For a lot of my life I just didn’t want to stand out. I wanted to blend in with the scenery. I thought that if I stood out, you were going to notice what a piece of crap I really was, that you would know I wasn’t worthy, wasn’t good enough, didn’t belong. I went through most of my life hiding in plain sight. Now that might seem strange based on the profession I chose. But I used that to hide. It was a place where I could hide behind the characters I played, something I think many of us do, even if we are not actors by trade. We learn to play a role, or adapt to what we think you want to see, so that questions won’t be asked and we can slide through life, never making enough waves to stand out from the crowd. When people are looking for someone to single out, we are trying to camouflage ourselves into the crowd so that we’re forgotten. There are those of us also who put so much time crafting a persona that is more acceptable in our eyes that we hope that the real us is forgotten and we can continue operating under the alias we created.
For me it was two-fold, and in-part what fueled my inner-struggle and torture. I didn’t want to stand out, I wanted to be forgotten, but I also wanted to be liked and wanted the person I had created to stand out and be acknowledged. Therein lies the insanity. An insanity there was just no winning from, regardless of the outcome. It wasn’t until I put a stop to the lies, the characters I would play, and the behavior I had been participating in that I was able to finally investigate who I really was. I had been playing so many different people, for so long, I didn’t actually know anymore.
When my mental illness had taken over, and my disease was the only voice I heard, I felt like I was fading away in the background. I felt like life was going on around me, but was leaving me behind. I never felt like I was moving forward, I always felt like I was running away from the darkness that was chasing me. And when it caught up to me, it would pull me back. I certainly didn’t want anyone to see that, so hiding became my way to conceal that part of myself from you, from anyone who might judge it, might not understand it, or might hurt me because of it. My disease told me I should be forgotten, that I wasn’t worth remembering, and that if I was gone, no one would even notice.
When I finally found the courage to tell a trusted friend what I was doing, I changed that course. I let some light in, and I let the masks fall away, for the first time, ever in my life, to reveal who was really there. And who I was was broken, lost, empty, and afraid. I let her out. I shared her with the people in my life and I sought help to put the pieces together again. No one judged me, no one hurt me, no one said anything but words of encouragement, of hope, of love. And as scary as it was to stand there, vulnerable, in that moment, for probably the first time, I was me. No games. No pretending. Nothing but me in that moment. And it felt good. Pretending was a lot of work. Pretending meant I was constantly in fear of being found out as a fraud because I wasn’t being true to myself. Pretending kept me sick. And I was getting sicker.
It took a lot of work to get to a place of self-love, to a place where I no longer feel the need to wear a mask and hide, where I no longer want to be forgotten, but I made it there. Today I know that whatever my best self is in each moment is enough. If I fall, make a mistake, I can repair it, get up, try again, as long as I am being true to myself. Instead of wanting to be forgotten, I want to be of service. I want to help. Share who I am. My story. And I never worry what the reaction will be, because it’s my truth, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I own my story, I own my truth, and I know that when I walk in that place I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That’s what I now want to be remembered for. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: In your day-to-day life, do you try to stay hidden, or hide behind a persona you’ve created? Why do you do this? What is it about yourself that you don’t think is acceptable? Why do you think this? Is this something you feel to be true, or is this something you have been told? Is this something that is in your current life, or something from your past? Why do you believe this? What do you know to be true about yourself? Write out the good. Write out the good. Look at both. In the bad list, write out how this is true in your life today. Write out if it is a story from your past, that either you told yourself or someone else. Look at the good list. What else can you add? That is who you are. We all have things we struggle with, or may not be proud of, but today we can choose to be our best selves and leave those things behind as part of our past. We can learn from them, use them as reminders of where we don’t want to be. Focus on the good and more good will come. You don’t deserve to be forgotten, be you, your true you, that is who we’ll remember.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you
6 thoughts on “Wanting To Be Forgotten”
I’m so grateful to you, and your friend, that you’re still here. You’re brave. Astonishingly so, and I’ve been learning so much from you about myself.
Thank you for everything you do, Carrie. I have tons of love for you.
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Grateful for you as well. You also inspire me with your honesty and growth. Thank you for always sharing your heart with me, and everyone here. #SlayOn
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“When my mental illness had taken over, and my disease was the only voice I heard, I felt like I was fading away in the background. I felt like life was going on around me, but was leaving me behind. I never felt like I was moving forward, I always felt like I was running away from the darkness that was chasing me. And when it caught up to me, it would pull me back. I certainly didn’t want anyone to see that, so hiding became my way to conceal that part of myself from you, from anyone who might judge it, might not understand it, or might hurt me because of it. My disease told me I should be forgotten, that I wasn’t worth remembering, and that if I was gone, no one would even notice.”
This is making me cry. I am feeling this so hard today. I just revisited some things the void inside my head whispered because someone I thought would never in a million years just recently reached out to me. They never sent a message but made their presence rather clear in a friend request. It’s shaking me to the core.
“Pretending was a lot of work. Pretending meant I was constantly in fear of being found out as a fraud because I wasn’t being true to myself. Pretending kept me sick. And I was getting sicker.”
I’m really good at pretend.
“Share who I am. My story. And I never worry what the reaction will be, because it’s my truth, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I own my story, I own my truth, and I know that when I walk in that place I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”
I’m afraid to let my story out because it will hurt so many people I deeply care about. I don’t want to hurt them by telling them truths about my story as they may feel like it doesn’t align with their story. Our storeis are subjective to the perception glasses we have on. I’m just afraid, a lot of the people in my life will disappear because of my story and I am so afraid of that. I don’t know how to cope right now.
As usual Carrie, thank you for your blog posts. I will keep slaying and get through this thing.
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I struggled with this at the beginning of my journey, and worked with someone to find the right answers. Ultimately for me what was important was to share my truth, but not at the expense of others. There were things, with certain people, where I had to share more of what I felt and how that affected me, more than the details of the events themselves because it would have hurt the other individuals involved. I have a situation today that has come to light, about my past, but have chosen to deal with it on my side, with the help of therapy, rather than share it with a few people who also know the individual involved. My decision to not share it with them came down to this, it wouldn’t be helping them at all to know this information, they already know this person isn’t a good person, and it will only hurt them to find out what this person did to me, nothing good would come out of me telling them. So, it’s my responsibility to work through it and find some closure.
It is important to be honest about who we are and where we’ve come from, but we also have to take into consideration who we’re sharing with and where we’re doing that. If it’s totally self-motivated, or meant to shock, or to gain sympathy, that’s not a good reason to share, but if it’s meant to heal, find closure, possibly shed some light on past events, then yes, it is OK, but always with compassion, sometimes people aren’t ready, or want to hear the truth.
We all do have our own perceptions, but we know what the truth is for us, and if we don’t, we can do the work to find out the truth from fiction. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the facts are the facts, and if keeping yours hidden is stopping you from growing, from getting better, or is keeping you sick, you need to share them.
I would definitely suggest talking with a counselor, therapist, pastor, priest, etc, someone you trust, who may help you sort out how to best share, I certainly didn’t do it alone, and was grateful for the guidance because in the end, it wasn’t always easy for people to hear, but a lot of good came from it over time.
SLAY on N!
Thanks Carrie, I have been sharing things with a therapist I have started seeing once a month. It has helped quite a bit and so do your blogs. I’m so glad I have had your blogs; they have been essential to my healing. ❤
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I’m so glad, we all walk this journey together, we may be at different parts of the path, but we don’t walk it alone, we all have things that can help one another. Happy to have you walking with me on mine. SLAY on!