I recently watched a TEDx Talk by Michele Barnwell called Scripting Your Own Reality. She asks the question “Whose story/life are you living? Is it the on you chose for yourself or the one someone else ‘cast’ you into?” I have been trying to answer that question.
I can name every time my life has been cast by someone. Some of those times I have unknowingly let it happen because I did not realize what was happening or because I chose to ignore the situation. Other times it has happened because I was just going with the flow. A negative nor positive outcome would have happened. These were just time that things were. The times when it has happened, and I have recognized it, I have become angry. As my anger has died down it has turned to apathy and I have let it go in order to save myself aggravation or because I did not want to rock the boat.
I have spent the better part of my life being told that I am not good enough for one reason or another. I came to the conclusion long ago that people are going to judge you no matter what. It might be something you have no control over like your skin colour or something you do have total control over, like buying 6 packages of cookies and a bottle of wine at the grocery store. You are not going to please everyone you come across, so you might as well be happy with who and what you are. Changing to fit into the world is just going to make you miserable because it means suppressing part of who you are.
I was not good enough for my mother because I was born the wrong gender.
I was not good enough for my grandmother because I did not have the same priorities as my cousin. My grandmother made a huge deal over how my cousin chose one pair of designer jeans that she washed every night for school the next day, and how she was proud of her for doing that. She implied that I should make the same decision because designer clothes help you fit in with the “right people”.
I was never good enough for my peers in school. I was bullied relentlessly because of family issues that I had no control over. That is a story in itself.
In high school I had a teacher that I was never good enough for. She let me know about it every chance she got, and she most certainly did not think I was smart enough or a good enough student to attend anything other than a community college.
Later I had friends who decided that because I was not like them, because I did not do things how they would, I was not a good enough parent. I had strangers tell me I was not a good enough parent because I did things differently. A number of these strangers came across as having a savior complex.
I would be lying if I said that my self-esteem came out of all of this okay. It did not. It also did not help matters any when my mother would tell me that my perception of reality was wrong, that I really did not experience the things that I did.
At some point I just stopped caring. I sat on the sidelines and let life happen to me. I am tired of being that person, and yet I find myself questioning if I am making the right decision in joining the world. Being an introvert and recluse has its selling points.
More recently I have been told by those who lack empathy that I am not good enough because I am chronically ill and disabled. I have also been told that I am just not good enough with no real reason given.
I am slowly learning to advocate for myself. I never had anyone advocate for me, not even my own parents. It is a learned skill and one that I was not taught. I have been called everything from unprofessional, and I really did not know that one had to be professional while participating in a hobby, to a bitch. Once again, I find my anger fading to apathy as I question why I am doing the things that I am doing. I am second guessing myself. I want to do these things but at the same time I am also willing to step away from them because it is just easier that way. How beaten down or tired do you have to be to give up something you want, something you enjoy, because of the assumptions of other people?
I have chosen my roll but find myself letting others script it, instead of scripting it myself. Michele Barnwell gave me a lot to think about in her 17-minute TEDx Talk. I have looked back on what has been written of my story, and now it is up to me to write the rest of it how I want it to be written.