This past Tuesday I met with my new counsellor for some individual counselling. We discussed (I discussed) a variety of things but one thing I said sticks out in my mind, that is I said I wanted to stop apologizing for who I am all the time. I don’t literally apologize to everyone all the time for who I am but it feels like that’s what I’m doing. It feels like I try to be “normal”, fail and apologize to whomever is asking me why I haven’t done such and such. I hate it. Does anyone else do something like this? Try to fit someone else’s version of normal then end up making excuses for yourself when you can’t meet their standards?
I’m sick of trying to be someone I’m not. People are going to have to get used to the fact I am NOT going to please them. This happens mainly with my family where a relative asks me why I haven’t done something or other yet and I end up trying to think of a reason that will either get me off the hook or garner sympathy. Both are actions I dislike and don’t want to keep on doing. I shouldn’t have to do these things but no one else in my family acknowledges the gravity of abuse that occurred-both for themselves and in my own case. All of my aunts and uncles and remaining grandmother experienced abuse in some form. But they won’t address it and I feel unable to talk with them about my experience because of their own denial. How can I expect any form of validation from a group of abused people in denial? As far as I know I’m the only person in my family to go to therapy-apart from one aunt I never knew growing up.
From now on I will do my best to resist trying to be someone I’m not for my relatives. If they can’t accept me for who I am I’ll just make sure our communications are minimal and infrequent at most. We already don’t talk very often and a lot of this is to do with the fact there has been some tension since I began behaving more authentically a couple of years ago. Since then the communication has become limited and I can’t say I’m sad about it. Although I do wish my relatives could be more open to greater authenticity in how they live their lives and the way I live mine.
What do you do with dysfunctional family for communication issues? Do you avoid the people or have you learned how to be honest and not be bothered by the tension this often creates with unhealthy people?