The Whole Self

I have tried to fit into the countless boxes of others’ experiences.

I have divided myself into countless pieces that would fit into those countless boxes.

All of me will not fit into someone else’s box. So I cut off the small part that will…

…over and over again, with each small box of someone else.

There came a day when, exhausted and confused, I suddenly wondered who I am. Who am I anyway?

And I was terrified to discover I was no one. There was no one home. There was nothing whole. There were countless pieces of me scattered across everywhere, lost inside others’ experiences.

I never understood why I felt so fragmented until now. I gave myself away each time I elevated someone else’s experience above my own, when I abandoned my own sense of self to empathize with the person sitting across from me, when I tried to justify people’s shitty behavior towards me because I understood where they were coming from, when I ignored my own body (my only true home) because I was told it was inherently sinful and less-than, when I put aside all my own deep desires and decided to follow Christ, when I decided to follow St. Paul’s lead to become all things to all men so I could hopefully save a few.

What is left of me when my whole self has been denied in favor of parceling out the acceptable pieces of me across one too many people and systems???

I’ve been trying to accommodate others my entire life. My entire life. I was made to believe that was the holy and right and Christ-like thing to do: always put others’ needs before your own. That’s love, right?? Love is sacrifice. Love is to deny the self and give all for others. That’s what Jesus did, right?? Aren’t we to follow his example? Pick up your cross and follow him. If you don’t, you are not worthy of him.

I gave all and have nothing left. But surely there must be something left to give away. Each time I rest just long enough to regain any energy, I feel the need to give it away all over again. Everyone is waiting for me to get better so I can start giving again. I cannot hold on to this, it is not mine to keep, I must give it away. I must get better so I can get back to giving it all away… because that’s what people expect. Give give give some more. Don’t be selfish. Give.

As soon as I pull in my scattered pieces I feel the need to give them away again. I don’t know how to hold on to myself, to my own power and my own energy. It feels selfish and wrong.

I weep now for my whole self, my whole self who has not been allowed to be whole. All my scattered pieces are scared and lonely. They want to come home and feel safe and loved. They do not find love and belonging and safety within the boxes of others’ experiences. All my pieces miss each other. They miss belonging to one another, to be apart of the collective that is me, THE EXPERIENCE OF MYSELF.

I miss them dearly. I want them to come home. I want to feel the power and strength and LIFE that comes from being united and knowing that I DON’T HAVE TO BE ANYONE FOR ANYBODY. I am me. And being unapologetically me, in my true whole form, will be more than enough for the right people.

I don’t have to be all things to all people. I don’t have to dilute myself and my magic in order to do so. I will be strong medicine, for myself first, and for the select people who can handle me, for the select people who actually need me.

The vampires can find plenty of others to feed them. I won’t do it anymore. I will no longer betray myself for the living dead. I will no longer die so that others might live. I will live so that I might live, and that life will beget life for others.

Art by ZeppelinMoon.

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