persona

when I was younger I had two alter egos: Amy and Alyssa. I think I created them, initially, because I spent a lot of time alone … so instead of making real friends, like normal children, I made friends with parts of myself.
Amy was everything I wanted to be, blonde haired and blue eyed, she was good at everything she tried, she was confident and everyone loved her.
Alyssa was the outcast, dark haired and brown eyed, she didn’t care for rules or people – and in turn people didn’t care for her.
Then there was me, I was apathetic and shy, I had a lot of self doubt – I was a stagnant middle ground to two polar opposites.
When this whole thing started, it was all pretty innocent and juvenile. I would have mini competitions with myself on who could make a better jug of ice tea or who could make the perfect waffles, with the perfect amount of butter… I would take on the rolls of each person – Alyssa would go first, she would make the ice tea, but there wouldn’t be enough powder … she would toast and butter the waffles, but only three or four squares would be completely filled in – then Amy would swoop in and make the ice tea exactly the way it was supposed to be and she would fill in every square on the waffle with butter… and I would judge. I would congratulate Alyssa on her efforts, but inform her that she was bested again by Amy, the better, more likable version of myself.

[I’m going to preface this next part, because I know that both my mom and my sister read my blog;
sister: you were too young to remember these times, and even if you could I wouldn’t want you to, but in no way are you responsible for my feelings – I have loved you, unconditionally, since the day you were born.
mom: we’ve had these conversations before, you know how I feel, and we both know that this period in both of our lives was not good – none of this is your fault, you did, and have always done, what you could with the tools you were given.]

I think what’s interesting about these alter egos is actually recognizing where they came from, because when I take a moment to really think about it, I know exactly when it happened. When I was 8 years old, my mom became pregnant with my sister, we lived with her father.. who, for privacy, we will call Ted (I could think of a lot of other names for him, but I figured I would keep this civil) … in a house across from the elementary school I went to for grades four and five. Ted seemed like an alright guy, he had a motorcycle and two older daughters that would send me gift packs with Winnie the Pooh notebooks and gel pens in them. But when mom became pregnant, everything changed. Ted would go out of his way to be alone with me, so he could tell me how much I didn’t matter and how when his daughter was born everyone would forget about me.. him, mom, my family, no one would care anymore because a newer and better child would be there for them to love.
It was a specific car ride, Ted was driving me home from a family friends house, where he told me that he really didn’t like me and neither did my mom and they were just waiting for her to have the baby so they could kick me to the curb… this is where Amy and Alyssa were truly born.
All throughout my mother’s pregnancy I built these people, people who couldn’t leave me because they were part of me, and people that I could blame or praise for the things I did. And although this section of my life ended, the trend didn’t for a very long time… Amy and Alyssa were my escape mechanism, they were a way for me to distance myself from a situation and move blame. I lied through my teeth for years, for stupid things… I remember, at one point, I was told that if I didn’t stop lying I would be made to drink tabasco from the bottle, so I made a point of drinking it every night before bed, some times letting Ted see me do it before putting it back in the fridge and marching to my room for the night.
This narrative created the structure of my self worth until I was twenty years old. TWENTY.
I can honestly say, that anyone who only knows me from my teens and early twenties, does not know me – so let me introduce you to who you know (I have blurred out most other people’s faces, for privacy):

This is Alyssa:

alyssa

in the first true peak of my depression (previously mentioned in posts: the hike to clarity), I took on a version of myself that fit the “weird” stereotype that I was given. I owned being an outcast and wore it like a medal, because it was easier to deal with being weird than it was to deal with being hurt.

This is Amy:

amy

Amy was my protective persona, she took over in grade 12. I smiled, I laughed, I listened to pop music and generally blended in with the crowd. Although she was liked by many, she was the biggest lie of them all – the truth is.. I’m not this person, and I never was this person. This was a way for me to escape my life and to try to become some one new. Although Alyssa is not me either, she is at least some what honest, I am much more a weirdo than I am a perfect and happy girl living a seemingly carefree life.

I almost destroyed the best relationship that has ever happened to me, because of lies and trying to escape the feelings of loneliness and abandonment that I never dealt with, because I was not going to be the one left behind, no, I would leave them and they could feel my hurt and my pain and I would move on… like I always did. But this time was different, for the first time, I was given a choice. I got to really choose who I wanted to be… I could continue down the path I was heading on, a path that I knew would come to the same dismal end, over and over, or I could stay and work on things and work on myself.

This is an integral moment to truly recognizing the lie I was living and starting to allow myself to deal with all of the issues that had been pent up for so many years. The repercussions of this are exponential, but living with what I live with now is better than trying to pretend it doesn’t exist, and trying to invalidate all of my experiences – especially those that lead to me creating Amy and Alyssa to start off with.

Today, I live only as myself, a decent mix of the three – but 100% me.

melissa

 

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