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I'm not me

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Last week Alton Brown said (from his own experience) that when you're heavy you have to sell a version of yourself because you're unacceptable when heavy and clumsy.

That rang a huge bell with me. I've been hiding behind various masks for so many years, I can barely remember what being authentic felt like.

I'm trying to remember the teenage girl who sewed beautiful clothes for herself. Who never met a cosmetic or skin product she didn't love. Who read Shakespeare and loved it. Along with medieval Japanese and contemporary Russian literature (in translation, of course). Who wasn't in the high school production of Brigadoon but still learned the Scottish sword dance right along with the actors. Who wore jewelry and read fashion magazines.

I learned early that I read Shakespeare because I'm a snob who wants everyone to think I'm brighter than I am (thanks, Sis). That I'm a vain peacock who's obsessed with looks and has no intellectual depth, a "brainless flapper." (Dad). That I'm frigid, a lesbian AND a whore, all at once (Dad again. Don't those things kind of cancel each other?). That all my ready Irish tongue will get me is beaten black and blue (both parents).

I learned that being Irish is shameful, a disgrace to be hidden. That women exist to be the property and slaves of their husbands and have no rights or thoughts of their own. That loving Hong Kong films or being able to recite whole chunks of Lord of the Rings just makes you weird or crazy. And that REAL women don't watch football, let alone scream like a banshee when their team does well. And that dreaming of a career in food TV at age nearly sixty is just plain nuts.

No wonder I'm this fat, frozen blob. I'm trying to bury all the unacceptable parts of me. I still don't have the fortitude to give people the finger and say, in the words of dozens of old Irish songs, "and if you don't like me, well, leave me alone."

I need to find her again.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My FAVORITE MOVIE(S) of all time is "The Lord of the Rings". I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those movies!!!!!!!!! I love the camaraderie between all the men. The bonds that they formed. It wasn't their family they were bonding with, it was their friends. They went through this massive undertaking and their experience bonded them together. Movies like that inspire me so much. To know that someone actually wrote the words, and then someone had the vision to make a film so beautiful out of it, makes me believe in humanity.

    That girl is still inside of you. I've been taking a class at the community center in my town (wonderful community center). The class is called "You are Powerful". It's how your thoughts create your reality. I've been reading about this kind of stuff for years and now I can take a class on it. Louise Hay is one of the authors on our reading list. If your local library has it, you should check out the book or dvd - "You can Heal your Life" - by Louise Hay. The dvd is wonderful. I highly recommend it.
    You don't have to be that frozen person anymore. You are still that girl. Go on the journey and find her!!!!!

    Your blogs have helped me tremendously today!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!
    2043 days ago
    Yes, you do need to find that girl again.
    2044 days ago
    2044 days ago
    Mary, what has been learned can be unlearned, and you're well on your way on that journey. That girl is still there and you are finding her again. Hang in there!
    emoticon emoticon
    2044 days ago
    I've seen the girl you are looking for. She is within you and is visible in every caring and understanding comment you leave here on SP.
    2044 days ago
    I can't tell you how much I admire your honesty!
    That bright and beautiful teenager is just waiting to be liberated again!
    As others have said, 'kick the bums out of your head' - take some quiet time for yourself and find out what YOU know is the next thing to do on your journey. You have made some good first steps by buying nice new things for your kitchen, and your new chair and end table. Find out from yourself what your next step is to be.
    We're all here as supporters of the emerging butterfly.

    Hugs, Leslie emoticon
    2045 days ago
    The sensitive, caring, bright girl is still with you. Because of her open hearted vulnerability, the critical stabs and arrows hurt so much then(though undeserved) and still hurt. Maybe a part of your intellect is still trying to explain: how could they say that? Why did they think that? When there's no rational explanation except their spitefulness and (maybe) jealousy. I hope you find a way to shout STOP! GO AWAY! to that torment.

    I so admire your perceptiveness and the marvelous changes you are making. Sending prayers and warm thoughts for your future.
    2045 days ago
  • SUNNY238
    I think everything you listed there as an "I learned" is the exact things I would hope you would do because I would love you for it! You sound like an amazing person, and I hope you find the authentic you real soon because I want to meet her! (I'll take the masked you too...but the authentic you sounds so much happier!) I've been searching for the real me for the past few years as well. It's now time for me to discover the real me as well. I think I've been scared and hiding for years (starting early in elementary school).

