You know what’s amazing?
The number of possibilities I feel I have access to these days. I never dared to want several things for myself, because I was always living for my family.
The responsibility of raising my siblings was so conditioned into me my entire life that I graduated high school feeling the pressure of having to figure out how to care for them.
I grew up being told something that ultimately became a chant, and I honestly used to think that that was all I was good for.
If you’ve never been expected to uphold your elders’ wishes, I have no idea how to explain the hold they had over me. Anything I wanted outside of what they wanted was put down, and I was personally criticized.
In other words, I wasn’t allowed to want anything outside of the following, in order:
- Graduate high school
- College/uni degree
- Job (doctor, lawyer or something else prestigious)
- Marriage (rich man)
- Kids (to keep him happy and continue the family)
I understand hoping for the next generation of a family to excel in life; however, attempting to live vicariously through someone else isn’t the way to do it.
My stepfather even tried to convince me to join the military, even if I didn’t go fight or something. Being a pacifist, I don’t appreciate or support war. I hate it. Why TF would I want to put myself in that position?
(Joke’s on him, though — thanks to his authoritarian parenting, I developed CPTSD…that automatically disqualified me. 🤣)
So, you see, my life never felt like my own.
The life of a doll
Rather, I felt like I was a doll they dressed up and posed as they pleased. Even when I wanted a life for myself outside of their expectations, their wants for me became my obligations.
I never dared to dream of living my life like I was a real person instead of the doll they wanted me to be. Actually, I used to think I wouldn’t be able to live a full life I looked forward to living until they all died.
I know how horrible that sounds. I also know how horrible it is to be complimented on my pale, yellowish, porcelain-like skin by people who think that that is a wonderful compliment. The most recent time, if I recall correctly, was coupled with how the person wished their skin was like that, too.
Not only was it really freaking racist — it’s extremely ignorant. I replied,
“My skin is so pale like this that you can see my veins, because I am that ill from my eating disorder. It is not my natural skin tone, as is evident when I’m in remission from my ED because I’m eating enough and getting all my nutrients. You know my skin is more of a ‘natural tanned’ color. You’ve literally told me you wished you could tan like that.”
to which they responded, “It was just a compliment. Why can’t you just thank me?”
So I said,
“I don’t appreciate when people compliment my illness, especially when they know it just enables it. If you stopped looking at me the way you want to see me and started looking at me the way I am, you’d see that I have patches of pale, yellow, beige, tan.”
Dolls aren’t allowed to have feelings. Dolls don’t exist outside of the way their collector perceives them.
Their porcelain doll is broken
Via a series of unfortunate events, they broke the porcelain doll.
I think, ultimately, their goal has always been to glue the doll back together and continue patching it any time it broke.
This time, I took all the pieces with me. Little by little, I am throwing each piece of porcelain away.
Turns out there was a real person trapped inside.
And if that’s not a metaphor for dissociative identity disorder, I don’t know what is.
I’m going to build a castle out of all the bricks thrown at me.
Welcome to my villain era.
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