I don’t know. . .

Maybe it is the biggest truth or the biggest lie I have ever told but I am pretty sure I am being honest with myself. . .I think. Oh hell, I am confused.

WHAT. DO. YOU. WANT.

The answer is clear for many aspects. . .

I want to publish and live off of my writing

I want to stay healthy

I want my son to be happy

I want my dog to stop having asthma attacks every time I walk in from work

I want a flat belly with ridiculously long beautiful locks of hair. . .that’s enough right?

WHAT. ABOUT. A. RELATIONSHIP.

Ummm. . .here goes.

I have been the boss of my life for a very long time, so much so that I honestly don’t know what I want or how to get it. There are so many aspects of myself that I get to know and love every day but I am finding that my biggest weaknesses are those things that I love about myself. I thought I had discovered myself a long time ago but it turns out this too was part of the life long journey of getting to know me. I have mommy and daddy issues and while I do not make anyone else pay for their mistakes I have somehow etched in the scars of the shards so deep that I didn’t realize I was hurting myself time and time again.

When I was around 9 years old my mom and sister were in a pretty serious car accident. I remember hearing about it and crying. I was scared. At that age I didn’t know the difference between a bad accident and life and death. My mom was nowhere near life and death but I didn’t know that. When my sister came home that day she knelt down in the living room and looked me in the eyes and said, “Johanna, you need to cope, you have to, for mom.” I’ll be honest, I had no idea what cope meant, but the look in her eyes and the all too familiar story of taking up after mom was resounding in my head. See my mother is one of the strongest people I know but in the same note I realize she is also about as strong as a sheet of paper in the wind. As a family we have gone through so much and when I was growing up my mother held it all in as best as she could but she also exploded quite frequently. When my sister told me to cope, I knew it meant that I’d have to cry in silence again. I knew that I would have to console myself and avoid showing my mother how I felt because everyone else’s feelings were too much for mom to add on to her plate.

My mom made me the woman I am today. I am thankful but she didn’t give me a manual, it was almost as if she handed me a complicated system and said, “you figure it out!” So here I am, this algorithm of feelings and experiences that amount to the confusion I live with to this very day. My behavior has become predictable but I don’t know how to change it. I think I may be at the point where I realize the error of my ways but I do not know how to fix what I also consider to be my greatest strength.

My grandfather was my best friend for the majority of my childhood. He would joke and make me laugh. He played his guitar so much that at times I almost expected it to be the background noise. I was the center of his universe but when he passed and for many years now after, I have no idea what it is like to be someone’s world. I have been bits and pieces to people but never their everything. You see as a child I had my mother in bits and pieces. She worked so much that she failed to show up for anything. I remember running up to show her my first straight A report card in High School and she brushed it off because she had to do dishes. So I hung up my report card to look at it every morning because I was proud of myself.

I remember having bouts of depression as a teen. I also remember huffing every possible chemical my mom had around the house. I felt so much and couldn’t let it out so I dealt with things on my terms. Over the years those bits and pieces of me that belonged to no one began stripping away. I hid my feelings and walked around like the happiest person on earth. I stopped expecting others to acknowledge me. My siblings were all living their lives and I just internalized everything and never said a word. . .I had finally learned how to cope.

As the years have mercilessly gone by I have been in relationships with people that benefited from my up bringing. I did all for them while I continued to cope and internalize my own wants. I did not necessarily know I was doing this until now. I say I want so many things. . .I want to be happy and of course I want to be in love. I would love to be in a relationship with someone but I finally know I have ruined every one I have come across because I lead them to believe I am ok with being an after thought. How do you stop feeling like you’re second to all? When people let me down, I say It’s okay I understand. When people don’t choose me again I say, It’s okay I understand.

IT’S OKAY I UNDERSTAND. . .those. . .my final words of every short lived relationship.

I have made it ok for people to push me aside. I do not like feeling like an inconvenience or a bother. I do not know how to expect anything from people, not because I am jaded but because I truly don’t. I have done everything for myself my entire life. I have taken care of myself financially, I have motivated myself and I have coped with every tragedy that has come my way. I do not know how to tell people I expect them to be there for me, to love me and to care for me. I do not even know if I truly expect anyone to do all of those things for me, I just wish there were someone who would want to.

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