Sorry for the long blog silence, I'm very bad at multitasking and my entire life has been taken up by my art. It's making me feel extremely guilty but also like I am finally on fire. So I suppose this is a sorry, not sorry.
My whole life has revolved around minimising myself. Becoming invisible. And for the most part, i managed. I struggled with my weight so the impact of that was just to make me want to take up even less space. I didn't allow myself to extend past this tiny little box I had erected for myself. My comfortable cage.
My life mantras were:
- Never get into trouble - trouble means people notice you, people are mad at you and it has a knock on effect. It would mean that I have disappointed people. I wasn't even aiming for approval (the opposite of disappointment) - just not having a negative impact was enough.
- Cost less - don't ask for stuff. Don't get into situations where someone has to pay for things I've broken etc. Don't expect gifts etc. Don't do extra lessons, studies, hobbies that were expensive. When I studied, I spent years feeling shame about how much I was costing my parents. I even felt guilty about my school fees, despite the fact that I had no say over any of that. No fancy clothes, no fancy phones, nothing unnecessary.
- Don't take up other people's space - I never aimed to be top of anything. I never took part in drama productions (after the age of 13 when I started having the choice to say no). Don't be the star. Be the solid best friend. Supporting role. Support system. Caretaker. The person you can call at 11:00 to take you to the doctor at 14:00. Reliable. I was never anything but reliable. If you asked me to do something, I would do that plus more and be on time for everything, if not early. Never ever take up more space in a relationship than I am allowed.
- Don't get angry - anger draws attention. You just learn how to bottle everything deep down and move on. You don't confront anyone. That would make them unhappy. Be the bigger person, just take the shit and never question it.
- Don't have expectations - this one is the trickiest because as my therapist informs me, not having any expectations is an expectation in itself. It's also not true. In my attempt to not expect anything from anyone I accidentally developed expectations I didn't even know were there. The expectation that other people would do the same for me if I ever needed it.