Breaking the ties that bind.
repeatedly committing the same offence and typically following a characteristic, predictable behaviour pattern.“a serial killer”
of or concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one’s actions and feelings.“my subconscious fear”
a person who conforms to accepted behaviour or established practices.“organisations where employees are loyal without being unthinking conformists”
For years I have done my utmost to break moulds, to be the non conformist. To represent myself in such a way that all around me looked at me with envy and pride, that I could own who I was and am and let no one hold me down. Alas, I realise now that this behaviour led only to one thing; putting on an acceptable front. In this quest to be myself and become a better version of myself, I did the polar opposite. I lost myself. I lost who I was at the core in this subconscious effort to be acceptable to everyone else, to subtly conform in the most nonconformist of ways. I have spent nearly 34 years appeasing those around me… no more.
I have had some time over the past few months, time and space to reflect on who I truly am, where I want to be and who I want to become as I enter a new phase of my life. How boring it would be if we are who we were when we were teenagers all the way through adulthood and into the maturer years of our lives. Life experience, education, ambition and motivation lead us down a path of enlightenment; onward to new chapters and new discoveries. We evolve.
In order to decide where I am going, I found it of the utmost importance to reflect on where I have been. Who I was and who I am now; who I truly am and then how others see me. Truthfully, those absolutely closest to me do know the real me down beneath the tough exoskeleton of protection. They know me, they see me and they see how I damage myself day in and day out to be the person everyone expects me to be; a behaviour I long since adapted into my every day way of life.
I like to believe that I am a lover; that I have always had so much love to give. I spent a lifetime repressing my loving nature to avoid pain and disappointment (results that I had grown uncomfortably accustomed to), bottling it up and choosing not to be an outwardly affectionate and loving person. The truth is, I do show love and affection but only to those I believe deserving… which, to be honest, mainly applies to my offspring, my significant other, animals and children. Even then, it does not come naturally to me and I have bouts of ‘neediness’ which require physical contact and positive reinforcement. That is who I am, no longer will I hug strangers and disapprovingly touch people that I do not want to touch – why should I? Because we are told that it is an innate desire to crave human contact? I think not.
I have had many, many friendships over my lifetime. For so long, people have gravitated to my personality. I have been called infectious, intriguing, interesting and exciting and will have an intelligent conversation and debate with the best of them. Out of kindness, I have always accepted advances of friendship and done my best (sometimes to my detriment) to retain a friendship with someone despite knowing deep down that this relationship is one of season or reason and unlikely to be lifetime. Often I have been looked down upon or judged for ending friendships when they were no longer mutually beneficial, when for whatever reason I decided that these people were no longer needed in my life. Many times, people have disagreed with me about how I choose or keep my friendships and have forced my hand into a decision about an existing relationship. The truth is this; I keep my circle small. I trust few and befriend fewer. This behaviour is my personal choice, I do not need more than the number of friends that I can count on one hand, I need only true and loyal people who enrich me and that I may enrich in return. I am not the kind of person who enjoys weekly social events and outings, I am not the kind of person who calls daily or texts hourly. I am not the kind of person that will call you to share every ounce of information about my life – This is just who I am. Those close to me and the ones that I can currently count on my hand, those are the people that understand and accept that of me. This will not change and if this behaviour does not align with your needs, there is a greater unlikelihood that we will become or remain friends.
Home is where my heart is. My heart is my family, my children, my animals and my significant other. My home is where I enjoy and love spending most of my time. For so long I have made excuse after excuse to not leave the house, not go out or attend functions. Excuses will no longer be made – If I choose to stay in my home surrounded by the people, creatures and things that I enjoy and love, why should I? This does NOT make me a hermit despite the popular external opinion, this makes me house proud and happy. Comfortable in my bubble that I have created for me and those closest to me. I love my bubble, I love living inside this bubble of love and happiness, relaxation and ease. I am grounded here and it is my sacred place and space. This does not mean that I won’t go out entirely, when my mind and my body feel the need we will venture and that will be of my own free will and choice with the people I choose. I am mistakenly thought of as a ‘non-partier’ or the boring one but actually, I can party and have a good time. As good as the rest of them. I choose not to, my reasons are my reasons; nothing more and nothing less.
I am a dreamer… for many years I have continued to dream of the places I would like to be, where I would like to end up and how I would like to go about doing it. On the outside and for practical reasons, I have always maintained a career woman persona and have managed to uphold this facade by my own successes. Yes, I have been good at what I do and have excelled in the chosen career that I opted to leave behind after a most unfulfilling 17 years. Just because you are good at something, it does not mean that it is meant for you. For this reason, I gave up flogging the dead horse of a career and with the support of my husband (with whom it would not have been financially possible) I was able to give up this person I had pretended to be for an age. I AM NOT A CAREER WOMAN. I have no desire to be rich and miserable, completely stressed out with ill health and poor family bonds. No. This is not me. I only want to be happy and to continue to try and find ‘my thing’. The thing that makes me tick. I always thought that that was writing and to a degree I still do but perhaps the ways that I have tried to go about it in the past have not been for me. I will find that thing or spend a lifetime looking but for now, I am giving myself and my family valuable time and attention, something that as a child I did not know that well.
