My life has been on a constant journey towards integration. But I am still fragmented. I show part of myself in one occasion, another part in another. I say some things to some people I know, others to others. I check in which blog it would be best to write a particular experience, what to show on Facebook and to whom. But why do I do this? Is it the best way forward?
The answer is a simple: No!
That is just the result of fear: of how I will be seen, of being rejected if I’m seen in my entirety and with all my facets. It is a fear that I will disappoint those important to me, a fear that originates from the child’s fear of disappointing the parents. A child is constantly in tune with the reactions of their surroundings; they incessantly look for approval or disapproval on the faces of those into whose care they are entrusted. And they learn very well whether they have been a good boy or girl. And they know that their parents usually prefer that they are good! And so they learn to control themselves and be that good child – out of fear of disappointing, and thereby risk being rejected, by the one responsible for their safety.
But this doesn’t with our childhood. This desire to please others and the tendency to adapt who we are according to external expectations and demands lives on into our adolescent and adult years. It ends up being enshrined on a pedestal, a control tower within ourselves from where it domesticates the self, making the latter suffer the pains of fitting into the demands of others. And as a further step, we start looing for external representations of this inner voice that we internalised from our relationship with our parents, and we now project it onto the ones that surround us in our adulthood, seeking their approval by trying to fulfil their expectations.
And so, instead of taking the block of marble that we have (and are) and sculpting it into the beautiful statue that we imagine trapped within it, we take our scalpels, and chisel away according to the dictates of others and of this fear of rejection and desire for approval, creating a grotesquely-formed piece of rock with different facets, each one discordant with the other.
I try to struggle free from these ropes that tie me down as I try to please the other, knowing that they don’t allow me to be who am, knowing that they make me angry at myself, knowing that at times I hate myself for it. And with every rope I cut off, with every step forward I take, the tendrils of the fear of disappointing and being rejected wrap themselves around my limbs like a whip, stinging me with pain, and trying to jerk me back.
But the only way to get rid of them is to move forward, struggling with them, prising them open, tearing them away, because with every step forward I take, they have a tiny bit less hold over me. Until at one moment in my life I hope to be able to just say: Fuck it! And be mywholeself.