Identity

Man, I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted. This was my last week of break, but I was busier this week than I have been all summer! Two baseball games, one game night with friends, two sessions with A, planning meeting with my new partner, one follow up with the pdoc, Bon Voyage dinner for a family friend going off to college, paperwork intake and orientation for work and an additional 3-4 hours getting things set up at work before Monday. Sufficed to say, I didn't actually get much rest this week!

My moods have been very stable lately, which is helping me feel more confident about starting work again on Monday. I can't remember the last time I felt anything bordering on depression, which is so nice. My sleeping is still a little haywire, but I know once I put in an 8 hour work day for the first time in months that'll be easily solved. I'm nervous about going back Monday, but the closer it gets the more excitement starts to creep in.

A and I have been discussing identity a lot lately. Mainly how I allow myself to retreat when in the company of my family and conform to their ideals, opinions, expectations, etc. then let it affect my state of mind when I am away from them. I am a very different person at work, for instance, than I am with my family. Life for me is far less scary and confusing when I am connected to who I am away from my family. It is often why I grapple with guilt because I know this, yet I still feel that desire to connect with them. A calls it hard-wiring. We are hard-wired to rely on our parents and family to teach us, and therefore create an almost unbreakable bond regardless of situation. For instance, your dad beats the crap out of you, yet you still want and hope for that connection, however dysfunctional it may be. Although my situation is much different, the feelings are the same.

So what do I do with this? It's a very complicated dance between denial, loneliness, resentment and strength. Instead of pushing them away or pretending nothing is wrong (both of which I have done plenty of), I need to start letting little pieces of me return when I am in their presence. I don't have to act differently or even draw attention to the fact that anything has changed. This battle will be fought within me. I have to remind myself who I really am. What I believe about myself, not what others tell me should be true. Easier said than done, but as I'm learning more about myself and my strength, I'm finding it to be a little less daunting every day.

8 comments:

Paula said...
August 15, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Lily, I dont find the words to say how glad Iam for you not feeling depressed, for feeling stable and positive.
Your awareness speaks for itself and when u can deal with very slowly showing bits and peices at family gathering - that is fine. Not sure hwat should be wrong with this. it is ok. We didnt develop our pattern over night, they wont move away over night. That is ok. Dont u think so?
You do fabulous and you seem to have resilence. more than ever. You go girl!
BUT when I read what you have doen last week - wow, I am tried by just reading it.

Grace said...
August 15, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Hey Lily, I'm glad to *see* you. I missed you last week and wondered how you were doing. I'm glad that you're doing better! I sure can't comment on the family stuff for sure... but it sounds like you and A are doing some good work together...difficult, but good.
~ Grace

Angela said...
August 15, 2010 at 4:19 PM

How wonderful that you have had such a fun and busy week. I know that staying busy and not isolating is such a mood booster. Sounds like therapy has been productive as well. I know that I do many of the same things with my family. I tend to regress and allow myself to be bullied instead of standing up for what I believe in. I like how you say that the battle must be fought within you. Take care and I hope this week is just as happy for you!

Just Be Real said...
August 15, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Glad to have you back dear!

Glad that your mood is more stable and that you will be heading back to full days of work. That will help with the satisfying part.

A and you are working good together. And in time, praying your family situation will improve.

Will be thinking of you as you go back to work tomorrow. Blessings and safe hugs, JBR

Colleen said...
August 16, 2010 at 7:58 PM

I really hear what you are saying here. I am like that with my father sometimes. Still wanting that connection but knowing it will never be what I want.
Will pray for you as you return to work.

Harriet said...
August 17, 2010 at 6:49 AM

Busy can be good! Glad you are feeling more stable, that's a great thing. And it's also good that you recognize who you really are and what you believe about yourself, and you don't depend on others for your identity. That's a huge step.

Just Be Real said...
August 18, 2010 at 5:36 AM

((((Lily))))
Thinking about you.

sarah said...
August 19, 2010 at 8:02 PM

I love that last line...finding it a little less daunting every day. It gets easier...better...and we never know what's around the corner.
When I lived on the street....I could never imagine I would be where I am now. hang tight...it really does get better.