Who am I?
I am stubborn; hell yes I am stubborn and I no longer care to make excuses for this stubbornness. I am a woman, a strong and emotionally independent woman with opinions and thoughts and my own mind. I do not have to (and probably never will) submit to the opinions of others for the sake of acceptance. I stand by my thoughts, I stand by my actions and I stand by my choices with assertiveness and conviction. I will not apologise for knowing my mind and speaking it and without malice I intend to remain as stubborn as I need to be when necessary. This is NOT a weakness.
I am cold and unforgiving. Perhaps this is to my detriment but there are reasons behind my icy demeanour. I have had to endure far more than most and I have been left tarnished and cracked by my experiences. Many will urge me to forgive and move forward but forgiveness does not excuse transgressions of the past, actions and behaviours that shaped who I was as a person. I cannot and will not apologise for my inability to forgive those who have damaged my spirit, my soul or my physical body. Once the damage is done, there is no second chance with me and I would expect the same in reverse. True relationships and bonds are not affected by this side of my personality, to those closest to me I show only love.
I enjoy solitude. To this day, I fail to understand why being on my own comes with the stigma that it does. If I am by myself I am happy, I am content. I am comfortable with my own company and have no need to be surrounded by people who think they are doing me a favour when actually it is more of a nuisance. Again, this is my cold and unforgiving nature coming out but I do not mind being by myself and that does not make me a freak. People have this incessant need to tell you what they think you need and when I am alone, changing that to being around people is not one of them. I enjoy my alone time, this will never change and it does not make me a sociopath. No, perhaps there are many people that I don’t actually like and you know what – THAT IS OK. Perhaps now I hold myself to a higher standard of social interaction, as long as this is not to anyone’s detriment then whose business is it but my own?
With my children, there are no secrets. I had this fear that one day, when my own children had grown that I would do them a disservice by aiding them in growing up too quickly but in an ever changing world and an increasingly concerning environment (the world) I don’t believe this to be possible. I have given my girls the childhood that I could only ever have dreamed of and while not perfect, I do my utmost always to get damn near close. My children are still children but with a wise knowledge of the world that I didn’t think possible, a knowing, mature view of society and their place in it. A love for others, for creatures, for themselves. Many may look down on this as an inappropriate and unconventional take on parenthood and yet, this means nothing to me. I only care for how my own children are raised and what good it does for them to know a lot of what I teach them. They are not sheltered but they are protected, there is a difference.
Technologically tired. It is no secret that I go through phases of online social interaction. Sometimes, there is a need for more of a technical relationship with people and so I share too much, interact too often and become too engrossed in a world of social media and my phone (which is permanently attached to my hand). I used to do this because it made other people happy, to see what I was doing online and why. Then I was told I share too much online so I stopped. Then the stubbornness inside me decided she didn’t care and she would share once more and then the broken mind that was my mental state decided to shut it all down. I am at a point now where I do not want to share anything and everything online… if I want to know something, I will ask or make contact. If you want to know something, I would expect you to ask or make contact. I shut down all social media, both for Moonsomnia and personally barring only Facebook (with a whole 89 friends) which has become merely a photo storage platform. I intensely dislike applications like Whatsapp and Messenger that give people the ability to technologically stalk other people and so I ensure that all privacy settings are always as locked down as humanly possible (or deleted entirely) and I hate (emphasis on HATE) talking on the phone unless I absolutely have to. It is such a strange feeling to me, growing up as a digitally advanced millennial that now I could quite happily take a mobile phone break if given half the chance. A sign of me moving onto the next phase of my life? Perhaps. I am often reprimanded by various people for not keeping in contact enough and now that we have moved to another continent, it is considerably difficult to do so without the use of these applications available to me, that said, my technological silence is in no way personal. I merely try to avoid my phone if I can, unless of course if it is to play Animal Crossing, Pocket Camp. Obviously.
I am extremely open minded and accepting. I would like to believe that I do not judge others for their actions or behaviours and I would hope that I am extended the same courtesy. I am an extremely open minded person and am willing to accept many things. No matter the topic, certain behaviours and perhaps more frowned upon situations or scenarios do not bother me. I am a little fish in a large pond with no room for judgement and so I find it easy to accept many ideals and opinions. I am willing to fight for the little guy, the guy who no one agrees for the sake of am argument and by Goddess, I will always do my utmost to prove I am right. I have morals and values which I uphold for myself and my family and if your actions or opinions have little to no effect on those, I am more than likely able to accept it. There is very little I disagree with providing that no one man or creature is harmed by your views outside of living your truth and being yourself, that I will always stand by.
