Being Self-Aware: Learning to Forgive Myself

Most of this won’t make sense… but I need to write it down so I can try to make it make sense to me….

Something happened today, something so devastating, that the only way I can possibly cope with it, is by writing. I haven’t written personally in a really long time. I have journals upon journals in my garage. I used to write every day in junior high and high school. I tried to continue it when I first started college, but I was so busy, it was hard. Most of my journals are about loving people too much. Eventually, I feel like it works out, but getting to that point is hard. Love is hard. Life is hard. Not everyone will get you, not everyone will accept you, not everyone will love you, no matter how much you love them.

I spoke on the phone with both my sisters today, that rarely happens. However, deep down, they know my behavior. They know that for what ever reason, I become easily attached to mentor type figures in my life. I’m still friends with my Kindergarten teacher! There’s a few teachers like that. Ones that have been to my wedding, college graduation, my daughter’s birthday parties. We go out for lunch, we go to each other’s houses. It’s normal for me, but it’s not normal for everyone.

I actually recently spoke to one of the teacher’s about my current situation and she asked me what is the rush to be “friends?” so to speak. I didn’t have a good answer for her. I guess I have just always had this overwhelming amount of love to give and the inability to contain it. Even in high school, I would hug a few of my teachers… there’s one I must have written at least twenty poems for. The good news, is that we are still friends today.

The hard part for me comes, because for so long I was so quiet. I couldn’t speak my feelings, I could only write them. But I love deeply and I have waited my whole life to feel loved. I don’t know if any one person can fix it, that’s a lot to put on someone when you’re broken. Now that I’ve worked on parts of myself that I needed to change (there’s still more work to be done), speaking isn’t as hard, but containing my feelings is.

My sisters and I are all very different. We are all broken in different ways. We have all coped with coming from a broken home in different ways. I’ve always felt that I was oblivious to a lot of things. That things weren’t really that bad and perhaps they weren’t. Deep down though, I just wanted to feel loved. That was missing. It’s not that I didn’t have anyone that didn’t love me, just for whatever reason, I’ve never really been able to feel it, hold on to it.

I’m not sure if anyone else has ever felt that way, but I get it in spurts. When you find someone you really love and respect and admire. Also, someone who is a great hugger. It’s amazing how safe a really good hug can make you feel. Like your spirits connect and you feel understood, safe, accepted, loved.

The problem for me is that I either love someone or I don’t and if I love someone, oh I love them. I love them 200% and it doesn’t take months or years to get me there. When I know someone is special, it takes days, weeks, and I’m there. The problem? As my older sister says, I have to let the other person catch up. I realize I don’t always have that kind of patience.

A former assistant manager (and thankfully to this day, my friend of 16 years), once was probably pretty overwhelmed by me. Remember the thing I said about boundaries? I’ve apparently never really been good at that… I did marry my former boss after all (I did quit once we started dating). Anyway, my former assistant manager I felt such a connection toward (and see we are still friends, so those feelings were valid)… every time she came in to work when I was there, I would get so happy. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! I would give her hugs and I even created a MySpace back then, just so I could be friends with her on it. I remember one day I asked her if she thought I was weird, I still remember what she said… “not weird, different.”

The truth is, I am different and it’s not necessarily always in a good way. I am self-aware that I have flaws and faults. I won’t pretend that I’m not the problem… in most cases… I probably am. I think, I just wish, there was better communication sometimes as that hasn’t always been the case. It can be awkward to bring up, but the end result is lost friendships. Sometimes it is brought up and I have a hard time just not being me. I have a hard time being patient, waiting for people to catch up, not respecting boundaries enough.

I understand having my privacy/personal life violated. When I was in Junior High, I used to email one of my teachers all the time. Teacher/student relationships were different back then and different for us at the Christian school I went to. We were just naturally close with them. One time a few us went over to a teacher’s house to help her make some crafts for her wedding. The first grade teacher had a sleepover with all the girls at her house.

I’m not sure if these things are the reason why I am so bad with boundaries today in regards to those in authority, or if it’s why I am drawn to them to sort of make me feel safe, accepted and loved or both.

