. You are strong enough to be who you really are, regardless of whether it is what people want you to be. Be different!

Madison said...

Great post. This is not only for those abused as children. It's exactly for me, living with two daughters who changed me into someone that I didn't recognize. It's for all of us really. Thank you.

Debbie Thorkildsen said...

You are different from everyone else; that's exactly why I like you so much. I want you to be different from everyone else. You are the best you and the best friend you can be. I really care about you. Dare to be different. Dare to be you.

Truth4thejourney said...

This is a powerful blog. It is so wonderful to see people being able to connect like this for encouragement and opportunities to love.

I'm glad I stopped by.

Sonya lee