    ~Mary (aka Sunny emoticon )
    2045 days ago
    Throw those Negative Nellie thoughts out. That takes time and practice, but WE are in charge of what we pay attention to (or not). Learned that from going with my son to YEARS of therapy (many challenges from adoption). One of the cornerstones of any therapy I attended with him was:

    There are literally thousands and more different thoughts that go through our brain each minute. It is up to us to learn what to pay no attention and those thoughts that are worth of a 2nd thought and perhaps action. Otherwise, out the door like so much garbage.

    It's good that you are ready to work on these things. You're worth it! And for what it's worth, I'm 1/2 Irish myself. But never put down for it.

    2045 days ago
    I can relate to much of this. Growing up, I always felt like an outsider because of the things I liked to do wasn't what everyone else was doing. But I learned to embrace that difference. When people try to tear me down because I'm not like them, I see them as people who are trying to be just like everyone else. Because they are the ones who are afraid of what everyone else will think of them. They have to 'fit in'. The truth is, people who make a difference in the world aren't like everyone else.
    2045 days ago
  • DISP715
    I think the "real" you is beautiful. Please read Debbie Ford's book "The Shadow Effect". It is EXACTLY about everything you are talking about. Once we embrace our hidden selves, our true selves can shine! Sending HUGS.
    2045 days ago
    Life is tough but forget your Father & sister keep those negative thoughts & be what you are HUGS


    2046 days ago
    Don't let those things that other people said break you down, break free from it. Stop letting them dictate how you live your life. Mary, you are a wonderful, thoughtful and amazing person. It's time to see you for the person that the rest of us here see you as. ((((((BIG HUGS))))))
    2046 days ago
    Oh, Mary so many wonderful things are happening in your life right now. I know because you now recognize those voices and that you know they are not yours that you are on your way to "throwing the bums out."
    I want to know that high school girl and I know she is still there just waiting in the wings ready to take center stage!
    2046 days ago
    You can easily find that girl - open your eyes and look in the right place - your heart!

    I can remember many-a-time being told not to believe ALL that we see or hear - yours is a prime example of what we are told that!

    2046 days ago
    There are too many people speaking in your head! Throw the bums out and let your voice take over. The things you love ate cool, Mary and I share most of your interests.
    You are unique and your interests reflect that. Write your sister and Dad letters telling them how their horrible, judgmental opinions crushed your soul and then burn the letters to send them to God or to hell. When you start to hear the Dad speak or sister speak in your head, STOP, and throw them out! You deserve better, so use your own self talk to cancel them out!
    2046 days ago

    What a great piece of insight on your part! Just such a shift in consciousness has the potential of facilitating a breakthrough in developing a true self-love. You truly ARE the lovable woman you are imagining. I support you outrageously in this endeavor!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2046 days ago
    I also was impressed to hear Alton talk about that. Too bad that it came too late to save his team member. However, it's not too late for you. So good luck in finding her. On another track, when I was at the grocery store today, I noticed that Bobby was on the cover of Good Housekeeping this month.
    2046 days ago
    Hope you find her, for your desire the best:)
    2046 days ago
    It makes me sad that so many people have worked so hard to bury the real Mary, but it also heartens me that you are trying to find her, again. And I agree with another commenter that you should read the book about how the Irish saved civilization, and use that against any argument that being Irish is something to be ashamed of! Can you tell I'm part Irish? ;-)
    2046 days ago
    I'm so so glad you're on that journey to find the real girl. She sounds like so much better a person than anything your parents / family crammed in her place with their screw-ball judgments.

    She sounds real, fun, engaged in life, full joy! She is you!

    2046 days ago
    And find her you will!
    There is a book about how the Irish saved Civilization so whoever told you that being Irish was shameful...well, think again. And be proud that you are!
    2046 days ago
    Yes, we can be beaten down until we no longer are the person we once were. Hope you have a great night. Keep Sparking.
    2046 days ago
  • MAMABEE480
    I like that person you're describing. She sounds wonderful to me, not weird at all. Good luck to you on your journey to get in touch with her again.

    2046 days ago
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