This is a piece written by one of my closest and dearest friends. Her name is Tasha, and she is one of the bravest and most inspiring people I know. Growing up she survived a kind of hell no human being should ever have to endure and she still came out a compassionate, intelligent woman with a great respect for life and gift for working with animals. I believe many people will identify with the feelings she writes about below.
This face that you see, this person you see, is me, but I have yet to meet her. It seems simple doesn’t it?” Just look at yourself” How is it that the person we are closest too, we understand the least? Maybe you know yourself. That is a GIFT. Hold on to that. I admire you. You will go far… but, you probably need no assurance. When I look at myself I get clouded in vision because I see everything that came to this point and highlighted in bold are the things that broke me the most. Why can’t I see what came of it? It’s frustrating more than anything…to people around me, to people getting to know me, to people who have seen me in various forms usually the least glamorous. Why can’t she understand? Why does she doubt herself? She’s intelligent..she’s beautiful..she has a lot going for her. I can’t respond to that in a way that so desperately illustrates how I want it to. I WANT to see that. — I’m fighting a sentence that goes something like this. Tasha is _____________________________. In the past this has summed up my life. My parents actually wrote this for me. It was the most self-destructive thing they could implant in me. But the worst was the rule that came with it, which is the answer has to come from others. You are what others see in you. I can say with certainty that this important “life lesson” was intended in a malicious manner. There was no hope, no lesson to be learned, nothing valuable to my future, it was merely something they instilled to make sure that I never was able to see past other’s expectations nor would I ever have innate worth as long as I held this “idea.” So get rid of it! Right? — Cut off your arm. That’s what it means to. To not have an appendage. This idea of a definition by others view is as much as a parasitic twin to me as an arm is to you. This is a part of me. And it’s not a part I want, but it’s a part that’s there. This horrible “thing” they instilled has led me to view myself in a way that I would wish upon no one. I have to fight to actually remember who I once was. And in that I am referring to before age 8. The good thing is you can never “kill” who you were born to be. And so while I fight this, I know that I can at least still capture these images of myself if I try…really… really …hard. I remember certain times where I did good, and I did it because it was a part of me. Keep in mind that I have nothing to gain from other’s praise except for the fact that it fills that empty blank. So when I say I did good and I did it because of me, it’s not manipulation of attention I am referring, it is merely that the blank was filled by me. The two “essences” that allow me to see this are: children, and animals. For some reason they spark, or remind myself that I am “good”. Because I get into a state when I am not thinking about what they think of me. I know that they can’t give me a definition. I am not threatened at all. And that allows me the room to fill in my own empty space. So the trick to keeping this in my head ….all day…..every day….every minute…I don’t think there is one. Because put me in an environment and I will almost immediately fall apart. I will worry, I will doubt, I will negate everything that I know to be true to me and replace it with someone else’s ideas because I must know nothing. Tasha is__________. Exactly. I don’t know. I hate this. And what is even more frustrating is that I know that this fear based obsession with worry, and doubt, etc is not who I was intended to be. Had my life experiences been changed,had my love for life been nurtured, my self esteem allowed a chance to at least start to form, I can’t imagine how much I would have loved who I was. And maybe that is what others see. But trying to keep things inside my head is impossible. At some point when the fears start to cycle for the 1 millionth time in a three hour period, it’s going to become a verbal…something. And then every time I say it after, I prove to each person how empty I am. And then I am essentially, my parents child. The one they worked so hard to break but not completely destroy. I am and empty definition. But this is who I know when your not in the room, this who I know when I’m not scared of what your thinking, this is what children and animals mirror to me. I am a strong person. I am a motivated person. I am a compassionate person. And maybe someday that will be the 1 millionth thought in a beautiful three hour period.