Anyway, I realize now, looking back on my poetry from when I was 13 just how sad I was. How badly I wanted to be loved by someone, I wrote about it a lot. I can’t remember everything I wrote with my teacher back then, although I think I have quite a bit of the emails printed out. I use to save stuff like that. She was obviously concerned enough to have my step-mom print the emails and turn them in to the vice principal. My privacy was fully invaded. Now, I never threatened self-harm or something that this teacher (who I know are mandated reports), would have to report. However, for some reason, she felt like she was my only outlet, the only person I could talk to and I guess she didn’t feel equipped to handle it. She wanted me to go to counseling, so much so that she was kind of forcing it on me (side note, I’ve never been to counseling… maybe I should). I felt violated not only that my emails were being shared, but that it wasn’t even by my own mother, by my step-mother. Maybe my own mother would have come to me and talked to me about it, before getting the vice principal involved.

Then the vice principal called me into her office to talk about the emails and basically told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to talk to my teacher any more after class or help her with anything (I used to stay after class for an hour). She asked me what would happen if that teacher were to move away tomorrow, then I wouldn’t have her anymore. Well, obviously I would deal with that should it happen, but that’s a completely different scenario than just being banned from talking to the one person you trusted enough to open up to. The one person who made you feel happy and safe. After that meeting I was allowed to go home…. The next day, that teacher gave me a hug… which wasn’t even allowed. I didn’t hug her back. I was broken.

It took me awhile, but eventually I forgave her… we even had a relationship in the future (it took me at least a year to get over, but we went to the same church so I still saw her)… eventually, she did something else that hurt me and it took longer the second time around, but I have forgiven that too. I wouldn’t call us friends today, but friendly. She’s not someone that can hurt me anymore though. I’ve found a way to turn off those kind of feelings for people who have really hurt me and get to a place where I can care about them, wish them the best, but they no longer make me cry.

I hope that happens for me today, I know it will. It’s just so fresh right now, it doesn’t seem possible.

Did some part of me self-sabotage? Right now I really hate myself. I’m disgusted by myself. Those are probably pretty strong feelings and it’s probably confusing trying to figure out why. What it comes down to is, I have a lot of love to give, I love people too much, I don’t always respect their boundaries because it’s hard for me to contain that love. I care too much, I want to make me happy, I love to go above and beyond and try to make people feel special and sometimes that crosses the line. Bottom line, I had some thank you cookies mailed to someone and they felt very violated that I got their home address from the white pages, without asking for it. Even though it’s public info, I understand why this person is upset and feels the way they do and they have every right to that. I am sad that I was trying to do something so nice that I wanted to be a surprise and instead it turned into that person no longer wanting me in their life and cutting me out completely. My intention was never to hurt them and that’s where my issues come in with boundaries and not respecting them. I should have asked, not everyone likes to be surprised. It would have spared me a lot of heartache and maybe not have cost me knowing someone I consider to be so amazing.

I hope that in time this person will forgive me. I may never know, I’ve been blocked from all forms of communication. So I will just have to come to terms with this on my own. As one of my friends told me… to know, that my heart was in the right place, that I was not trying to be malicious or wicked. I need to learn from my mistakes of going too far and not respecting people’s boundaries.

I’ve cried a lot of tears and there is still more coming. I know this is a good lesson for me to learn, I am just sorry it has cost me from knowing someone so great. I hope that in time, even if there is no communication moving forward or ever in the future, they no longer think of me in whatever capacity they are right now. Angry, violated and what ever else they are thinking. I hope they can forgive me and it doesn’t ruin the happy moments we did share together.

Moving forward I vow to respect boundaries, to never get close to anyone who is in any capacity above me in a leadership role, and most importantly to slow down and realize we can’t be best friends with everyone over night. That good things are worth the wait and I can’t just go around telling everyone my feelings and need to learn how to contain them. Maybe I should start writing more- privately that is.

First, I have to try to forgive myself. For being careless, for not thinking and for crossing boundaries and not being respectful. It has cost me a lot. I have to tell myself what my older sister told me. That I am worthy of being loved and some day I will have those relationships in my life, I just have to wait for them and be patient.

2 replies »

  1. Love you girl! <3 Thanks for sharing something so personal, you are amazing and feel lucky have received so much of your love.

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