As I face my struggles alone and in public view, I hear a lot of comments that tells me the people around me do not understand what I am experiencing. There are many who try, or at least they know they have a vague idea and they try to be sympathetic without understanding. I can’t say that I myself really understand it all, but I see a great injustice taking place in the minds of others when they look at me.
“What happened to you?!” It wasn’t the first time she had asked me that, and though I was aware of the drastic change between the woman I am now and the near-child she knew then, it pained me to hear it. Just as it pains me to hear people tell me I just need more confidence.
Confidence isn’t what I’m lacking. Do you have any idea how much confidence it takes to stand up against established procedures of “mental health therapy”? I have a great deal of confidence in my ability to observe my own behaviors and needs with the input of the people nearest me. I have a well tuned mind that, for many years, used those same skills to help the children I worked with, and as an intelligent being, I see no reason why these same methods would not work on me. I realize that isolating my input would be as detrimental as not attending these issues at all, so while I actively seek out the observations of my loved ones, I am still able to maintain personal control over this experiment which is mylife and well-being. I’m afraid I find it hard to see this in balance with the idea that I have a lack of confidence.
Maybe it has more to do with my discomfort in public. The distress I experience when I go out has more to do with being able to maintain what I feel is a proper positive attitude. This is my personalproper attitude, not necessarily one that everyone is asked to maintain, but I feel that it is a calling as much as my need to help the children. I have made no secret of my opinion that people in general are selfish which often causes them to be unkind to strangers. I also will be the first to rejoice when a stranger accosts me with some random act of kindness that they may not even know the significance of. I very much dislike people, but individuals fill me with love. It takes a lot of work to maintain that attitude with flushing everything positive. Watch the news, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
In spite of my absolute Faith that the crowd will let me down, I will put myself out there if there’s even the smallest indication that I can serve someone. I can do this because I have confidence in my calling and in the skills and talents that I associate with that. The problem does not come within me, the solution does. Does that sound like a lack of confidence?
I think I understand the problem though and it causes me more fear than returning to a state of confinement; pre-conceived ideas. Specifically those that that thought the me of these past years has been “normal” or even healthy. When any kind of emotional upset occurs, humans express a desire to “go back to the way it was”, the problem is, the way it was was unacceptable. I’m sorry if I spent my abusive childhood learning how to fake an extroverted attitude so no one knew what was really going on. My mistake was in learning to believe the lie as well. As a young child I was ridiculously shy. Most people who know me know would find that hard to believe. Probably because they associate someone who is shy or introverted with someone who lacks confidence. I have always been an observer. I like to watch and listen and analyze the things I have witnessed to produce my own ideas. The things that I witnessed as a child directly influenced my line of study and my spiritual beliefs. My past behavior may not have been considered “normal” for a child, but it had excellent results.
So now I look at the truth of my self; not just what I am now, but what I intend to be and what has been natural to me state of being. I know I will be a person of great and gentle faith, who shares the light of this existence through grace and tolerance to others, both beloved and strangers. I will share hope where there is none to be had, and compassion where tears must fall. I will spread the glory of the Creator with the created, and the unbounded possibilities, even to those who have no heart to believe. I will be unfaltering in my desire to serve, even in my human imperfection. I do not understand much of anything, but what I understand I will share.
You don’t have to understand or even agree with me. All I ask is that you accept. Accept that I have a way that is different from yours, but that does not make it “wrong” or “evil”. Accept that I will never again be what I once was, and like me I would hope that you can be glad for it. Accept that each day I strike out on a new journey and, though I would ask you to walk with me, I know not everyone can. Just stop throwing those stones.