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(Bit of a long one, sorry. I can't think of a way to shorten it down.)

I am but a soul, searching for a home.
Every place I've been has once felt like home.
But those places are always taken from me.

The first time, it was my parents' inability to understand me.
Or rather, their refusal to do so.

The second time, it was the toxic behaviors I had inhabited from a toxic household.

The third time, it was my anxiety that made me overly obsessive, but also afraid of being vulnerable.

The fourth time, it was my fear of having more people hate me.
I'd rather separate myself from them than letting it end with hate.

The fifth time, it was my fear of being seen as incapable.

The sixth time, it had nothing to do with me... but rather the inevitable split between my step dad and my mom.
At first, I thought it was a good thing. I was happy to see them separate.
Their relationship was very toxic, and it had a huge effect on me.
I was unable to speak my true feelings out of fear.
I was unable to even be any different from what they wanted me to be.
If I was, I would be punished, I would be ridiculed, and I would be harshly judged.
Such judgment is my biggest fear.

At first, after the separation, I was able to speak my mind more... but then the world started to change.
As a result, more people became more vocal and more harsh in their judgments.
At the end of the day, I just want everyone to love each other.
But my family is so prideful and, as a result, so ignorant.
Their prideful and judgmental nature has led me to once again become unable to speak my mind.
They force me into what they want me to be.

"You have to be Christian."
"You have to be [insert political party here]."
"You have to like [insert presidential candidate here]."
I have to be what they want me to be.
The part that bothers me is that they're fully aware that they're forcing these things on me, yet do it anyways.

What if I didn't want to be Christian?
I believe in God but I should be the one to make that choice, not someone else.

What if I didn't want to be the same political party as them?
I have my reasons for believing what I believe.
My life and my experiences have led me where I am, and they have no right to invalidate what my life has been up until now.

I'm tired of being their puppet, tied up in their strings and made to do what they want me to do, and be what they want me to be.

These things have led me to retreat back into my mind.
I've realized that every little aspect about my life has changed.
Things went downhill when my first dog, who I had lived with my entire life, passed away back in 2018.
I still had good memories after, but those were short-lived. Nothing felt the same afterwards.
Then, when my mom and step dad divorced last year, every other little remaining aspect of my life changed.
Nothing is the same, both mentally and physically.
I don't feel at all like I did when I was young, and I would do anything just to be able to feel that way again.

I wish I had two parents again.
I wish I had friends who I could find comfort in... or friends at all.
I wish I could be content, and be able to make good memories again.
I wish I could have talent and be someone.
I wish I could be me...

But those are all just wishes,
And until then,
I'm still searching.

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