So I had an epiphany over the weekend while coming home after being surrounded by people like me at a conference over the weekend.
We were singing Lean On Me in the car, and I realized….while pushing the words out of my mouth, that um, it’s totally okay to not be only absorbing everything all the time.
I have internalized that I’m not allowed to have needs and I’m only allowed to accept other people’s pain and never acknowledge my own to people besides myself – at least not in a way that involves asking for help without being pried open. Any self expression that involves asking for help my parents thoroughly trained out of me by refusing to acknowledge they existed or were valid. I was expected to be their support, to comfort my mom and accept her abuse without ever having a need of my own or a problem to voice.
I’ve carried this with me into adulthood for the last seven years. Feeling as though if people are confiding in me, then they are off limits to me to confide in them. Like if I confide in the people who trust me (and that I also trust) I am just adding weight to them that they don’t deserve – like my weight is too much, and I must carry myself alone – and shoulder as many other people as I can. Don’t say a word, don’t note that you have trouble too…because that makes life worse for everyone. In the name of support I don’t let myself have any of my own.
I isolate my needs and problems into myself because I don’t dare add to anyone else’s, even if they want to help.
I realized that’s not how things are supposed to work. I’m allowed to also share my shit with the people who share with me.
And likely? they won’t think I’m too much of a burden.