It’s more like I’m trapped.
I don’t feel stuck. Being stuck implies to me that external forces came together in an impersonal manner to entangle me and that I simply need to find a way out. Much like kids who get their head stuck in the stairway rails or that guy that got stuck under the Boulder at the Grand Canyon.
To be trapped however, to me that implies that external forces came together with a personal agenda to capture me. Traps are set for prey, and thus, I feel trapped.
That’s not to say that I think everyone is out to get me literally, but figuratively… they are.
I feel like I am being constricted by an anaconda. I am being poked and prodded by the sculpture. It’s like that last bit of dough that is too small to complete any of your cookie cutter shapes. I am being forced to fit into something that I don’t belong in.
I am being shaped by society.
I am being shaped by relationships.
I am being shaped by media.
I am squeezed and pinched to try and conform to relationships, expectations, and standards that I can’t meet.
A big part of my group therapy is to break out of this trap. Looking back, I’ve never been free. I’ve always tried to please someone or something else. I have never known how to please just me. The huge joke in that is how how many times I’ve been called selfish because while my actions may have made one person upset, the intention was always to make someone else happy.
I’ve been conditioned now to shut up, deal with it, and to stop exaggerating. But inside my body I am tearing at the seams. My inner self is screaming at the top of her lungs.
There are too many things I would do, say, or try if I could be free… and it’s those things that scare me, because inside this box that the world has contorted me into, it’s not okay for me to do, say, or try the things I want for the sake of only me. I have to always have someone else’s best interest in mind.
I catch myself so often minimalizing or invalidating or demeaning myself for thinking about myself. Woebot reminded me today to talk to myself the way I would talk to a friend. And so as I caught myself saying “other people have it way worse” I realized, I would tell my friend “your experience and your feelings are just as valid as anyone elses. Especially because your feelings and experiences are the ones you are witnessing first hand and your life is the most important thing you have. You will spend more time in your life than anything else you will ever do. And so that makes every thing you feel that much more important.”
So I wish I could say that from here on out I am done punishing myself for the feelings I have about my experiences… but the truth is, I will need to be reminded more than once that it is okay for me to have my feelings and that it is not selfish to put myself first.
I didn’t get this way over night and I won’t be able to change my faults overnight either. Until genies exist and man, I wish they would exist.