I am spiritually free. I have come to accept a way of life that works for me and those around me. I am at peace with my Goddess, I am in tune with the elements and I am rest with my choices. Many will disagree with my path, many will judge or make assumptions when it comes to my ‘religion of choice’ but I am the only one that needs to be happy with my lifestyle, my actions, my path and my belief. I have faith in myself, in the earth and energies around me and I am always learning, always growing. I have had to hide this part of who I am for a long time and from many people, I still do, but this is who I am. I am a witch, I have a black cat, I light incense and work with candles and crystals. I believe in the esoteric and all that is frowned upon by modern society, I don’t believe in the devil and the last thing I would do is sacrifice a squirrel at midnight as I prance naked in the moonlight.
An’ ye harn none, do what ye will.
I fail. As difficult as it is to admit it, I have failed in many things and in many relationships. I am my own worst enemy and I am the master critique of my own choices. I seldom set out with an intention to fail but when you are constantly setting out to begin with, failure is inevitable. I am learning to accept that I will try many things and many will fail because not everything can work out perfectly every time. This is the nature of life, of living. Without failure there cannot be success. I am human enough to accept my failures but woman enough to know that my failures are in the pursuit of something more; of ‘my thing’ that I am yet to find. Too many times, failure is looked at as a weakness instead of a learning curve and I am learning to not see it like this. To fail is to endure and much I have endured, I promise you this. So perhaps being a travel agent was not truly in my destiny, or perhaps my love of Dr Martens isn’t enough to sell them every week. Perhaps my calling is still years away from being found and maybe, just maybe I will write the next Harry Potter-like series. Who knows… but I can keep dreaming along the way.
I look a little different. Attending a parents evening is a fun experience for me, I have started to play a game in my mind to see how many people stare at me before realising I am staring back. People do, and will, stare and I am ok with that because I am not an idiot, I did not modify my body with the intention of flying under the radar. My modifications make me noticeable and I understand that but that is not my motivation to continue improving and loving the skin that I am in. I choose to pierce and tattoo my skin because this is who I enjoy being, it is a reflection of who I truly am on the inside. Only now, after almost 34 years of living am I truly starting to feel that this is who I am and this is who I am meant to be, tattoos, dreadlocks, piercings and all. I will continue to pierce and tattoo and I am aware that the more I do, the less acceptable I will look (if at all) but no longer will I feel the need to explain myself. This is MY body, these are MY choices and this is who I am.
My mental health is a state of mind. As much as people will say they are accepting of and sensitive to your mental state or health, the reality is the opposite. Most will go out of their way to make you feel as inferior as humanly possibly about your mental ailments because what humans do not know, they fear. I have depression, I live with depression and social anxiety day in and day out and this is a silent war I fight in the confines of my mind. I do not ask for help, not because I do not need it but because there is no point when no one understands or makes an effort to. When I choose a moment of solitude for the benefit of my emotional and mental wellbeing, it is because I know what works best for me and have come to learn this over time. I do not expect others to understand this but I do expect a level of respect for my own ways of dealing instead of turning it into a witch hunt for attention. The reality is that since coming out with my depression admission publicly, not one single human being that did not know wholly of my mental illness came to me to know more, to ask questions or to offer support. This has shown me the true nature of those who choose NOT to understand and I will no longer pander to those people’s whims.
I have arrived at a place that I am truly learning to love. A place that celebrates Shevy being Shevy. A place that is about being myself; who I truly am on the inside, on the outside and a place that expects those in my life to accept me as I am now or move on without me. I believe that many people will accuse my realisations of being selfish and self serving but I see differently. I see this as a beginning of a new chapter in my life that will see me loving who I am, loving my faults and insecurities, loving my achievements and loving my ability to stay true to self when all those around me falter. I am at a place that sees me wanting only the most positive of people, influences and interactions in my life and to ‘hell’ with all of the negativity. I have enough on my plate, it is already toppling, I don’t need the negativity of anyone in the world to bring me or mine down.
If you have taken the time to read this far, over 3500 words on who I am as a person and who I was an individual then know that who I am yet to be is the best of what is to come. I have not, cannot and will not forget what has been done to me by those who were to have protected me. I do not forgive, I do not forget but I also do not suffer fools and this is who I am. Those closest to me will always know the real me, will always see the innocent girl with rolling tears, the faceless girl. The girl with a thousand dreams and an inner brightness that lights the way for her inner circle. This girl will only ever let people in who she trusts will not hurt her and those closest to her…
This is Shevy.