I let you in, I let you close, I let you near
I let you lead, I put you first, I let you steer…
You turned right back around and let me fear you;
You warned “me” about hell – I pray God spare you!!!!!
Take a step, recollect, “YOU” intercepted;
You took advantage of someone needing acceptance!
An insert from 2004, uploaded April 2013; reflected upon November 2018
When I look back some 20 odd years, I barely see or recognise myself. Instead I see a number of shadows, whose faces were always hidden at the time.
These shadow sat in the drivers seat of my existence. I trusted that they would fill my void; I gambled on the probability that they would ascertain the destination I required to make me well.
In my mind, the answer was always outside of me. I needed the validation and for some reason, somebody or something else had the key. Didn’t matter at what price. I would sell my soul for acceptance, for a sense of purposeful belonging.
I had no idea why I felt broken, whilst the rest of the world appeared wholesome and free. Happy, even. I couldn’t see pain anywhere else but inside of myself. And it wasn’t true but that was my view. So I went about life in a very transactional way; whosoever and whatsoever seemed to encapsulate an answer to my void, I exchanged myself for it. Will this make me happy? Will this fill my void? Will this dissolve my pain? Subconsciously, I set criterion for every single thing that gleamed “happy”.
From relationships to friendships to religion, I crept from one bed to the next. There were some who left me by the waste-side after the passion had faded, once their end of the transaction was fulfilled; and there were those who saw my pain and purposefully set out to benefit from it. Like fraudulent activity on your financial identity. Purchases were made to enhance a purpose I didn’t quite believe in; because I wasn’t seeking a God, I was seeking me.
Validation had no name, acceptance had no face, belonging was often anonymous, but they were all my gods. They led me like a blind man being led by nothing at all. Like a drug dependency gone wrong. There was always going to be a dead end. A greater emptiness than before. Temporary pleasure, validation, acceptance, over substance – never wins.
I remember vividly the day after my wedding day and the feeling of “empty” that it came with. I realised at that point that my end of the mental bargain I had entered into in my head, wouldn’t be met. Shit, shit, shit! what a blow to the soul.
I now question many other decisions that I’ve made along the way, that were merely bargaining chips to settle a fire in me that was out of control. I was lost and I needed to find myself. The truth is, most of my choices were just cries for validation. Most of the people I’ve entertained did not deserve my attention.
I used to blame them, but I’m starting to explore the reality that the power has always rested with me. And although it has taken me the best part of 2 decades to really understand that my mental and emotional freedom were things I had to give to myself, I no longer need to seek out a shadow to blame. I only need to work on reclaiming myself, one bit at a time. So…
I don’t need you to accept me
I don’t need you to give me a sense of belonging
I don’t need you to validate me
I am and I choose.
With or without you.